Press release from Minister for Education Ruairi Quinn on school patronage.

The Minister for Education Ruairi Quinn said today that he broadly accepted the Recommendations on divestment of schools made by the Forum on Patronage and Pluralsim. He also intends to start a public consultation process on the findings and recommendations in the report with regard to promoting more inclusiveness in schools, particularly in ‘Stand Alone Schools’ where transfer of patronage is not an option.

He also stated that in the longer term there was a need to ensure buy-in by the education partners to agreed arrangements for more diversity and inclusiveness, particularly in schools where choice of patronage is not available.

See more here.


  1. Avatar
    John Suttle June 23, 2012

    Minister Quinn appears to be making a u-turn on the Patronage and Pluralism issue. His press release is vague, but I would recommend that anyone interested should listen to his interviews immediately afterwards, on Newstalk “Lunchtime” and RTE’s “News at One” on Wednesday 20th June.

    In both of these he expressed support for the NONE of the Forum’s recommendations on pluralism – removal of Rule 68, allowing children of different religions proper education without religious indoctrination, separate religious education classes, and equality of access for children of all religions to National Schools, only appropriate religious symbols in all National Schools etc. As regards “Stand Alone” schools and pluralism, he appears to be preparing to abandon all positive changes – and may even support changes to give legal sanction to the present illegal practices of forcing religious formation on all children and of blocking admission to schools on religious grounds.

    You might notice that he is taking to the same use of words as the Catholic Church – talking of “denominational” schools rather than “National” schools. Fr. Michael Drumm immediately pulled back from any criticism by the Church when he heard Minister Quinn’s response to the Forum report. No Catholic Church spokesman ever mentions the work “National” – they want us all to forget National Schools and only talk of “denominational” schools.

    As regards Patronage, which I believe is a red herring, he has moved from seeking change in 1600 schools, to 320 schools, and now down to 44 schools – and even this will not happen. It was always an illusion that Ireland could proviode state schools with patronage suitable for all of children of the state. The only practical solution is that proposed by the Forum, a return to the only constitutionally allowed education system – the National Schools system – with children of all religions togeether in the same school, with separate religious instruction.

  2. Avatar
    Jaime Hyland June 29, 2012

    I’m truly unclear on why transfer of patronage is not an option in “stand-alone” schools.


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