Dáil Éireann - Volume 655 - 21 May, 2008

Written Answers. - School Enrolments.

Deputy Emmet Stagg asked the Minister for Education and Science the number of parents who have availed of the appeal mechanism set out in section 29 of the Education Act 1998 with regard to having their child or children accepted into a school of their choice in 2004, 2005, 2006 and 2007; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [19720/08]

  Deputy Batt O’Keeffe: Section 29 of the Education Act 1998, provides parents with an appeal process where a Board of Management of a school or a person acting on behalf of the Board refuses enrolment to a student. Where a school refuses to enrol a pupil, the school is obliged to inform parents of their right under Section 29 of Education Act 1998 to appeal that decision to the Secretary General of my Department. If an appeal under Section 29 is upheld that the Secretary General of my Department may direct a school to enrol a pupil.

Under Section 29 an appeal may be taken by the parent of the student or in the case of a student who has reached the age of 18 years, the student may appeal the decision to the Secretary General of my Department. The National Education Welfare Board may also make an appeal against a refusal to enrol to the Secretary General. The records maintained by my [166] Department do not identify whether a parent of other person took the appeal. The following are the number of appeals taken in each year specified by the Deputy, where enrolment was refused: 2004 — 192; 2005 — 207; 2006 — 167; 2007 — 296.