Primary Chapter - Ireland's Yearbook of Education 2018 2019

Page 24

10 YEARS OF STATE MULTIDENOMINATIONAL SCHOOLS Journey of the Community National School model, 2008 to 2018


ommunity National Schools (CNSs) are Ireland’s only stateowned and state-managed primary schools. They are built on the core values of being multidenominational, equalitybased, community-focused, and committed to providing excellence in education. They are under the patronage of local Education and Training Boards (ETBs). There are now fourteen CNSs across the country (see image). In an education system that is still largely denominational, it is widely accepted that ‘the inherited pattern of school patronage no longer satisfies the educational needs and rights of many citizens’ (Coolahan et al., 2012, p.33). Only 4 per cent of primary schools in Ireland are ‘multidenominational’, and 45 per cent of those are in Dublin. As a potential remedy for this, CNSs are expected to grow significantly across the country over the coming years. This could happen through a combination of establishing new schools and the ‘Reconfiguration Process’, whereby a school changes its ethos from denominational to multidenominational. The Action Plan for Education 2018 aims to have 400 multidenominational or non-denominational schools in Ireland by 2030 (DES, 2018).

Community National Schools across Ireland



Seamus Conboy Primary Support Officer for Community National Schools

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