Religion will no longer be a factor for schools to choose which students they allow in

The "baptism barrier" in schools has been officially removed today.

It'll ban the use of religion to select which children are admitted to primary schools.

Before today, schools - which are mostly of a Catholic ethos - were allowed to prioritise children of their own faith ahead of those living nearby as part of their admission policy.

That will no longer be the case after the Education Minister signed the commencement order for a new law to take effect.

It's removed the use of religion as a way for schools to choose which students they allow in.

The changes will affect oversubscribed primary schools, mainly in urban areas, where places are limited.

Other changes in the legislation include the ending of admission fees - and a cap on the number of children or grandchildren of past pupils a school can enrol.

Minister Richard Bruton says the changes will ensure greater fairness in school admissions.