Parents want religion taught in schoolsTuesday, May 1st, 2012
Most parents still want religion taught in schools, even if only one in four would send their children to a church run school a new survey has shown.
The survey, commissioned by the Irish Primary Principals Network (IPPN) and conducted by Red C, found that 27% of parents would choose a primary school owned and managed by the Church while the remainder would opt for a Vocational Education Committee school, a multi-denominational school, or a State run school.
The survey also found that while a minority would choose a Church-run school, most still want religion taught at school.
Speaking on the results of the survey the President of the IPPN Gerry Murphy (pictured) said, “While there appears to be a public appetite for choice in the models of school patronage available, with most people opting for models that are not based on the ethos of a church, there is still strong demand for religious instruction to be taught within the school day. Despite this the overriding objective of the survey is to ensure the highest standards of teaching are available to all children, regardless of background.”
The poll saw a random sample of 729 adults questioned in March 2012, including those with no dependent children.
A breakdown of the findings shows that among those surveyed who have dependent children under 16 years, 30% said they would send them to a VEC school, which is run by the State. A quarter of those surveyed would choose a multi-denominational school such as Educate Together, and 20% would choose a State-run school.
While most parents would not have their children educated by the Church, 67% said they still want their child to receive religious instruction during the school day. They would also like their children to get help with preparation for the sacraments, such as confession, first communion and confirmation.
Some 31% of parents would rather their children receive religious education outside of school. Of those, 60% said the responsibility of religious education should fall to parents, 36% said it should be the clergy's responsibility and 13% teachers.
by Sean Ryan