THE DECISION by Kilkenny College to enter the second level Free Scheme and not charge fees with effect from the next school year starting in September 2013 has been welcomed by Minister for Education Ruairi Quinn.
The Minister welcomed this decision by Kilkenny College which demonstrates that it sees the future of the College is best secured through participation in the Free Scheme.
A Department of Education spokesman said that the Department and the College have worked together as part of the planning process for the transition of the College from a fee-paying school to one that does not charge fees.
The Minister and the Government are committed supporting the provision of education by schools with a Protestant ethos in order to meet the needs of their communities. In that context, as the Minister has previously indicated, the Department is open to having discussions with any other fee paying school which may be considering how best to continue to provide education to its pupils.
Where such discussions occur they will be conducted on a confidential basis.
The Department has had preliminary inquiries from a small number of schools of both Catholic and Protestant ethos in relation to entering the Free Scheme.
Protestant fee-charging schools have been excluded from the benefits of the free education scheme since 2008.