Educate Together Second Level Project Forges Ahead

Educate Together could potentially be opening five new second-level schools by 2014 if applications submitted today are green-lighted. The multi-denominational school patron body has applied to the Department of Education and Skills to open schools in Lusk, Greystones, Tyrellstown, Blanchardstown and Drogheda.

Educate Together has also announced three high profile additions to its Second Level Advisory Panel from the technology industry.

  • Steven Duggan, Worldwide Education Strategy Manager, Microsoft Corporation
  • Adam Grennan, Head of Technical Strategy, Cisco Ireland
  • Peter Hamilton, Education Technology Development Manager – Intel Corporate Affairs Group

Second Level – a new chapter in the Educate Together story

Educate Together has been working on its second-level project for over five years. Its first application to open a second-level school was made in 2008. At present there are 14,000 pupils in Educate Together primary schools. Research conducted by Trinity College in 2007 found that over 90% of parents whose children attend Educate Together primary schools would send them to an Educate Together Second-Level school if available. And demand for this innovative model extends far beyond those in Educate Together schools.

Commenting on the submissions Head of Education and Network Development Emer Nowlan said ‘This is a red letter day for Educate Together. Years of campaigning by parents and extensive research and development work are behind these applications. We are ready to open a new type of second-level school in Ireland – one which meets the changing educational needs of young people in a modern global society’.

The expectations of thousands of parents rest on these submissions, as each application has generated substantial support in the local communities where schools are planned. Paul Rowe, Educate Together CEO stated ‘Almost 37 years to the day since Educate Together was founded by a group of educationalists and local parents who started a revolution in Irish primary education, our proposals for these five second-level schools are just as groundbreaking. The innovative model that we are proposing has caught the imagination of thousands of parents whose children have experienced the quality of our primary schools – and many who have not. The time for Educate Together Second-Level schools has arrived’.

Intel, Microsoft and Cisco join Educate Together Second Level Advisory Panel

Educate Together has continued to refine and develop its second-level programme with the advice and assistance of a wide range of stakeholders and specialists. Its Second-level Advisory Panel calls upon some key thinkers and leaders from education, industry and academia from Ireland and overseas.  Three new advisors from the technology industry have joined the panel in recent weeks.

Steven DugganMicrosoft’s Worldwide Education Strategy Manager, is centrally involved in the use of technology as an enabler of enhanced teaching and learning. Prior to joining Microsoft he taught in the Irish second-level sector for twelve years.

Adam Grennan, Cisco Ireland’s Head of Technical Strategy, has a particular interest in the value technology brings to all levels of education and learning. In 2009 he was a member of the IBEC expert group that delivered the Smart Schools Smart Economy report to the Department of Education.

Peter Hamilton is Education Technology Development Manager at Intel Corporate Affairs Group. He leads a worldwide team based in Ireland that has wide international experience in developing and supporting the application of technology in education in over 40 countries.

The latest members of the Panel follow the appointment late last year of Paul Sheridan, STEPS to Engineering Manager at Engineers Ireland. The new panel members are well placed to help ensure Educate Together has cutting edge insight into the application of technology in their schools, as well as support in developing the Science, Technology and Maths (STEM) elements of their innovative integrated curriculum.

Commenting on the new appointments Emer Nowlan said ‘We feel enormously privileged to be able to draw on the insights of all of our advisory panel members; their skills, experience and support are invaluable.  Our current focus is on releasing the full potential of ICT to support collaboration and personalization in teaching and learning. The Panel is a huge asset, and ensures that Educate Together second-level schools will keep pace with developments as they happen’.

Download a list of current Advisory Panel members here.