The Department of Education will be bringing a new rule into Irish state schools.
Under the new rule children will have to opt in if they want to take part in religious studies.
This change will affect approximately 160,000 secondary school students.
According to The Irish Times it will now be assumed that all children are not taking part in religious education unless they state otherwise.
While this has not come into effect yet the Department of Education have said that the new rule will be issued shortly.
A large part of the reason behind the decision is to prevent students who do not currently take part in religious studies from being left out during class. Currently if a student does not take religion as a subject they still have to sit in the class even though they are not taking part. Now they will have the option of using that time slot to study another subject.
I think this is an important change as it does not prevent any child from taking religion as a subject, should they wish to do so, but it does mean that other students not taking the subject are not losing an hour that they could put towards something else.
The new rule will not apply to voluntary secondary schools, but will affect all community and Education and Training Board schools.