ArchbishopDiarmuid Martin has again stated that the Church welcomes diversity in school patronage while also upholding the role of Catholic education. He criticised any movement towards elitist or ghetto schools.

The Role of Education in the New Ireland

While I recognise that parents have the right to choose the best possible education for their children, I am unhappy when Catholic parents opt out of diversity and send their children to schools precisely because there is less diversity in them.
Archbishop Diarmuid Martin

Welcoming Diversity

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ArchbishopDiarmuid Martin has again stated that the Church welcomes diversity in school patronage while also upholding the role of Catholic education. He criticised any movement towards elitist or ghetto schools.

Archbishop Martin was speaking in Maynooth last night where he delivered the NUI convocation centenary annual public lecture on the role of education in the new Ireland.

He said he recently established special enrolment measures in an area of the Dublin Archdiocese to help ensure that schools there, while maintaining their Catholic ethos, would establish a realistic mix of religious and ethnic make-up more or less in line with the overall mix of the area.

Education Funding

Archbishop Martin had words of criticism in regard to Government spending on education.

Sadly, while education contributed decisively to Irelands unprecedented growth and wealth, not enough of the fruits of Irelands unprecedented growth and wealth have been poured back into education in a focussed way. We still have school buildings which are not up to adequate standards. We have been slow in addressing the needs of our international children. We still have schools with very high class sizes. We have not got the process of planning right.

New Models of Patronage

Archbishop Martinagainclearly stated that he welcomednew models ofschool patronage, including the new model linked with the VEC in North Dublin. However he commented that

I am puzzled as to why the system is being rolled out with such caution. The lack of a real pluralism in patronage models is putting unfair pressure on Catholic schools.