Baptising for school entry ‘disturbing’

Minister Jan O’Sullivan comments again on contentious issue of school patronage

Jan O’Sullivan: “I think there is something fundamentally disturbing about parents feeling that they have to get their child baptised to get into a school if they don’t believe in what baptism is about”

Jan O’Sullivan: “I think there is something fundamentally disturbing about parents feeling that they have to get their child baptised to get into a school if they don’t believe in what baptism is about”

 

The Minister for Education has said there is “something fundamentally disturbing” about parents being forced to have their child baptised to get them into a particular school. It is the second time in recent days that Jan O’Sullivan has commented on the contentious issue of school patronage.

Last week the Minister was criticised by Fine Gael for broaching the subject so close to an election after she insisted nobody should be forced to have their child baptised to secure a school place.

Asked about the criticism of her recent comments in Limerick yesterday, Ms O’Sullivan said: “I think there is something fundamentally disturbing about parents feeling that they have to get their child baptised to get into a school if they don’t believe in what baptism is about. “There are many very committed people who do believe in what Baptism is about, but the idea that you get baptised simply in order that you get a place in a school, I think that makes people uncomfortable.”

Speed up process

“I want to continue to make progress...and see if there are ways in which we can assist the process and speed it up.”