Educate Together has announced its intention to apply for two new second-level schools to open in 2021:
Patronage of the new schools will be based on parental preference and decided via an Online Patronage Process System (OPPS) provided by the Department of Education. The Department has stated:
“Parental preferences of parents/guardians of children who live in the school planning areas to be served by the new schools, together with the level of diversity currently available in these areas, are key to decisions in relation to the patronage of the schools.”
Educate Together will work together with local advocates to raise awareness of this new process and encourage families that want an Educate Together second-level school in their area to register their support. The organisation is willing to open an Aonad lán-Ghaeilge should there be a demand.
Says Gillian Hunt, a parent and campaigner for a second-level Educate Together school to serve south Dublin:
“To me, Educate Together’s second-level schools are supportive to students’ wellbeing, educationally progressive and welcoming to all. This is my current experience from being a parent of an Educate Together primary school student. I hope this is the environment they can continue to grow in as they navigate through their teens, when perhaps it is most vital. I’ll be voting for Educate Together for the patronage of the new school to be opened in 2021 locally for the Booterstown, Blackrock and Dun Laoghaire area.”
Says Frances Claibourn, a parent on the Gorey campaign:
“I’m delighted to hear Gorey will be getting a much needed third secondary school. Parents want to send their children to a school aligned with their beliefs. Educate Together schools provide education in an equality-based environment of tolerance and respect. Irish society is evolving, we need to prepare our young people to live in harmony with each other and drive change to create a better country for all citizens.”
Says Dr. Emer Nowlan, CEO of Educate Together:
“Our progressive, equality-based model has proved popular with parents and students around the country, and there are now 19 Educate Together second-level schools in our network. We are pleased to support families in Gorey and South Dublin who want to choose this option, and we are committed to working with these local communities to ensure these new schools thrive.”
Educate Together provides a unique type of second-level school, one that places the student at its centre. Our schools are vibrant, welcoming communities, which strive to ensure every student feels a sense of belonging. Educate Together second-level schools are run under democratic principles with the needs of the student considered first in all decisions. The schools provide an Ethical Education curriculum which focuses on equality, sustainability and active citizenship, and supports students to critically reflect on the world around them.
This week, the ESRI published research showing that Educate Together second-level schools are progressive and student-centred. The study found that students displayed high levels of global competence and expressed strong feelings of belonging within their Educate Together schools. The research also found extensive use of active-learning methodologies and technology in the schools, and a strong culture of respect was identified at the core of relationships between students and teachers. The study is available online here.
Visit www.educatetogether.ie/campaigns/2021-second-level-schools for more details.