Educate Together is delighted with the announcement today from the Department of Education and Skills regarding the commencement of the patronage application process for second-level schools due to open in 2017 and 2018. Educate Together is gathering expressions of interest from parents in the following areas: Limerick City and Environs (South West), Malahide/Portmarnock and Swords, Co. Dublin to open in 2017; Limerick City and Environs (East), Dublin South City and Firhouse, Dublin 24 to open in 2018.
Educate Together second-level start-up groups in each of these areas are overjoyed at the news that the patronage process is now open. Said Suzanne Dorrian of the Limerick Educate Together Secondary School campaign:
“For me Educate Together is not so much about diversity of race or religion, while these are certainly important issues. For me it is more about an appreciation of all of our differences in whatever form they take. It is about teaching our children to appreciate these differences and showing them how such an appreciation can enrich their lives, and in so doing allow them the space to relax into their own unique expression of what it is to be human, and to feel supported in developing their full potential without the fear of being different.”
Said Amy Mulvihill, New Schools Programme Manager for Educate Together:
“These second-level schools are a much-needed addition to the educational stock in Ireland and could be the answer to the quandary in which many parents find themselves when choosing a second-level school for their child. Many families with children leaving primary schools every year wish them to continue their education with Educate Together’s unique equality-based ethos.”
However, Ms Mulvilhill sounded a note of caution:
“In addition to these new schools there are parents clamouring in many other areas for an Educate Together second-level option. These areas include South Kildare, Galway and Cork City.”
Educate Together second-level schools are innovative, dynamic and student-centred. Placing the learning needs of students at the centre of the curriculum process, they use creative and participative teaching and learning approaches. At the vanguard of educational evolution, Educate Together second-level schools use the Ethical Education curriculum so that, in addition to high academic standards, students can expect to be taught about making moral choices and having a value system as a basis for their decision making. Moving away from ‘teaching to the test’, students will emerge as fully-rounded, curious and dynamic global citizens.
The Ethical Education curriculum is already being utilised to great effect in four second-level schools in Dublin, Kildare and Louth. Educate Together will open four new secondary schools in Dublin, Wicklow and Cork in 2016 in addition to the opening of Clonturk Community College, Dublin, in partnership with City of Dublin ETB.