As patrons of the multi-belief Community National Schools our member VECs broadly welcome Minister Quinn's announcement today that he will issue a White Paper on Pluralism and Patronage in Primary Schools in early 2013.
Speaking today IVEA General Secretary, Michael Moriarty says:
IVEA will make a significant submission to the Minister in response to his invitation and we will highlight the benefits of the Community National School model which caters for all beliefs and none under one roof.

The April 2012 Red C poll conducted by the Irish Primary School Principals Network indicated that most parents surveyed (30%) had a preference to send their children to primary schools operated by the VECs. This survey gives us confidence that the forthcoming survey of parental choice will again reflect this preference.

In regard to the development of an Ethics and Religious Belief Programme 
Mr Moriarty states:

I welcome the proposal that the NCCA will now develop an Ethics and Religious Belief Programme (ERB) for all schools. In an increasingly diverse and multicultural Ireland we must enhance mutual respect and understanding of different beliefs and cultures. Certainly, an ERB programme in schools will practically enhance social cohesion and understanding of different cultural perspectives and beliefs. This is a particularly significant proposal for standalone schools.

In conclusion Mr Moriarty states:

Stakeholder engagement in this process is critical to an agreed outcome where the cultural diversity of modern Irish society is mirrored by diversity in school patronage. The unique role of the Community National School (CNS) model is not often acknowledged, yet it can prove to be the ideal solution in response to diverse community needs.


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