Educate Together schools are democratic environments where all community members – students, parents and teachers – have a voice in how the school is run. This objective has been at the heart of the Educate Together ethos since the 1970s.
Raising student voices
Educate Together schools are actively committed to raising pupil voices. Debate and discussion are nurtured. Student councils are elected by pupils within the school and these councils are encouraged to contribute to school life and the wider school community. At second-level, Educate Together students are welcomed on Boards of Management and invited to participate in shaping the policy of their schools.
Educate Together schools place a big emphasis on community spirit and on parental involvement. Parental involvement can encompass all aspects of school life from formal structures like the Boards of Management, Parent Teacher Associations and Faith Formation Groups (outside of the school day) through to more hands-on voluntary roles within the school. This might be helping out with school activities, sports or even in the classroom. All parental involvement in school life positively affirms the professional role of the teacher in the classroom and the formal education of the students.
Democratic school patronage
The principle of democracy is a founding tenet of Educate Together. As the Educate Together network has grown, it has evolved new ways of engaging with its membership and the broad parental base. Educate Together’s policy direction is set by its membership. The organisation’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) is held in a member school each year.
Democracy in action! Educate Together’s AGM in full swing in Stepaside ETNS today, where our school delegates debate and vote on policy motions that will influence the future direction of the equality-based school movement 🗳 #EthicalEducation pic.twitter.com/jBAfXM09Yy— Educate Together (@EducateTogether) March 30, 2019