27 May 2022

Leitrim one of six counties without multi-denominational schools

Leitrim is one of six counties in Ireland that does not provide equalirt-based primary school options.

The Social Democrats are bringing a bill through Dáil Eireann to standardise sex education in schools, which they say should be fact-based and free from religious influence. 

The Bill will look to amend the wording in the 1998 Education Act to include paragraphs such as providing evidence informed health education (being evidence of an objective nature), including cognitive, emotional, physical and social aspects of relationships and sex education and developing respectful social and sexual relationships.

The Bill also states that sex education in schools must be reviewed at least once every five years.

Deputy Róisín Shorthall said that over 90% of Irish primary schools has a Catholic ethos.

She said, "People are being forced to send children to Catholic schools because of the lack of choice. We know there is huge demand for multi-denominational schools and the Government has failed to get close to meeting this demand. Six counties in Ireland have no equality-based primary school options. These are Tipperary, Cavan, Monaghan, Leitrim, Longford and Roscommon."

She commented, "While parents wait for the snail-paced divestment programme, the very least the State could do is ensure that relationships and sexuality education is based on facts and science. This must be irrespective of postcode or school ethos."

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