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What does this mean?
It’s your right to get a good quality education.
In Ireland, you can leave school at 16 years old or after 3 years of secondary school.
The Irish Constitution recognises your parents as your primary educator. This means that they teach you right from wrong, but the Government needs to make sure you get a ‘minimum standard of education’.
EXAMPLE: The majority of schools can’t allocate school places based on religion anymore, it’s your right to go to any school you choose.
Learn more about this right
- UNCRC, article 23 – it’s your right to special education and care if you have a disability, as well as all the rights in this Convention, so that you can live a full life.
- UNCRC, article 28 – it’s your right to get a good quality education. You should be encouraged to go to school to the highest level you can.
- UNCRC, article 29 – it’s your right that your education should help you use your talents and abilities. It should help you live peacefully, protect the environment and respect other people.
- Under Article 42 of the Irish Constitution, it’s your right to have access to free primary education.
- Under the Education Welfare Act 2000, it’s your right to leave State education at 16 years of age, or after you have finished three years at secondary school.
- Under the Education Act 1998, it’s your right to form a Student Council in your school, and for your school to support you with it.
- Under the Education for Special Educational Needs Act 2004, it’s your right to say in a mainstream school, where possible, if you have a special educational need.
- Under the School Admission Act 2018, it’s your right to go to any school regardless of your religion, or lack of religion, except in specific circumstances
- The Constitution of Ireland recognises the family as the main educator of the child.
- This means that it is your parent’s job to teach you right from wrong and parents can also decide to educate their children at home.
- There are about 890,000 children and young people in primary and secondary school in Ireland.
- The Government writes the curriculum in schools, makes sure schools are well-built and pays teachers’ salaries. They are not often involved in the day to day running of the schools as that is up to the board of management.
- In the academic year 2016/17, 96% of primary schools in Ireland have a religious patron. This means they influence how the school is run.
- The Action Plan for Education 2019 says that education is “is the key to giving every child an equal opportunity in life.” Among other things, this plan focuses on wellbeing in schools and reforming the Junior cycle in the hope that Ireland can be a leader in providing “world-class education and skills”.
- Young Travellers are among several groups of children in Ireland who can face additional barriers to and in education.
- According to a 2018 survey by Barnardos, the average costs of sending children to school are €360 for a child in primary school and €765 for children in secondary school.
- Cartoons for Children’s Rights – A short cartoon about children’s right to education, made for Unicef’s Cartoons for Children’s Rights initiative
- Know your rights– Find out more about your rights in education in Ireland from the ICCL and the Children’s Rights Alliance
- Malala Yousafazai – Malala Yousafazai was 17 years old when she became the youngest ever person to win a Nobel Peace Prize in October 2014. She has since become a global advocate for the right to education. Listen to her Nobel prize speech