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Forum, National School System 1831

Irish National Schools were originally multi-denominational, controlled by a State body and the National Board of Education. Featuring voices, text books, legislation and religion, we explore the founding of the national school system in in Ireland (1981)

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Forum, National School System 1831

Established by the British Government with the Stanley Letter in 1831, National Schools were originally multi-denominational. The schools were controlled by a State body, the National Board of Education, with a six-member board consisting of two Roman Catholics, two Church of Ireland, and two Presbyterians. In the National Schools, there was strict delimitation between religious and non-religious education, where the teacher had to declare that religious education was beginning, hang a sign on the wall or door indicating that religious education was in process, and remove all religious symbols and objects from sight when religious education finished. Also, parents had the right to remove their children from this period of religious education if it conflicted with their religious beliefs. Lastly, schools who failed to abide by these rules or who refused admissions of different faiths to the patron were denied state funding. This documentary explores the founding of the national school system in 1831. It features Dr. John Coolahan and was presented by Tom McArdle.

First broadcast on 3rd Nov 1981. 

Produced by John Quinn

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