Educate Together looks forward to delivering a national network of equality-based schools in line with proven parental demand

Educate Together has been made aware that surveys of parents of pre-school children in 16 areas across the country have now concluded, as part of the Government’s ongoing Schools Reconfiguration for Diversity process and expects that the results of these surveys will be published shortly.

Educate Together eagerly awaits the publishing of these survey results and the Educate Together National Office stands willing to work with the Department of Education and Skills (DES), Church authorities and any other partners in delivering a national network of equality-based schools in line with proven parental demand.

There are two Phases to the new School Reconfiguration process – the Identification Phase and the Implementation Phase. As far as Educate Together understands, the upcoming survey results form part of the Identification Phase. As the DES next moves towards the Implementation Phase, Educate Together is keen to advise all parties involved to make every effort to avoid the spread of misinformation on the nature of certain school models as occurred in the Malahide / Portmanock / Kinsealy area in April 2019. A repeat of this situation can be avoided in two ways:

1) Parental demand should be paramount in driving the process for change. The growth in the Educate Together school network continues to be driven by parental demand and we support the rights of families to access the education they want for their children. If the Government’s aim is to create a balanced educational choice in communities, then parental wishes should take priority over the interests of Church leaders and vested interests.

2) Educate Together is calling on the DES to be aware of its responsibility to provide parents and the general public with accurate information about all school models in the ongoing Schools Reconfiguration for Diversity process.

Apart from the new process outlined above, Educate Together expects the DES to honour its agreement to divest schools to Educate Together in the 13 areas remaining from the 2012 patronage determination process. Parental support in these areas was for the establishment of an Educate Together primary school. The areas included are:

  1. Arklow, County Wicklow
  2. Ballina, County Mayo
  3. Clonmel, County Tipperary
  4. Cobh, County Cork
  5. Dungarvan, County Waterford
  6. Kells, County Meath
  7. Killarney, County Kerry
  8. Loughrea, County Galway
  9. Nenagh, County Tipperary
  10. Palmerstown, South Dublin
  11. Passage West, County Cork
  12. Shannon, County Clare
  13. Whitehall, North Dublin