How do I opt my child out if I didn’t at the beginning?

Some parents don’t opt their child out of religion in Junior Infants. There are a number of reasons for this:

  • Parents believe, even loosely, in the religion of the school
  • Parents don’t know about the right to opt out
  • Parents don’t want their child to be left out at such a young age
  • Parents don’t realise how much religion is covered in primary schools
  • Parent might be told by the teacher that religion is very harmless and about being nice to each other and not really that religious.

There are loads of other reasons, I’m sure, for someone not opting their child out of religion from the beginning but can a parent opt out after enrolling?

The quick answer is “yes.” Anyone is entitled to opt their kid out whenever they want. (The reality of opting out is a different story.) To opt out of religion, all one has to do is tell the school. Different schools will have different policies but the main thing is to make sure to write to the school to inform them that you want your child opted out of faith formation and to ask them how they will accommodate your child during this time.

No school does opting out the same and they range from making absolutely no accommodations to moving the entire timetable of the school around your needs. Usually it’s somewhere in between.

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