Yesterday, the IHRC launched its new report Religion and Education: A Human Rights Perspective. It is a substantial document, which contains a comprehensive review of the relevant law, and we hope to have more analysis of it in due course. The Report also draws on a consultation process which received over 60 submissions, and the excerpts from these make fascinating reading in their own right. The report proceeds on the basis that the prevailing accommodation of religion in schools is no longer fit for purpose. It recommends that the state should:
Diversify school provision to accommodate diversity of religious and non-religious convictions in the State;
Learn from approaches taken in the pilot VEC community national schools, the Gaelscoileanna, and Educate Together schools;
Avoid any inadvertent indoctrination or proselytism of minority faith or non faith children;
Expand the remit of Ombudsman body to deal with complaints in relation to exemption procedures or any unwanted exposure to indoctrination or proselytism;
Revise the Education Act 1998 and the Rules of National Schools to protect the rights of minority faith and non faith children.