INTERPRETERS should be available to schools to assist parents for whom English is not their first language, secondary school managers have suggested.
They also called for extra resources for schools to allow them translate and publish enrolment policies in several languages, in a response to the recently published audit of these policies.All inquiring parents must be given a copy of a school’s enrolment policy in an accessible language and must be provided with all the relevant information, according to the Association of Management of Catholic Secondary Schools.
In a submission to Education Minister Batt O’Keeffe, the association said parents must know their entitlements and responsibilities in the process. But they strongly rejected further regulation, which they said would restrict parental choice. They also dismissed the suggestion of a statutory enrolment commissioner. “It would constitute unacceptable interference in the responsibilities and functions of boards of management. It is simply not workable and would generate a raft of additional administrative work for an already overburdened school management.”
Likewise, any attempt to appoint a person to assume the exercise of the enrolment function is an “unacceptable interference”, added the submission.The INTO, in its submission, argued that the role of the school patron in setting out enrolment guidelines should be enhanced and given statutory recognition with agreed limits. “To have the minister directing a school on enrolment policy or practice is generally not constructive, but it is better to have such a role devolved through the patron to a local mechanism or committee”.”Such a mechanism could be based on a parish, a town and its hinterland, or cluster arrangements where necessary.”