Skip to main content

You are here:

Advice of the Ombudsman for Children on the Education (Admission to Schools) Bill 2016

The Minister for Education and Skills published the Education (Admission to Schools) Bill 2016 on 6 July 2016. The aim of the legislation and associated regulations is to provide a new framework to govern school admissions policies for all primary and post-primary schools.

The Office broadly welcomes the fact that the Bill addresses: consistency between admission policies; transparency in admission procedures; communication of reasons for refusal to parents; prohibition on charging admission and enrolment fees; and central oversight of cases in which children cannot access a school place.

We welcome the fact that some of its concerns with the 2013 Heads of Bill have been addressed. However, we have some key concerns with regard to the Bill, namely in relation to preferential admission on the grounds of religion or previous connection to a school, religious instruction in schools, absence of consultation with children and young people, and oversight in relation to the application of admissions criteria.