Thanks to all who were able to attend the recent update meeting wrt the Join Enrollment Policy.
At the meeting we went through at a high level the steps that the Residents Association has made in particular since the Dail Meeting arranged by Minister Joan Burton.
In recent weeks there has been significant development – this follows a meeting between a member of the Riverwood Residents Association subcommitee with Dr Marie Griffin. We were looking for clarification around the denomination of both schools as their websites seemed to refer to a difference in denomination. Dr Marie Griffin updated us that the designation of each school is different, CCC is a designated school and operates under the Model Agreement as agreed between the VEC and Archdiocese of Dublin. In this agreement specific reference is made to religious worship, religious appointments and in the case of CCC from their website they clearly reference the chaplain, meditation facilities and support for students via their chaplains. LCC on the other side is a non designated school and does not subscribe to this agreement and is not bound to provide any equivalent facility or practices, the ethos of both schools are fundamentally different. This difference in designation has not been referenced in the Draft Enrollment Policy and hasn’t been made clear, we believe that there can’t be a joint enrollment policy between 2 schools which are different at this level.
The effect of the Joint Enrollment policy will be that some children who wish to continue their education in a designated environment have had that choice removed under this new policy. The VEC have already admitted this in terms of the numbers of people who will be subscribing to CCC – this not only applies to children from Riverwood but for any children from catchment area A.
We have raised a complaint with the Children Ombudsman and made contact with the Equality Authority and have consulted with some solicitors on advice around the validity of a joint enrollment policy with schools of different designation. We have spoken to Anne McDonagh, head of Education at the Archdiocese and Rev Fr John Daly, parish priest of St Mochtas. All those we have spoken to acknowledge differences between the 2 schools and can’t see how there can be a joint enrollment policy on that basis.
We have been invited to a special VEC Board meeting on Dec 5th where we will have a presentation and Q&A session.