Supporting Our Network
Educate Together supports its network of schools and new school start-up groups with a range of services and events.
Education and Support (ES)
This team provides support and advice to schools on a wide variety of issues. A team of four: Sandra Irwin-Gowran (Education and Support Programme Manager), Deirdre O'Donoghue (Governance Specialist), Fionnuala Ward (Primary Education Officer) and Laura Dooley (Second-level Education Officer) they work closely together to help schools maintain a high level of leadership and governance.
Support for our schools is a core function of the Education and Support team. They ensure that Educate Together schools are aware of, trained in and acting within the regulatory framework. They help to further develop the knowledge, skills, practice and confidence of teachers around Ethical Education in Educate Together schools, actively supported by resources from within the organisation, and with engagement from other educational stakeholders and partners. They also help to ensure that professional learning, peer support and networking is active across the Educate Together network, underpinned by the Educate Together ethos & Blueprint recommendations at second-level.
The E&S team also issue the Educate Together Education and Support Newsletter quarterly throughout the school year. This is an invaluable source of up-to-date information on a range of issues of interest to teachers and Boards of Management.
Part of the role of the team is to build and maintain good relationships with other management and patron bodies, so that we can share resources and work with the Department of Education and Skills as a united voice for management whenever possible.
Governance and Patronage (GP)
This team provides guidance on governance and patronage in our schools. The programme cover a number of areas from leases for school buildings, running the Educate Together redeployment panel on behalf of the DES, overseeing the AGM process and appointing Boards of Management to our schools. We give Patron approval for a number of things including approving the appointment of Principals, Teacher and SNA’s, enrolment policies, permanent recognition and generating a new stream. Governance and patronage also gives advise on interpreting DES Circulars and developing and maintaining school policies and we request and maintain a register of Educate Together schools, under our patronage, annual review checklists for child protection and anti-bullying.
The team consists of Adrienne Flynn, Governance and Patronage Programme Manager and Jessica Simpson, Governance and Patronage Assistant.
Working with parents and start-up groups (RDOs)
Educate Together works directly with parent groups around the country who want to establish an Educate Together school in their community. Our Regional Development Officers (RDO) help to establish and support these local 'start-up' groups and work with them throughout the school establishment process and beyond. RDOs also work to support the school's management structures through its early years of operation. They also work on an ongoing basis to represent the interests of the schools in their region to the Department of Education and Skills and other educational forums. For contact information on start-up groups near you see http://www.educatetogether.ie/our-schools
Supporting our Membership
Educate Together is a democratic organisation whose policy direction is set by its membership. The organisation's Annual General Meeting is held in a member school building each year. We also hold conferences such as the Ethical Education Conference which is happening this November 2015 - this conference is aimed at both primary and second-level teachers and principals.