Ireland's Department of Education Gives “Thumbs Up” To Home Schooling
Because they were scheduled for a move to Ireland, an HSLDA member family called Michael Farris with an urgent need to know about the home-schooling situation in that country.
HSLDA communicated with the United States Embassy in Ireland, and they forwarded our request to the Department of Education. We soon learned from the government officials that “Article 42 of the Constitution of Ireland sets forth the rights and duties of citizens of the State in the matter of Education. With regard to the questions of educating children at home Article 42.2 states: ’Parents shall be free to provide this education in their homes or in private schools or in schools recognized or established by the State.’”
Eileen McGuire, Executive Officer of Rannog Chursai agus Churaclaim in Dublin, Ireland, further assured HSLDA that the only parameters set forth in Article 42 of the Constitution of Ireland stipulate that “The state shall, however, as guardian of the common good, require in view of actual conditions that the children receive a certain minimum education, moral, intellectual and social.”
Ireland also has a compulsory attendance law, enacted in 1926, which specifies that parent must “cause their children aged between 6 and 15 years to attend school on every day on which the school is in operation unless there is a reasonable excuse for not so doing.” Appropriate reasons are designated as illness, receipt of suitable elementary education in some manner other than school attendance, inaccessibility of a school, or hindrance from attendance by some other sufficient cause.
Local school attendance committees enforce the statute, and parents are invited to purchase the School Curriculum Teachers' Handbook, Parts 1 and 2 from the Government Publications Sales Office so that they can review the details of the curriculum being taught in ordinary national schools. The burden of proof in a case of prosecution rests upon the parents to demonstrate that they are indeed offering a satisfactory education to their children.