Remove all schools from church control

THE recent pronouncements by Archbishop Neill and Bishop Colton regarding the level of State subvention to Protestant schools give a rare example of the Church of Ireland sticking its head above the level of the defensive parapet, which has been rigidly in place since 1922.

They may not have chosen the best time for a public fight, given the present level of general economic fear and uncertainty and the perception that we are hardly the most disadvantaged section of society. Indeed, Bishop Colton seems to have already encountered some rhetorical “sniper fire” which I feel he might have anticipated.

Education Minister Batt O’Keefe is hardly going to make much of an impression on his departmental budget by a measure which seems to be more of a PR exercise than a serious attempt to meet his new financial targets.

It seems to me that removing all schools from church control would cut out a lot of duplication and waste of scarce resources and would also remove the need for additional funding for minority groups, since all students would attend State schools without any particular religious bias.

David Roberts



Co Cork

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