The issue of access to schools for children from minority faiths or of no faith at all, is one that is growing across Dublin West. Currently, section 7(3)(c) of the Equal Status Act, 2000, allows primary and secondary schools with a religious ethos discriminate in granting admission to their school.

As we know, the vast majority of primary schools in the country are still under the patronage of the Catholic Church. This becomes a major issue for parents who aren’t of the Catholic faith, or indeed, children who aren’t baptised at all.

The Green Party are proposing to amend the legislation to remove the ability of publically funded schools to deny a child entry solely on the basis of religion. Such a change has also been recommended by the Human Rights and Equality Commission.

While schools will still be allowed follow their own ethos, no child should be marginalised in Ireland due to their faith or absence of faith.

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