New Schools Admissions Bill to End Registration Fees
Dublin, 16 November 2016 – The Education (Admissions to Schools) Bill under discussion tonight in the Dáil contains the important recommendation to ban school registration fees. Barnardos is keen to see an end to any financial barriers affecting a child’s right to access education.
June Tinsley, Head of Advocacy, Barnardos, said, “Today’s Dáil debate on the Education (Admission to Schools) Bill 2016 offers an opportunity for our political leaders to send a strong message that discrimination against children accessing their right to education based on a parents’ ability to pay is unacceptable.
“For over 10 years Barnardos has undertaken a school costs survey and knows the financial pressure thousands of parents face covering the basic costs of education, including registration fees. Schools charging registration fees is relatively common and is another barrier to guaranteeing equal access to education for all children. According to our 2016 findings, half of secondary school parents reported having to pay a registration fee, compared with just under one in eight primary school parents. Most secondary school parents paid less than €100, but two in five paid over €100 just to secure their child’s place in school and this fee is often non-refundable should parents opt for a different school.
Ms Tinsley added, “However, while we welcome the introduction of an explicit ban on registration fees, it is disappointing this Bill is side-stepping the need to amend the law so that schools can no longer discriminate in their admissions policy on the basis of a child’s religion or non-religion. We would wish to see improvements to the Bill to address this oversight.”
For further information, please contact:
Barnardos Press Office: 01 7080442 / 086 0445966
Rachel Boyce; 01 7080443
Visit Barnardos Media Centre www.barnardos.ie/media
Barnardos supports children whose well-being is under threat, by working with them, their families and communities and by campaigning for the rights of children. Barnardos was established in Ireland in 1962 and is Ireland’s leading independent children’s charity. www.barnardos.ie