Drogheda's local Educate Together Action Group held an Expression of Interest / Information event at the Laurence Town Centre on Saturday, 5th February, and the Group was very encouraged by the interest shown by visitors to the stand.
Speaking about the response DETSSAG Chairman Elaine Hanley said ‘We got our stand open at 11am and within minutes; there were parents at the stand, registering their children. We had a superb response all day long, and it was great to see that people had responded to the notices about our event, and had come specially to sign up. There were over 100 children added to our Expression of Interest list, and that brings our numbers to almost 500! We’re really thrilled by that, and by the spread of the children, from schools all over Drogheda. Obviously parents want a better choice in post-primary provision, and the inclusive ethos, the parental participation and the learner-centred approach is very attractive. Educate Together signalled to the Department of Education and Skills last year that a new secondary school was needed by submitting an application to open a post-primary school, to complement the existing choices, and it looks like the parents of Drogheda agree!’
In an impressive show of support for the campaign, some of the pre-registered families came to the stand during the afternoon on Saturday, to meet the Chief Executive Officer of Educate Together, Paul Rowe. The children were very animated by the prospect of an Educate Together secondary school, as it would mean they would advance along their educational journey, within the same ethos as they’d encountered in primary school. One member of the Student Council from Le Chéile ETNS said ‘I think it would be a good idea. In primary school we’re used to being in an Educate Together School so it would be great to continue in the same way’.
Some of the local General Election candidates dropped by the stand, and have been very positive and warm in their support. Fergus O’Dowd TD said he would do all he could to help, while Cllr Ged Nash said he was committed to working with parents, staff and young learners to reach the aim of securing an Educate Together Second-Level school for Louth & East Meath.
As the reaction was so good, and the surge in numbers on the list was significant, the Action Group has confirmed that another
Expression of Interest / Information event will be held on Saturday, 19th February, this time in the Scotch Hall shopping centre, from 11am to 5pm. Parents who didn’t get to the stand in the Laurence Town Centre can attend at Scotch Hall instead. There’ll be lots of information on how the new school might look, and and how it will operate, and how it complements the excellent choices that are currently available. Information is also available at www.droghedaetss.com.