Religion will become an 'optional subject' in more than 300 secondary schools around Ireland
"Supervised study" will no longer be an option for those who opt out of religion class.
In a new directive issued by Education Minister Richard Bruton, students who decide to not participate in religion will be offered an alternative class instead.
Previously, those students who did not wish to take the religion classes would usually be left under a study supervisor, but moving forward, Minister Bruton said "The new arrangements will ensure that children who do not want to participate in religious instruction will no longer be sitting at the back of the class or confined to the library."
The new directive will effectively be turning religion into an optional subject in over 240 vocational schools are run on a multi-denominational basis by the 16 education and training board, as well as 80 community schools where the local education and training board are co-trustees with a religious patron.
Minister Bruton continued “It is important that ETB and Community Post Primary schools as multi-denominational schools, fully implement this circular as it presents an important opportunity to meet the expectations of parents and students in a changing society."
"This can only be achieved by consulting with parents, and including their wishes as part of the normal planning process of any school’.