There was much jubilation today as the Department of Education and Skills (DES) announced that it will award patronage of seven brand new national schools to Educate Together. Families in the following areas will now have access to an equality-based education for their children:
- Glasheen, Cork City
- Leixlip, Co Kildare
- Kilcoole/Newtownmountkennedy, Co Wicklow
- Donaghmede/Howth/Dublin 13
- Dublin 6/Clonskeagh/Dublin 6W
- Goatstown/Stillorgan, Dun-Laoghaire Rathdown
For 2019, Educate Together applied for 12 national schools and during a five-week parental vote campaign, local supporters went out on the streets and talked to other parents about the need for equality-based school options. Their advocacy has borne fruit for seven communities in in Cork, Kildare, Wicklow and Dublin today.
The success of its application in seven cases is evidence of a strong demand for Educate Together’s unique model of education. As the leader of equality-based education in Ireland, Educate Together looks forward to working with all education partners in meeting this growing parental demand in more communities across the country.
Says Paul Rowe, CEO of Educate Together:
“Today’s announcement suggests that as our network grows and expands, families in Ireland continue to seek our model of equality-based education. To this end, I would like to pay tribute to our existing schools that provide such a great example of what Educate Together school communities are all about. I would also like to acknowledge and thank the campaigners and volunteers that gave up their time in the middle of Winter to advocate for equality-based schools for their community. The opening of new Educate Together national schools will increase choice for families for generations to come.”
Says Paddy Monahan of the Killester, Raheny and Clontarf Educate Together Campaign:
“I am so happy that we’ll have a new Educate Together school in our area – an equality-based school option was badly needed. More than anything, on a personal level, I am relieved that my little boy may have the opportunity to attend a school that does not discriminate on the basis of religion and that treats all children with equal respect, regardless of their background.”
Says Gerry McKevitt, Regional Development Officer at Educate Together:
“This is a great result and a huge validation of Educate Together as a model of education. Principal recruitment will now commence and we will liaise with the Department of Education regarding accommodation. I’m delighted for the start-up group members that campaigned so enthusiastically for these schools and look forward to working with them on fostering these new school communities.”
Each school will enrol Junior Infants starting in 2019 – enrolment for subsequent years will be taken in the year prior to the child starting school. The DES is currently sourcing accommodation for all schools. Parents/carers interested in any of the schools will find further details and can sign up to the relevant mailing lists at www.educatetogether.ie. In the coming months, Educate Together will apply for five second-level schools to open in 2020 in Dublin and Meath.