Minister for Education Norma Foley TD has today announced that St Enda’s National School, Whitefriar Street, Dublin 8, will be transferring from Catholic patronage to the local education and training board to become a multi-denominational community national school.
Minister Foley said: “Following engagement with the school community of St Enda’s National School as part of the pilot process which I announced in March 2022, I am pleased to announce that the patronage of this school will be transferring to City of Dublin Education and Training Board and the ethos of the school will be changing from Catholic to multi-denominational.
“I would like to thank the school patron and trustees and the St Enda’s school community for their positive, constructive engagement in the process and congratulate City of Dublin Education and Training Board as incoming patron. I also wish to express my thanks to the facilitator appointed by my Department to engage with the school community for their diligent work in this regard.
“I am delighted that this transfer of patronage will increase diversity of provision and that there will be a multi-denominational primary school option for parents in the area.”
In March 2022 Minister Foley announced that arrangements are being put in place in a number of towns and areas of cities that have no multi-denominational primary schools at present to run a pilot reconfiguration programme. The Department of Education, with the co-operation of the relevant Catholic Bishops, is conducting the pilot programme in areas where possible demand for more diversity in school type has been identified. As part of this process, the Department of Education has made available a number of independent facilitators to work with school patrons and school authorities at a local level and to engage with school authorities, school staff and parents with a view to agreeing on a transfer of patronage and change of ethos, where there is sufficient demand for this. The voice of the parent and school community is important in the context of a decision to change to a multi-denominational ethos.
Following on from these engagements with the school community and school authorities of St Enda’s National School, the patron has notified the Department of his intention to transfer patronage of the school under the Schools Reconfiguration for Diversity Process. Following consideration of the facilitator’s report on the engagement process, the Department has decided that patronage should be transferred to City of Dublin Education and Training Board, with the school becoming a multi-denominational Community National School.
The transfer of patronage of St Enda’s National School marks another important moment in the Schools Reconfiguration for Diversity Process as it transfers patronage as a result of the structured engagement process with school communities in the pilot areas announced by the Minister in March 2022.
The reconfiguration engagement process commenced in 2022 in the pilot areas. The engagement at local level should be largely concluded in many of the areas by the end of Q1 2023 and this will help clarify the level of demand for reconfiguration in these areas. The learnings from the process in the pilot areas should provide a pathway forward on the process for providing multi-denominational options for parents in other towns and areas of the country going forward.
Notes for editors
The Programme for Government contains a commitment to expand the plurality of our schools to reflect the full breadth of society. Government policy as set out in the Programme for Government is to:
“Achieve the target of at least 400 multi-denominational primary schools by 2030, to improve parental choice;
“Expand and prioritise the transfer of viable schools to Community National Schools”;
”Work with communities to ensure the provision of clear, non-partisan information on the preparation for, and the consequences of, the divestment process and to respond to queries raised.”
The Schools Reconfiguration process aims to assist in achieving the Programme for Government target by transferring existing schools from denominational to multi-denominational patrons, in response to the wishes of local families.
In this context in March 2022, the Minister for Education announced that arrangements are being put in place in a number of towns and areas of cities that have no multi-denominational primary schools at present as part of a pilot reconfiguration arrangement. The Council for Education of the Irish Episcopal Conference (representing the Catholic patrons) and relevant bishops have confirmed their willingness to engage and co-operate fully with the Department in seeking to facilitate a more diverse school patronage in these towns and cities. The pilot areas are:
*parts of these cities
As part of this process, the Department of Education has made available a number of independent facilitators to work with school patrons and school authorities at a local level and to engage with school authorities, school staff and parents with a view to agreeing on a transfer of patronage and change of ethos, where there is sufficient demand for this.
An information pack for school communities and parents setting out some general and practical information relating to transfer of patronage was also published in March 2022 and is available here: https://www.gov.ie/en/publication/811e2-schools-reconfiguration-for-diversity/
St Enda’s National School