Minister announces expanded national poll on school choice

Parents of primary and preschool aged children will be invited to share their preferences on what type of school they want in their local area as part of “national conversation” on school choice.

The national poll, due to take place in the coming school year, will ask parents to state their preferences on school ethos (such as religious or multi denominational), gender mix (single sex or coeducational) and language (English-medium or Irish-medium). When parents are asked whether they want to divest their local Catholic school, they almost always vote to keep the status quo.

While there were plans to poll parents on school ethos alone, Minister for Education Norma Foley said an expanded poll is being planned to paint a more accurate picture of parental demand for types of education.

Ms Foley was speaking at a primary school in Dublin city centre, which is to become the first Catholic primary school in the State to change to Educate Together patronage.