What is a National School?

The National School system is the State aided system of primary education in Ireland. Children whose parents wish to avail of any form of State aid in the education of their children must attend a National School.Gardiner St National SchoolsRecent Dunderrow

national sign

Dunderrow National School

National School sign

The National School system, which was initiated by the State in 1831 with the Stanley Letter, has local management but is controlled by the Minister for education through the “Rules for National Schools” and ministerial circulars. The Patron only has such powers as are granted by the Minister – very limited powers in appointing two of the eight members of the Board of Management. The Board only has such powers as are granted by the Minister for Education.

 ruari

There has been no legislative change since the National School system was set up with the Stanley Letter, which declared It is the intention of the Government that the Board (National Board, now the Minister for Education since the 1920s) should exercise a complete control over the various schools which may be erected under its auspices, or which, having been already established, may hereafter place themselves under its management, and submit to its regulations.”

Any school which does not abide by the Minister’s “Rules” can (and has had in the past) have its State funding withdrawn.

There has been a gradual withdrawal of control by the Department of Education since the early 1960s – this withdrawal continues with the present Minister, who is ignoring the important recommendations of the Forum on Patronage and Pluralism – and is only implementing an apartheid system in National Schools – where he is setting up schools specifically to cater for Non-Catholics.

We reference the European Judgement in the post below and it needs to unpacked as stated in our previous post

https://dialogueireland.wordpress.com/2014/01/31/louise-okeefe-was-a-pupil-at-dunderrow-national-school/

Read European Judgement here:

CASE OF OKEEFFE v. IRELAND

The ruling is very interesting from p. 155 on – I would dispute the judgement of this court and the Supreme Court before it – but this likely because the presentation of the case was very poor, and conceded the control issue without any evidence – “its a well known fact” is not a very good way to deal with this important issue – I would like to see evidence.
The poor presentation of the history of National Schools that was made in Ireland, inevitably lead to the poor judgement by Hardiman in our Supreme Court and is repeated in the latest judgement.  The great misunderstanding is that something happened somewhere between 1850 and 1950 that gave independence to the Patron and the Manager in a National School – this just did not happen – there was no legislation that in any way changed the position of the local management. Local management is only allowed whatever control is ceded by the State.

 Absolute control remains with the Minister – his instructions through the “Rules for National Schools” and many circulars must be adhered to by the Patron and the Board of Management – if they are not, the school loses recognition as a National School and thereby loses State funding.
From the Stanley letter, which we have checked. There is no evidence or sign of this having been changed by subsequent legal provision.

“It is the intention of the Government that the Board (National Board, now the Minister for Education since the 1920s,) should exercise a complete control over the various schools which may be erected under its auspices, or which, having been already established, may hereafter place themselves under its management, and submit to its regulations.”

 https://dialogueireland.wordpress.com/2014/01/28/sunday-times-editorial-on-education-260114/

John Suttle

Primary Author

The Clontarf Report “Illegal Religious Discrimination in National Schools in Ireland”.

https://dialogueireland.wordpress.com/2011/11/28/the-clontarf-report/

24A Hollybrook Grove,

Clontarf,

Dublin 3.

01-8331167

087-2482864

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: