Two new Educate Together (second-level) schools opened their doors this week, widening access to equality-based education in communities in Wexford and Dublin. The new schools are:
- Gorey Educate Together Secondary School
- Blackrock Educate Together Secondary School
Gorey ETSS opened in temporary accommodation on the Fort Road in Gorey this morning. Blackrock ETSS opened yesterday in the Sandymount Building on Simmonscourt Road in Dublin 4. When fully established these two schools will provide 1,500 school places in total, providing access to Educate Together’s equality-based model for more families in these areas.
Both schools were planned by the Department of Education due to growing populations in Gorey and South Dublin and Educate Together was selected as patron based on parental demand for its inclusive model of education. Educate Together has considerable experience of establishing new schools in Ireland, having opened 25 new schools in the last five years.
This brings the total number of Educate Together schools in Ireland to 116 schools – 95 primary and 21 second-level – providing equality-based education to over 34,000 students.
Commenting on the new school openings, Emer Nowlan, CEO of Educate Together said:
“We in Educate Together are delighted to be able to respond to the huge demand for equality-based schools in Wexford and Dublin. Today I would like to pay tribute to the school managers, principals, staff, and local communities who have gone above and beyond to ensure these schools will open safely in the context of challenging circumstances posed by covid-19 restrictions. They have found innovative ways to overcome many challenges and create a welcoming and safe environment for young people, and they deserve enormous credit.”
Research on Educate Together second-level education
Educate Together second-level schools have proved extremely popular with parents since the first schools were established in 2014. Research published by the ESRI last year showed that these schools are successfully implementing Educate Together’s equality-based ethos, with student-centred and active learning approaches very much in evidence, and a strong emphasis on the development of global competencies.
The research also highlighted the significant contribution these schools are making in Irish post-primary education in terms of innovation and reform. For more information on this recently published research, see the ESRI website.
Said principal Conor Berry on the opening of Gorey ETSS:
“It is a great honour to be entrusted with leading Gorey Educate Together Secondary School and I am excited to welcome our new students and their families. The team here is looking forward to growing our school into a leader in creative and innovative education. It is an exciting time for everyone involved.”
Blackrock ETSS Donal Evoy commented:
“I am looking forward to leading the vibrant Blackrock Educate Together Secondary School community where students will be inspired with a love of learning in a school with the highest academic standards and where every student achieves their potential in an atmosphere defined by respect, democracy and inclusion.”
Emer Nowlan again:
“The first day marks an important milestone in the life of a new school and today is a wonderful day for these communities in Wexford and Dublin. However, a great deal of work remains to be done to support these schools to grow and develop, to ensure that they can move into their permanent buildings as soon as possible, and to meet demand for this model of education in other areas”