Second-level General Members’ Meeting

A general meeting of Educate Together will hear tomorrow about the contribution innovative approaches to learning, values education and relationships can make to their proposed second-level schools.


Áine Hyland, former Professor of Education in UCC and Carmel Mulcahy, Head of Education Studies in DCU will be among those to address a general members’ meeting of the Educate Together organisation in the Clarion Hotel in the IFSC tomorrow, 11th October. This event marks an important step in the development a Blueprint for Educate Togther second-level education by the equality-based patron body, which opened 12 new primary schools this year.

Áine Hyland will share her considerable experience of how quality partnerships and good leadership contribute to educational success. She will also discuss how Gardner’s theories of multiple intelligences can be fully utilised in Educate Together second-level schools. Áine was one of the founding parents of the first Educate Together school 30 years ago. She then went on to become a leading educationalist, working with a range of educational bodies and academic institutions, becoming Vice President of University College Cork before her recent retirement.

Carmel Mulcahy was a founding parent of an Educate Together school in North Dublin and a second-level teacher before going on to become Head of Education Studies in Dublin City University. She will talk about research into Core Values that she carried out with children and young people who attended Educate Together national schools. Carmel will be joined by Marion de Souza, visiting researcher from Ballarat University in Melbourne. Marion will talk about her involvement in an Australian government funded project on Values Education.

John Hammond, Deputy Chief Executive of the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (NCCA) will address the meeting on the topic Directions in Post-primary Curriculum and Assessment. Educate Together is particularly interested in how some of the NCCAs current curriculum development work is in tune with the organisation’s own aims for second-level education. In particular NCCA / ESRI research into students’ experiences of post-primary education, as well as the NCCA’s work on developing key skills are being drawn on by Educate Together working groups.

Simon Moore will be sharing the findings of research he carried out into relationships and problem behaviour in second-level schools. His work examines the potential of systems thinking as an alternative approach to building quality relationships between teachers, students and parents in schools. As well as being a second-level teacher, Simon is one of the thousands of parents with children currently attending Educate Together primary schools who would like to see a second-level Educate Together school available so that their children can continue their education in the same equality-based environment. The Educate Together network of primary schools has grown steadily since the first school was opened in 1978 and there are now 56 national schools in the network. Speaking at an event to mark the 30th anniversary of that event in September, President Mary McAleesesaid

while this birthday of itself would make for a very proud day for the founders of the school, its students, parents, the teaching staff and the Educate Together movement, it comes at a moment in Ireland’s educational history when Educate Together has stepped up to the plate nationally and shifted what was a pioneering movement right into the mainstream.

Educate Together looks forward to extending the contribution it has made to the Irish educational landscape to second-level. It applied to be registered as a patron of second-level schools in December last year and has been waiting for a response from the Minister for Education and Science since. Parents who are keen to work with Educate Together to set up second-level schools are becoming frustrated with the delay, and have gathered over 5,000 petition signatures to date in an attempt to speed up the process.


Contact: Emer Nowlan for more information and/or photos