Educate Together holds an online AGM; A first in the organisation’s 40-year history

Educate Together’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) took place Saturday morning, 9 May 2020. For the first time in the organisation’s 40year history, the meeting took place on an online platform rather than in an Educate Together school building.   

Educate Together is a democratic organisation whose policy direction is set by its membership. Usually at the organisation’s AGM, member schools propose and vote on motions and policies that will shape the direction of equality-based network for the coming year. However, the reality of physical distancing imposed by covid-19 restrictions led the members to take the decision this morning to postpone the voting on motions  

Motions are to be carried forward to an Extraordinary General Meeting to take place in Bremore Educate Together Secondary School once the covid-19 restrictions have lifted and it is deemed safe to do so    

The AGM saw a number of changes to organisation’s Board of Directors. Catriona Hand, Robert Cochran, Renate McIntyre and Aidan Clifford all completed their terms as board members and stepped down; while Colm O’Cuaineachaáin, former principal at Gaelscoil an Ghoirt Álainn and Áine Clancy, a current board member of both Glasnevin ETNS and Clonturk Community College, were nominated to join the board. Richard Woulfe was reappointed to the board and holds the office of company secretary.  

Addressing the AGM after being reappointed as Chairperson, Jennifer Cummins thanked Educate Together school staff, members and particularly volunteers for what is a ‘true act of public service’ in the work they do in the 109 Educate Togethers nationwide.  

Educate Together’s CEO Emer Nowlan told delegates:  

Educate Together took major steps forward in 2019, and the list of achievements is impressive. While 2020 has brought unforeseen challenges, it is encouraging to see how our schools are adapting and innovating. It is heartening to see our ethos in action, with school across the network reaching out to the most vulnerable students to ensure that every child gets the support they need at this time.”  

At today’s AGM, Emer outlined the national office’s plans to carry out Educate Together’s current strategic objectives. Emer also reported on the significant ongoing progress made by Ireland’s equality-based school movement throughout 2019:   

  • The organisation continued to mark and celebrate 40 years of equality-based education in Ireland in 2019.  
  • The first pupils from an Educate Together second-level school, Hansfield ETSS, graduated in May 2019 with flying colours. 
  • A comprehensive Ethos Quality Framework for Educate Together Schools was developed in collaboration with DCU’s Centre for Evaluation, Quality and School Inspection.  
  • There were 30,823 pupils accessing equality-based education in 109 Educate Together schools in 2019.  
  • Educate Together opened twelve new schools in 2019; eight primary and four second-level schools. This is the largest expansion of the network in its history and will make nearly 8,000 additional Educate Together school places available to families across Ireland. These twelve new schools were formally welcomed into the network at today’s AGM.