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Would-be patrons to face strict code of conduct rules

Would-be patrons to face strict code of conduct rules

Strict rules that include a ban on leaflet drops and budget limits on marketing material have been applied to prospective patrons to ensure a level playing field.

The code of conduct was drawn up in consultation with the five patron bodies applying to take over Catholic schools in areas where demand for change emerges from the parental survey process that begins this week.  The local city or county Vocational Education Committee (VEC) has applied to become a patron in all 43 areas where expressions of interest have been received, as has all-Irish schools’ patron An Foras Pátrúnachta.   Educate Together is an applicant for all but five areas.

The National Learning Network, the training and employment division of the Rehab Group, has expressed interest in becoming patron to divested schools in five areas.  The Redeemed Christian Church of God, a Nigerian-founded church which applied last year to be a patron in three areas of Dublin where new primary schools are planned, will also be an option for parents in five areas to be surveyed.

The Department of Education said the code of conduct is designed to ensure the surveys are conducted in a reasonable manner, avoiding contentious commentary.  Among the key features is a requirement that existing and prospective patrons stick to describing the ethos of schools under their own patronage. “No subjective statements about, direct commentary on, or descriptions of schools under other forms of patronage should be made,” the code states.

Other requirements include:

* A spending limit of €300 per patron on information provision in each survey area, up to a maximum of €4,000 per organisation or group of organisations across all 44 areas;

* No direct canvassing parents through door-to-door canvassing, leaflet drops, telephone or email campaigns;

* Equal representation must be provided for patrons and prospective patrons at public meetings or media discussions.

The Department of Education will publish detailed reports on the surveys, which should be completed by the end of the year.
Foilsithe ar 22 Deireadh Fómhair 2012 / Foilsithe ar - 22 Deireadh Fómhair 2012

Seans go mbeidh spéis agat sna scéalta a leanas:

Fáilte curtha roimh athruithe ar phátrúnacht bunscolaíochta 

As na Nuachtáin: A parental poll on school patronage

As na Nuachtáin: Surveys on primary school patronage to begin

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Irish Examiner - Niall Murray

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