‘A new second-level experience’ – Hansfield Educate Together Secondary School opens its door to its first cohort of students

On Tuesday 26 August Hansfield Educate Together Secondary School, the first post-primary school under the direct patronage of Educate Together, was formally opened by Tánaiste Joan Burton, TD for Dublin West, and Minister for Social Protection. Hansfield ETSS is based in a new building in Ongar, Dublin 15 and is the result of many years of campaigning, research and development on behalf of the local community, committed politicians and Educate Together staff.

Addressing the 75 first-year students Paul Rowe, CEO of Educate Together said ‘On Educate Together’s behalf, we are absolutely committed that your voice, your rights, your educational needs will be the prime directive of the management of this school and that your voice and opinions will be heard at all levels of decision making. So seize the day, don’t waste a moment just go out and make your mark.’

Principal, Bernie Judge, said ‘I feel both privileged and honoured to have been chosen to lead this school, given permission to try something new and above all given a real opportunity to make a difference to young people and how they experience school life. I hope to take the best of what I have learned from others and look forward immensely to working with an excellent team of teachers, students and parents to create something new in Hansfield.’

Joan Burton said ‘I’m very happy to celebrate what I think is an enormous achievement for the whole community – what is the school and what will be the school. Educate Together has been a tremendous force for real positive development in education in Ireland.’

Educate Together second-level schools are learner-centred. They are vibrant, welcoming communities in which every student feels a real sense of belonging. The Educate Together approach at second-level moves away from 'teaching to the test' and towards an emphasis on the learner. Here, students develop skills in creative and critical thinking, communication, teamwork, research and leadership.