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From the Vatican II document Gravissimum Educationis  (The Importance of Education)

The Council also reminds Catholic parents of the duty of entrusting their children to Catholic schools wherever and whenever it is possible and of supporting these schools to the best of their ability and of cooperating with them for the education of their children… This Sacred Council of the Church earnestly entreats pastors and all the faithful to spare no sacrifice in helping Catholic schools fulfill their function in a continually more perfect way, and especially in caring for the needs of those who are poor in the goods of this world or who are deprived of the assistance and affection of a family or who are strangers to the gift of Faith.


Since the NFER admission  test on offer by Catholic Grammar schools comprises a verbal, non-verbal and mathematics paper and cannot be prepared for in primary schools under the revised curriculum it follows that any tuition, coaching or practice for the Catholic test will disadvantage the poor.  Any preparation must take place outside of school time.

Gravissimum Educationis is about Christian education but only for Catholic Christians it seems.  Reading it, if they have been taught to read, must make the poor child wonder if and when they will ever get an equality of opportunity from the Education Minister and Department of Education in Northern Ireland.

 The Duties and Rights of Parents

In addition it is the task of the state to see to it that all citizens are able to come to a suitable share in culture and are properly prepared to exercise their civic duties and rights. Therefore the state must protect the right of children to an adequate school education, check on the ability of teachers and the excellence of their training, look after the health of the pupils and in general, promote the whole school project. But it must always keep in mind the principle of subsidiarity so that there is no kind of school monopoly, for this is opposed to the native rights of the human person, to the development and spread of culture, to the peaceful association of citizens and to the pluralism that exists today in ever so many societies.


Caitriona Ruane and her Departmental officials may benefit from a reading of  The Importance of Education