School application process could be ‘bettered’, Minister says on Limerick visit

Jess Casey

Reporter:

Jess Casey

Minister for Education and Skills, Joe McHugh, on his visit to Limerick Picture:  Brian Arthur

Minister for Education and Skills, Joe McHugh, on his visit to Limerick Picture: Brian Arthur

THE MINISTER for Education believes that while the common application system (CAS) for secondary school places in Limerick largely works, there are “learnings to be gathered.”

As previously reported by the Limerick Leader, a 12-year old Limerick boy recently received nine rejection letters from secondary schools, including his first choice school that he can “literally see from his front door.”

“When you have a situation where one young person is receiving a number of letters of refusal, that is not a place that anyone wants to be in,” Minister Joe McHugh told the Leader while visiting Limerick.

“With any system it can always be bettered.” 

“I must say, other areas in the country are looking at the (CAS) as a possibility but there is always learnings that can be gathered,” he added.

“Ultimately, even if there is one person who gets affected in a negative way, that is something that we have to try and improve.” 

Minister McHugh was asked to intervene in the Limerick boy’s case after it emerged that he received a rejection letter through his postbox from each of the nine schools he applied to through CAS. 

“No young child should ever get nine rejection letters and no offer of a place and be left to search frantically for a solution,” Sinn Fein Deputy Maurice Quinlivan said, speaking in the Dáil. The student has since received a secondary school place. 

“I got to know the system in depth as a result of it being raised in the Dáil by Deputy Quinlivan,” Minister McHugh said.

“I must say, it is a system that is delivering for upwards of 95% of students. Like any system, the people who coordinate that system are looking to improve it and make it better.”