An 11-year old girl due to attend a new school in Dún Laoghaire, south of Dublin, is not allowed to wear the hijab at the school premises. The local MP has asked the Minister of Education, Ruari Quinn, to intervene on the behalf of the girl, arguing: “As the school is funded by the State, the minister has an obligation to ensure all children are treated equally and free from discrimination based on religion and dress.”

The Minister of Education, however, in response to a parliamentary question, refuses to intervene citing the 1998 Education Act according to which policies around school uniform and dress are solely determined by the board of management of individual schools.

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