Faith schools and parental choice


Sir, – Eric Conway (July 14th) writes, “Catholics pay taxes, which fund these schools, as well as secularists. Why should the latter have a monopoly on the State’s resources?”

Of course he is correct.

But perhaps the question should be, why should the Catholic Church have its current near-monopoly on our education system and when, according to the Department of Education’s report on the surveys regarding parental preferences on primary school patronage (2013), about a quarter of parents whose children currently attend Catholic schools would prefer non-religious schools for their children?

Fr Niall Coll (July 14th) attributes “the reluctance of many parents, boards of management and trustees to consent to the divestment of their own particular Catholic school” to people’s “wariness about giving yet more power to the State”.

This is simply not borne out by the facts.

The Department of Education’s report on patronage cited above shows that the overwhelming parental choice for non-religious patronage is not the State, but Educate Together.

It really is time for the Catholic Church to stop prevaricating and get on with divestment, in accordance with so many parents’ wishes. – Yours, etc,



Co Dublin.