Deputy Maurice Quinlivan: Certain amount of students "falling through cracks" of common application system
THE MINISTER for Education has confirmed there is no plan to introduce guidelines to ensure that secondary schools have a policy of accepting students from local feeder primary schools.
Minister Joe McHugh confirmed there are no plans to introduce guidelines for feeder schools as he faced questions in the Dáil from Sinn Fein TD Maurice Quinlivan.
While the common application system works well for most students, a certain amount are “falling through the cracks”of this system, Deputy Quinlivan said.
“Earlier this year a number of young students in the city were left without a secondary school place altogether, despite applying to up to nine different schools for a place.”
“Some type of safety net must be put in place to ensure no child can receive nothing but rejection letters.”
“One major problem in the current school’s admission process, is the rules put in place by some schools, giving preference to a student if their parent has been a past pupil,” Deputy Quinlivan added.
“I think this rule has a very harmful impact, as it prevents some local children attending their local school, just because their father or mother did not attend.”
“This can result in the exclusion of some families altogether from their local school, despite living next door to it in some cases.”
In response, Minister McHugh said: “The model in Limerick is a comprehensive one that not every area has.”
“I am happy to work with those involved in the system but the Department cannot be prescriptive in terms of designing the policy for individual schools. We have protective measures enshrined in legislation that promote fairness and equal treatment, but ultimately it is a prerogative of schools to design their own policy.”