Supreme Court boosts home schooling rights

The Supreme Court has ruled that the exclusion of home-schooled students from the 2020 Leaving Cert calculated grades scheme was invalid and an ‘impermissible’ interference with the constitutional freedom of the family to provide education in the home under article 42.2 of the Constitution.
18-year-old Elijah Burke from Co Mayo was home-schooled by his mother, a registered teacher, but she was deemed to have a conflict of interest in providing estimated marks for the process. The High Court and the Court of Appeal held that the exclusion from the scheme was contrary to the law, but the State appealed against both rulings.
Chief Justice, Mr Justice Donal O’Donnell said the constitutional right at issue was the right of parents to provide home schooling and the consequent right of children to receive it.
The Iona Institute described the decision as: “A big victory for the rights of parents”.

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