Thursday, 17 December 2020
Department of Education and Skills
Sibling First Admission Policy
373. To ask the Minister for Education and Skills if her Department plans to end a policy that is used by some primary schools to no longer allow a sibling first admission policy. [44196/20]
374. To ask the Minister for Education and Skills if she will direct schools to not end a sibling first admission policy on the basis that parents' working lives, school collection arrangements and the financial burden on parents is not considered if they must send their children to multiple schools (details supplied). [44197/20]
I propose to take Questions Nos. 373 and 374 together.
In relation to school admissions, it is the responsibility of the managerial authorities of all schools to implement an enrolment policy in accordance with the Education Act 1998 and the Education (Admission to Schools) Act 2018. My Department's main responsibility is to ensure that schools in an area can, between them, cater for all pupils seeking school places in that area.
Under the provisions of the Education (Admission to Schools) Act 2018, all schools have drafted new policies, which have been approved by the patron and are now published on the schools website. This selection process and the enrolment policy on which it is based must be non-discriminatory and must be applied fairly in respect of all applicants. Nonetheless, where a school is oversubscribed some pupils may not obtain a place in the school.
The Act requires schools to clearly set out their selection criteria in their admission policies. Schools have discretion regarding their admission criteria and how they are applied. The criteria to be applied by schools and the order of priority are a matter for the schools themselves. My Department does not seek to intervene in the selection criterion that is applied by schools.