Educate Together welcomes today’s announcement of the policy change of the ETB that proposes that the Community National School (CNS) model is to move to sacramental preparation classes outside of the compulsory school day.
In Educate Together schools, faith formation takes place outside of school hours while the school delivers a rich values -based ethical education curriculum to all children. This is integral to Educate Together’s ethos and model, as it respects the human and intellectual rights of all children, staff and parents in the school community.
Educate Together has long argued and repeatedly advised successive Government administrations that the practice of faith formation within school hours in a school that is bound to deliver equality to children cannot be legally justified. Today’s announcement is welcome given the ever increasing demands for change in the Irish education system.
The rise in demand for alternatives to religious-run model schools can be seen in the massive popularity of Educate Together’s equality-based school model.
In Educate Together schools, children are supported and encouraged to learn about and develop appreciation and respect for people from all backgrounds. The binding principle of the Educate Together model is that children are guaranteed “equality of esteem irrespective of their social cultural or religious background.” This approach is aimed at properly preparing children for their future in a diverse and globalised society.
Educate Together already works constructively with ETBs in the provision of new Educate Together second-level schools and looks forward to further cooperation in the future.
The organisation advocates that the ETBs in Ireland should evolve into genuine local State education authorities which deliver a range of services to support all schools on an equal basis.