Written answers

Tuesday, 21 June 2022

Department of Education and Skills

School Admissions

Photo of Willie O'DeaWillie O'Dea (Limerick City, Fianna Fail)
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557. To ask the Minister for Education and Skills if she will review the case of a student (details supplied) who was not offered a place in first year at a local secondary school in Limerick; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [32099/22]

Photo of Norma FoleyNorma Foley (Kerry, Fianna Fail)
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Where a board of management make a decision to refuse admission, a parent/guardian can appeal that decision under section 29 of the Education Act, 1998, and an independent appeals committee will be appointed to consider the appeal. The role of the section 29 hearing committee is to examine the application for enrolment and consider if it was correctly processed by the school, in accordance with the school’s Enrolment Policy. The section 29 appeals committee cannot consider matters that are not provided for within the school’s Enrolment Policy.

A section 29 appeal committee can examine how an  application was processed by the school and identify if the school did not follow its Enrolment policy. In cases where an error occurred the section 29 appeal committee will consider if the error had a material effect on the application. Where an error had a material effect on the  enrolment application, the section 29 appeal committee can direct the school to enrol the student or adjust the students ranking on the waiting list.

A section 29 appeal was received in my Department in respect of a refusal to enrol decision due to oversubscription for this pupil. In accordance with the procedures for processing such appeals, the section 29 appeal committee conducted a paper based appeal in respect of this appeal.

As you are aware the outcome of this appeal has been issued to both parties to the appeal, and this concludes the appeals process. You will appreciate that my Department has no authority to compel a school to admit a student, except in circumstances where an appeal under section 29 of the Education Act, 1998 has been allowed and the appeals committee directs that the school admit the child concerned.

An appeals committee's final decision is binding on the parties and can only be challenged by either party to the appeal, by way of Judicial Review through the Courts.

Tusla Education Support Services (TESS) the Educational Welfare Service  is the legal body which can assist parents who are experiencing difficulty in securing a school placement for their child. Contact details for TESS are available at the following link www.tusla.ie/tess/get-in-touch/ or by email at tessinfo@tusla.ie


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