November 30, 2015 by johnston00
Minister for Education Jan O’Sullivan has said schools should offer other options to students who don’t want to study religion.
Jan O’Sullivan told RTÉ News that where numbers of students were involved she believed schools could offer alternative classes.
With smaller numbers, she said students could move to the school library.
Last week a Limerick secondary school decided to allow a student to opt out of the subject.
After an initial refusal from the school to allow the student opt out, the school’s board of management reversed that decision but ruled that the student must remain in the classroom while the subject was being taught.
Ms O’Sullivan said she did not wish to prescribe any solution to schools but she said she believed schools’ admissions policies should make clear their provisions in this regard.
She said the upcoming Admission to Schools Bill would make this statement obligatory.
Ms O’Sullivan said the role of religion in schools had become a public policy issue over the past number of years.
She said political parties needed to spell out their position on this in the run up to the General Election and that the Labour Party would do so.
Asked about the Labour Party’s record in Government on the issue, Ms O’Sullivan acknowledged that for most of the country the Government’s divestment plans had not delivered any change.
She acknowledged that the process had been very slow. However she said quite a lot had been achieved by the Government.
Ms O’Sullivan added that it was an issue that needed to be addressed in the context of a General Election.
RTE news Nov 29th