Search icon


19th Feb 2018

Religion to be made optional subject for secondary school students

Jade Hayden

Secondary school students are to be given the chance to opt out of religion class.

New rules put forward by Minister for Education Richard Bruton will see religion become an optional subject for students in over 300 multi-denominational second level school across the country.

A circular will be issued to schools today stating that teaching under the assumption that the vast majority of students are Catholic is no longer feasible.

RTE reports that the circular says:

“In a changing context, the constitutional right not to attend religious instruction must be given effect through changed practices.”

The new rule means that students who do not want to participate in religious education will no longer have to sit at the back of the class or simply leave the room.

Rather, an alternative class will be available for them to take.

The alternate subjects in question have not been detailed by the circular, however they must adhere to the guidelines already in place for secondary school subject choices.

Parents will also be asked whether they want their child to attend religious services in school.