‘When our national school system was set up in 1831 it was to be a secular system where all children would be educated together. What a wonderful aspiration! But look how it ended up. In years to come people will look back and exclaim with horror: “You mean in the old days in Ireland Protestants and Catholics were educated separately?”.’ Photograph: Getty Images

Four years after then Minister for Education, Ruairí Quinn, set up the Forum on Patronage and Pluralism in the Primary Sector, the Catholic Church h(...)

In the US, if parents want their children to learn about religion, they send them to Sunday school and pay for it privately. Photograph: Thinkstock

A parent wrote an anonymous piece for this newspaper recently, in which he argued that it was “plain nuts” that his children should be forced to spend(...)

President of the High Court Mr Justice Nicholas Kearns said the incident was “unfortunate” and “just sheer bad luck”.  Photograph: Chris Maddaloni/Collins

A child who sued after her hand caught in a door in a Dublin school has lost her High Court action for damages.The President of the High Court, Mr Jus(...)

Children at play in St  John the Evangelist National School, Adamstown, Co Dublin. More than 90% of pupils in the school in the 2013- 14 school year were of immigrant origin. Photograph: The Irish Times

Imagine a place where there were no private schools, no waiting lists, no demands for baptism certs; a place where all children – irrespective of fait(...)

The principle of choice is built into democratic society but does it always work for the common good? Education is one field where choice can have a d(...)

Labour TD Joanna Tuffy, who chairs the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Education and Social Protection, has  called for a rethink of the “divestment” policy in education. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times.

Minister for Education Jan O’Sullivan is being urged to reverse plans to create “competing” school patrons at primary level amid claims that it is exa(...)

Minister for Health Leo Varadkar: “I suppose ... maybe one of the advantages of urban areas is that you can have school choice.”  Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

Minister for Health Leo Varadkar has said a wide choice of schools has worked well in his “ethnically diverse” constituency.Mr Varadkar, who represent(...)

Children at St John the Evangelist National School, Adamstown, Co Dublin. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill 2:53

The biggest challenge of running St John the Evangelist National School in Adamstown, south of Lucan, Co Dublin, has “nothing to do with the profil(...)

Seven new primary schools are being established over the next two years to help meet the growing demand for places, especially in urban areas.Four of (...)

President of St Patrick’s College Drumcondra Daire Keogh in the new library: ‘The beauty of the library is that it will engage with the city; the college was behind the wall for a long time.’  Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons 2:15

Most people’s knowledge of St Patrick’s College in Drumcondra begins and ends at the gates – bypassed by a multitude daily on the airport road. Less w(...)