Educate Together, the national primary school organisation, has welcomed the acknowledgement by Fr Michael Drumm, that parental choice is the key issue in primary education and that ‘there are too many Catholic Schools for the number of Catholics in our state’. A recent Irish Times/Ipsos MRBI poll reported 61% of parents felt the Catholic Church should give up control of the primary school system.
Educate Together CEO Paul Rowe, who has written extensively on the issue of school patronage in Ireland, stated ‘We welcome Fr Drumm’s comments as they reflect our understanding of what parents are seeking. The primary education map in Ireland has not kept pace with change in Irish society. 92% of Irish primary schools operate under one particular religious ethos. The Education sector now needs to respond in a meaningful way to parental calls for change and transform the school map to reflect the reality’.
Educate Together is a recognised patron body and the fastest growing provider of primary school education in Ireland today. It operates schools based on the delivery of ‘equality of access and esteem to children irrespective of their social, cultural or religious backgrounds’. Set up in the 1970s by volunteers and educationalists, it now operates 56 schools throughout the country and has applied to open 45 primary and its first secondary schools in the next few years. It is an independent educational charity that is supported by small government grants and extensive private fundraising.
Paul Rowe is available for interview
For further information or to arrange an interview contact:
Tel: + 353 1 429 2500