28 March 2011
Bishops’ Council for Education response to Minister Quinn’s announcement concerning the Forum on Patronage and Pluralism in the Primary Sector
The Council for Education of the Irish Episcopal Conference welcomes the announcement by the Minister for Education and Skills, Mr Ruairi Quinn TD, of the appointment of Dr. John Coolahan, Professor Emeritus at NUI Maynooth, as Chairperson of the Advisory Group for the recently announced Forum on School Patronage assisted by Dr. Caroline Hussey, former Registrar and Deputy President of University College Dublin and Ms. Fionnuala Kilfeather, former chief executive of the National Parents’ Council – Primary.
In response to the publication of data on Catholic School Patronage by the Department of Education and Skills in August 2010 the Catholic Schools Partnership, which was established by the Irish Episcopal Conference and the Conference of Religious of Ireland (CORI), has undertaken a detailed process of research and consultation. This has involved further analysis of parental understanding of school patronage, the preparation of a position paper on Catholic schools which will be published next week and ongoing consultation within the Church with various stakeholders. The results of this consultation will be analysed at four regional assemblies in June 2011 with representatives from all dioceses.
The Council notes the Minister’s comments on the need for an orderly process that respects all of the sensitivities involved. The Council looks forward to being an active participant in the Forum.
Catholic Communications Office Maynooth: Martin Long 00353 (0) 86 172 7678 and Brenda Drumm 00353 (0) 87 310 4444