Minister for Education, Norma Foley, announced a pilot scheme as part of the Reconfiguration for Diversity Programme. Details of the pilot scheme are available here
More information about An Foras Pátrúnachta’s consultation process for various members of the school community is available below.
Please click on the links below to learn about various aspects of the Reconfiguration Process
Please see the GAEILGE page for more information for school staff
Our leaflet Is Multi-D for me? can help parents gain valuable insights into Irish-medium multi-denominational education in school under the patronage of An Foras Pátrúnachta.
The Schools Reconfiguration for Diversity programme announced by Minister Richard Bruton in 2018 comes in response societal changes and parental demands for increased choice regarding school ethos.
The videos below provide an overview of the the Reconfiguration Strategy and also an insight into Multi-Denominational Gaelscoileanna.
In 2011, the Minister for Education and Skills, Ruairí Quinn, established an expert group to consult with people and to make recommendations on how primary schools can become more inclusive of different traditions, religions and beliefs.
In April 2012,the Minister Quinn published the Report of the Advisory Group to the Forum on Patronage and Pluralism in the Primary Sector. In June 2012, the Minister started a new process to look at the possible transfer of some schools run by the Catholic Church to other school patron bodies in 44 areas around the country. This process was undertaken initially on a pilot basis in five areas. The results were published in December 2012. Surveys were then carried out in the remaining 38 areas until February 2013.
In April 2013, the Minister for Education and Skills published the results of these surveys. Analysis of the surveys showed that there is sufficient parental demand in 23 out of the 38 areas to support an immediate change in the existing school patronage.
22 of the areas will see the establishment of an English language multi-denominational school. One area, Birr in County Offaly, will see an Irish language school established. Parents expressed a preference for An Foras Pátrúnachta as patron in this area.
The Minister for Education and Skills, Ruairí Quinn T.D., has published a paper: Forum on Patronage and Pluralism in the Primary Sector: Progress to Date and Future Directions.
The document is a follow-up to the Report of the Advisory Group to the Forum on Patronage and Pluralism, which examined how to ensure and promote greater diversity and inclusion in primary schools.
Despite the changed nature of Irish society, some 96% of all primary schools have religious patrons, with almost 90% of these under the patronage of the Catholic Church.
The Forum made a series of recommendations on issues which included:
The paper published today gives an update on the progress made to date on implementing the recommendations and focuses on options for promoting diversity in existing schools.
Minister Quinn said, “It is clear that there is no one size fits all approach to ensuring all schools are inclusive and welcoming. Our schools have a proud tradition of serving their communities and have made an enormous contribution to our society. Denominational patrons have been an important part of this and will continue to play a strong role in our education system. However, our schools can be busy places. There is a risk that we can overlook some fundamental rights to which pupils and their parents are entitled.”
The document examines good practice in relation to:
Under the Constitution, all parents have the right to withdraw their child from religious instruction in schools.
The paper can be accessed at http://www.education.ie/en/Press-Events/Conferences/Patronage-and-Pluralism-in-the-Primary-Sector/Progress-to-Date-and-Future-Directions-Forum-on-Patronage-and-Pluralism-in-the-Primary-Sector.pdf