Ireland moves to eliminate ‘baptism barrier’ at schools

Ireland moves to eliminate ‘baptism barrier’ at schools June 1, 2018

From the BBC:

A bill to remove the so-called “baptism barrier” from Catholic primary schools has been passed by the Dáil (Irish parliament).

Under the legislation, oversubscribed primary schools will not be allowed to discriminate on the basis of religion.

Minority religions will also be offered more protection.

The Education (Admissions to Schools) Bill 2016 passed all stages in the Dáil on Wednesday night and will now be sent to the Seanad (senate).

Education Minister Richard Bruton said: “It is unfair that a local child of no religion is passed over in favour of a child of religion, living some distance away, for access to their local school.

“Parents should not feel pressured to baptise their child to get access to their local school.

“While 90% of our primary schools are of a Catholic ethos, recent figures show that over 20% (and growing) of our parent-age population is non-religious. In addition, recent marriage statistics for 2017 show that only approximately 51% of marriages occurred in a Catholic ceremony.”

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