27 June, 2018 - Minister Bruton publishes Order under Employment Equality Act 1998 (section 12) (Reservation of vocational training places)

The Minister for Education & Skills, Richard Bruton, T.D., has laid a draft Ministerial Order - Employment Equality Act 1998 (section 12) (Reservation of vocational training places) Order 2018 - before the Houses of the Oireachtas.

This Order has been prepared following a request to the Minister by Dublin City University, in keeping with commitments made as part of the incorporation of the former Church of Ireland College of Education into DCU in 2016, along with St. Patrick's College, Drumcondra and Mater Dei Institute of Education.

The Order will allow DCU to reserve 32 places on its Bachelor of Education (initial teacher education) programme for entry in the academic years 2018/19 to 2022/23, in accordance with Section 12 of the Employment Equality Act 1998 (the Act).

The Order is designed to ensure the availability of teachers to primary schools with a Church of Ireland/reformed Christian ethos and in order to maintain the religious ethos of such primary schools. Similar Orders were made by previous Ministers in 1999, 2003, 2008 and 2013. The most recently made Order expires on 31 August 2018.

The policy context for this Order is the incorporation of the former Church of Ireland College of Education (CICE) as part of DCU, along with St. Patrick's College, Drumcondra and Mater Dei Institute of Education, in 2016

This incorporation of CICE into DCU was a direct response to policy recommendations in a key 2012 report for the Department of Education and Skills: The Report of the International Review Panel on the Structure of Initial Teacher Education Provision in Ireland (the "Sahlberg Report"). The Sahlberg Report was conducted by a group of international experts and examined the capacity of the initial teacher education landscape to contribute to excellence in education. The Report recommended the location of all teacher education in designated, large university settings. It was the implementation of this recommendation that gave rise to the obligation that CICE locate within one of the three Dublin universities.

In accordance with Section 3 of the Act, a draft of the order is being laid before both Houses of the Oireachtas, and the Order cannot be made until a resolution approving the draft has been passed by each House