Sale of school lands and private schools

Sir, – The Irish education system is in crisis and desperately in need of visionary leadership. On the one hand we read of brothers and nuns morphing into the worst kinds of property speculators, selling school lands, despite this not being in the best interests of the children they were entrusted to serve, with Our Lady’s Grove and Clonkeen College being the most recent examples. Then we read of the rising numbers of those choosing to send their children to heavily State-supported private schools. When is a Minister for Education going to stand up to the many powerful vested interests, such as the Catholic Church and the old boys’ network, and say for once and for all that the State will provide state schools, with a place for each child regardless of their parents’ faith or income? If, beyond that, parents want something different or elitist for their children, they should pay the entire economic cost themselves. Then and only then can we have a level playing field in what is surely one the most important cornerstones of a just society. – Yours, etc,



Dublin 14.