Education (Admissions to Schools) Act 2018

The Education (Admissions to Schools) Act 2018 was enacted in July 2018. A number of sections of the Act commenced in October 2018, February 2020 and November 2022 respectively. The DE issued circulars outlining the commencement of the provisions.

Sections commenced October 2018
  • Section 9 – the prohibition on charging of fees for admission.
  • Section 9 – the requirement for schools to cooperate in relation to admissions.
  • Section 11 –  the prohibition on the use of religion as a criterion in admission cases except in the case of a minority religion.
  • The fourth section commenced in December 2018.
  • Section 8 – the NCSE can designate a school to open a special class following “a number of steps”
Sections commenced February 2020
  • Section 61 – the requirement for schools to include an admission statement as part of its admission policy
  • Section 62 – the requirement for schools to revise their admissions policies within 3 months of commencement of this section of the Act
  • Section 63 – the requirement for schools to publish an annual admission notice
  • Section 10 (a) – the requirement for schools to publish their Code of Behaviour.
  • Section 65 – relates to the enabling provision for regulations which contain the necessary procedures and timelines in advance of 1 February 2020.

In November 2020 Section 7 of the Education (Admission to Schools) Act 2018 was commenced which amended Section 29 of the Education Act 1998 and replaced it with new appeals provisions which came into effect on 12 November 2020.

The new appeals process deals with appeals in relation to refusal to admit a student due to:
a) The school being oversubscribed
b) A reason other than the school being oversubscribed
c) The permanent expulsion of a pupil or the suspension of a pupil for a period in excess of 20 school days in a school year

Circular 69/2020 deals with the new appeals process and can be accessed along with a FAQ which has been prepared by INTO here.

Sections commenced November 2022

The DE issued Circular 0075/2022 along with a set of FAQs

  • Section 67 – provides for the NCSE or TESS to designate a school place
  • Section 68 – enables the patron to issue directions to the board of management where they have failed to comply with the admissions legislation, and if the board of management fails to comply, an independent person can be appointed to carry out the action
  • Section 69 – provides the Minister with the authority to nominate an authorised person to prepare a report where the Minister is of the opinion that the board of management has failed to comply with provisions in the Act.
  • Section 70 – provision for the Minister to make a request to a patron to direct the board of management to comply with a direction in accordance with section 68.

In July 2022 the Education (Provision in respect of Children with Special Educational Needs) Act 2022 was commenced. The Act provides for:

  • The making of provision in respect of children with special educational needs
  • The requirement for Patrons and Boards of Management to cooperate with the NCSE
  • The requirement to open a special class when requested to do so by the NCSE
  • The issuing of directions by the Minister and for compliance with these directions

Page updated July 2023

Still have questions?

Submit your query by email to INTO. Please include your payroll or membership number.