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  • Writer's pictureBaby Naming Ireland

Does my child need to be baptised to go to a Catholic school?

This is one of the most common questions we receive from Irish parents when they consider a baby naming ceremony rather than a #baptism or #christening. The short answer is no. Read on to find out more.

Baptism, primary school, baby ceremony, secular school, catholic school
Primary School

In 2018 Minister for Education Richard Bruton began key provisions of the Schools Admissions Act which will prevent most schools from giving enrolment priority to baptised children for the 2019/2020 school year.

These new rules will apply to over-subscribed schools, which are about 20% of primary schools in Ireland. Why only over-subscirbed schools? Only over-subscribed schools could to date discriminate on religious grounds. Schools which have capacity are required to fill places regardless of religion anyway. This means from September 2019 onwards children will have no need to be baptised in order to be accepted into their choice of primary school.

The only exceptions to this rule will be minority faiths (e.g. Church of Ireland). These schools, in cases where they are over-subscribed, will be allowed to prioritise students of their religion in order to protect their ethos. Mr Bruton has said this will ensure that children of minority faiths can still access a school of their own religion.

This new Act will also ban waiting lists for entry into school. It will also cap the number of school places that can be set aside for children of past pupils to 25%. Prior to this there has been no such restriction.

Great news to any parents who wish to have their child welcomed into the world without signing them up to a particular religion. Many parents now opt to have a #babynamingceremony with some prayers and religious inputs without signing their child up to the #Catholicchurch, while other clients wish to have a #humanistbabyceremony, #spiritualbabyceremony or a bespoke #celebrant led #babyceremony. There are so many options to choose from.

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