Written answers

Thursday, 1 April 2021

Department of Education and Skills

School Enrolments

Emer Higgins (Dublin Mid West, Fine Gael)
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224. To ask the Minister for Education and Skills if consideration will be given to the creation of a database of open school places to assist both parents and schools that cannot accurately predict their waiting lists due to parents applying to multiple schools; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [17922/21]

Norma Foley (Kerry, Fianna Fail)
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It is the responsibility of the school authorities of 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 places. Parents have the right to choose which school to apply to and where the school has places available the pupil should be admitted. However, in schools where there are more applicants than places available a selection process may be necessary.

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. However, it may result in some pupils not obtaining a place in their school of first choice. In this regard, school authorities may find it necessary to prioritise enrolment of children from particular areas or on the basis of some other criterion.

All schools must publish an admissions notice annually, prior to the commencement of the schools admissions process. Where a school was oversubscribed for the previous academic year, the admissions notice must provide details setting out the number of applications received and the number and order of offers made in that school year in respect of each of the school’s selection criteria.

Schools can share certain data in order to facilitate the efficient admission of students. Should they wish to do so, a board may provide a patron or another board of management with a list of the students in relation to whom an application for admission to the school has been received, or where an offer has been made to or accepted by a student.

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