Co-operation North – NICIE joins Educate Together Expert Group

Multi-denominational education patron Educate Together has announced two new members of its influential Second Level Advisory Panel. Peter McCreadie and Olwen Griffith are both highly experienced Principals of integrated schools run by the Northern Ireland Council for Integrated Education (NICIE).

The Second Level Advisory Panel is an expert group of educationalists, industry specialists and academics that inform the development of Educate Together’s second level schools.

NICIE operates 42 primary and 20 second level colleges in Northern Ireland, all of which follow an integrated curriculum for all faiths and none.

Commenting on his appointment Peter McCreadie said “I am absolutely delighted to assist Educate Together in their mission to offer a new education choice to post primary pupils in the Republic of Ireland.  The successes achieved by pupils of integrated colleges in the North demonstrates the power of integrated education to transform both individuals and communities.” Mr McCreadie has 37 years of teaching experience and also served on the Council for the Curriculum, Examinations and Assessment as Chair of Examiners.

Olwen Griffith is the principal of Blackwater Integrated College, one of NICIE’s newest schools formed from the merger of the Down Academy CIHS and Rowallane Integrated College.

Emer Nowlan, Head of Education at Educate Together is excited about the future collaboration of the two organizations. Educate Together and NICIE have a huge amount of common ground on which to share experience. Educate Together aims to open inspirational second level schools founded on the latest principles of teaching and learning techniques. NICIE’s work on developing integrated second level schools has been ground breaking and having access to Peter and Olwen’s experience will be a great asset to Educate Together’.

Educate Together is currently applying to open second level schools in Drogheda, Lusk, Lucan, Greystones, Tyrellstown and Blanchardstown. It has long established community support groups in these areas and has thousands of expressions of interest from parents seeking to send their children to an Educate Together Second Level school.

In May of 2011 Minister for Education and Skills, Ruairi Quinn formally recognized Educate Together as a second level patron. Its Blueprint for Second Level, the operational model on which it will run its second level schools, has been hailed as a model of excellence by educationalists in Ireland and internationally.

Second Level applications must be submitted to the Department of Education and Skills by February 24th and decisions on patronage are expected by the summer.