Abolition of Rule 68 another attack on the rights of faith-based schools

Press release from The Iona Institute 

The unilateral decision by Education Minister, Jan O’Sullivan, to abolish Rule 68, is another attack on the rights of faith-based schools.

Rule 68 helps to protect the ethos of faith-schools.

Commenting on the decision, David Quinn of the Iona Institute said: “This is yet another attack on the rights of faith-schools by this Government and especially by the Labour party. A faith school has a right to have a faith-based ethos. Parents have a right to send their children to a school with a faith ethos that can permeate the school day”.

He continued: “It is clear that the Irish education system must change and that there must be more school choice. This means much faster divestment of denominational schools to other patron bodies. Both the Churches and local politicians must take a stronger lead in this regard.

“However, the remaining denominational schools must be allowed to have a strong, faith-based ethos otherwise the rights of parents who want to send their children to such schools are undermined to satisfy the demands of other parents who have a different educational vision”.

He concluded: “Fortunately, the Education Act still protects school ethos. Presumably, Labour will want to amend that Act in order to destroy this protection. Eventually the various Churches may have to take a constitutional case to protect their rights.”