Parents must be considered by schools when changing ‘sibling-first’ policies – Carroll MacNeill

-   Jennifer Carroll MacNeill, TD

Ending sibling first enrolment would cause significant challenges for families

The decision by the Archdiocese of Dublin to request their schools to end the practice of giving priority enrolment to siblings of pupils already attending schools needs to be reconsidered, a Fine Gael TD has said.


Deputy Jennifer Carroll MacNeill, from the Dún Laoghaire constituency, has expressed her concern in relation to the idea of ending sibling-first enrolment and is calling on the Archdiocese to provide data on the proportion of places occupied in each class by such enrolments before pressing ahead with any changes.


“Juggling work and dropping children to school is difficult as it currently is for many parents, in particular for single parents.


“Arranging drop offs and collections at different times in different schools would make the planning and practicalities of their week even more difficult for parents.


“Now more than ever, with the rapidly evolving working landscape, we should be trying to work together and consider the whole family unit when making decisions about enrolment policies.” Deputy Carroll MacNeill said.


The proposed changes will come into effect for children enrolling in the 2021/22 school year. Schools are due to commence enrolments next month. Deputy Carroll MacNeill said the issue is already causing considerable angst for parents.


“We need to ensure access to schools for all students, in particular for children living in the locality, but parents must be consulted by schools and school management before any such decisions are made,” she added.

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