Irish Catholic Schools in the Archdiocese of Dublin were asked to remove their siblings’ first policy. This affects about 400 schools altogether in Dublin, Wicklow, Kildare, Carlow, Laois and Wexford.
The sibling’s first policy serves the purpose to ensure children who have siblings already attending a primary school have a higher chance of getting a placement at the same school. This is especially important in overcrowded areas such as Dublin where many schools are receiving a much higher amount of applications than there are spots available. Removing this practice could lead to parents having a difficult time managing pick ups and drop offs from multiple schools at the same time.
A spokesperson of the Archdioceses of Dublin has said that a “parish school is established for the children of the parish”. The effect of the policy is supposed to be to prioritize children of the local parish equally to local children with siblings attending the school. This should increase local families’ chances for a spot in a school within a reasonable distance from their house. Children living outside of the parish will be less favoured for a spot, whether they have siblings at the school or not. The policy is to be enrolled for the school year of 2021/2022.
Parents have criticized the decision and send a letter hoping for the Archdioceses to review their decision. Additionally, a petition has been started to allow first preference to be given to siblings at primary school enrolments. To find out more about the petition, click here.
Educate Together and Church of Ireland schools have confirmed that they will not be removing their siblings’ first policy.