The Council for Education of the Irish Episcopal Conference welcomes the publication by the Department of Education and Skills entitled: Forum on Patronage and Pluralism in the Primary Sector: Progress to Date and Future Directions. Representatives of Catholic patrons have engaged with officials of the DES on all the substantive issues raised in the forum report over the past two years.
The Council notes the summary conclusions drawn from the DES consultation process with parents on inclusivity in schools. It is clear that many schools have developed good practice with regard to the inclusive education of all children within the school community. The DES report will be helpful in sharing such good practices across the system. The Catholic Schools Partnership is developing guidelines for Catholic schools in this area and hopes to publish these later in 2014. These guidelines will be informed by, and build on, the recommendations in today’s report.
The Council is committed to on-going engagement with the DES concerning the recommendations in the forum report. It agrees that there is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ solution with regard to these recommendations, and the best way forward is based on “principles such as good communication, clarity on rights and responsibilities, openness to dialogue and flexibility”.
Such principles have informed the dialogue between the DES and Catholic patrons to date. We look forward to continuing such an approach as the partners work together to reconfigure the education system so that it responds to the various social and demographic changes in Irish society.
Notes for Editors
- The Council for Education of the Irish Episcopal Conference develops and promotes policy and vision for Catholic Education in Ireland, North and South.
- The Catholic School Partnership is an umbrella body providing support for all of the partners involved in Catholic education.
For media contact: Catholic Communications Office Maynooth: Martin Long 00353 (0) 86 172 7678 and Brenda Drumm 00353 (0) 87 310 4444