We are constantly told that people are busier then ever before, that time is the new currencyâ¦. yet hundreds of parents in Ireland have been increasingly taking the future of their children’s education into their own hands.
Throughout the country, voluntary groups of parents are establishing and developing schools, which are multi-denominational, child centered, co-educational and democratically managed. There are 28 such schools to date with another 6 to come on stream in the coming year. Last year seven new schools were opened, more than twice the number of new schools opened by all other sectors of education combined.
Speaking at today’s launch of the New National Office of Educate Together, David Denny, Chairperson said,
There is a wealth of experience within the Educate Together sector with more than 200 accumulated years of experience of operating democratically managed, multicultural schools as a partnership between teachers and parents. Today we are announcing our new national office team. This will deliver five times the resources that were available to the sector previously. With this new national centre, we are setting out on a programme to build a national network of Educate Together schools so that the education system can truly reflect the democratic rights of all children.
The progress of the Educate Together sector is a strong indication of the growing demand from the general public for schools that respect and cherish the identity of children from all religious, social and cultural backgrounds.
Educate Together is holding its third Ethos Conference in Citywest Feb.28th- March 1st. This will concentrate on the unique multi-faith programme that has been developed in the schools over the last 27 years.
Reflecting the human rights priority of the sector, the guest speaker at the conference is Ray Dooley, Chief Executive of the Children’s Rights Alliance. Speaking at the launch of the conference programme,
I am delighted to be part of the Conference. Since its inception, Educate Together has made an enormous contribution to promoting the rights of all children to an equal education. The Educate Together ethos – that children from all social, cultural and religious backgrounds must be equally respected – should be fundamental to educational philosophy and practice in Ireland.
The New Educate Together National Office Team consists of:-
- Paul Rowe, Chief Executive Officer
- Deirdre O’Donoghue, National Coordinator with responsibility for School Support Services
- Jane McCarthy, Development Officer with responsibility for new schools
- Kate Morris, Foundation Development Officer, with responsibility for Fundraising and Communications
- Susan Kennedy Bergmann, Education Officer , with responsibility for Educational Programmes, curricula development and In-service and Pre-service provision
- Penny Forbes, Team Assistant with responsibility for Administrative Support
The full team will be available to answer questions at the launch,
Please contact: Kate Morris for further information.