Educate Together Schools are set up and developed by groups of parents in a local area, who wish to send their children to a national school that is multi-denominational, child-centred, co-educational and democratically run. The schools are fully recognised by the Department of Education, are non-feepaying and operate under the same rules applying to all national schools.
Educate Together schools from the outset respect all ethical and religious traditions. Every family’s background and ethical preference is respected and cherished within the school. The school does not teach any particular faith or creed but facilitates any group of parents to organise religious instruction for their children outside the main school programme. However, this does not mean that Educate Together schools avoid issues of ethics and morality. Educate Together schools have well developed ethical education programmes such as the Learn Together programme which teach children core values of appreciation and respect of social, cultural and other human difference; health and safety; social responsibility and rights and other features necessary to inform a child’s developing mind to live in our rapidly changing society.
While covering the curriculum set out by the Department of Education for all National Schools, the educational programme of an Educate Together school is developed creatively through genuine dialogue between teachers and parents for the common good of the children.
All Educate Together schools are co-educational and have active programmes to counter gender stereotyping and inequity in all aspects of school life.
As all Educate Together schools are set up by groups of parents, parents have unparalleled access and involvement in the running and development of the school. The patron body (a structure that is insisted upon by the state) is a charity set up by the parents in the locality which is governed by a constitution, and whose decisions are controlled by general meetings and whose officers are regularly elected. This body allocates its representatives on to the Board of Management (the body that handles the day-to-day running of the school) in a democratic fashion that respects parents’ wishes. This, in addition to directly elected parents’ representatives, ensures that parents have a huge influence in school affairs. This unique level of parental involvement, can only develop properly if it fully recognises and respects the professional role of the teacher and builds a genuine partnership between the professional and the parent to produce the maximum educational benefit to the children.
Partnership in Education
With their unique ethos and democratic structure, Educate Together schools deliver a tremendous opportunity for parents, teachers and children to develop an educational community which provides an optimal environment for children to develop their intellectual, academic, social, cultural and physical life. Because they are so rooted in a living community, the schools can and do become important community resources making their facilities available in an appropriate way outside school hours.
Educate Together is the patron body to Ireland’s multi-denominational schools. Established in 1978, it now has 60 national schools nationwide, all teaching the full primary curriculum. We are committed to delivering an excellent education to your child. Our schools are child-centered, learning communities where boys and girls learn together and parental involvement is encouraged.
In an Educate Together school children are equally respected, regardless of social, cultural or religious background. They are encouraged to be active learning participants in the classroom and to contribute to school policies. This approach gives an excellent, rounded education, in an environment children will enjoy. It also nurtures their self-confidence to be active citizens in their communities.