What is it like to teach in an equality-based school?
Educate Together schools are non fee-paying schools. Staff in our schools work under the same terms and conditions as all staff in their respective sectors (primary or second-level) and are recruited on the basis of their qualifications and experience in teaching the National Curriculum.
However, there are key differences in the Educate Together equality-based school model.
- All students, staff and parents are addressed by their first names.
- Generally, students don’t wear uniforms in equality-based schools (but some Educate Together schools may opt for agreed dress codes instead of uniforms). The dress code is developed by parents, teachers and students together.
- Educate Together believes that key stakeholders in education – parents, teachers and pupils must have an input into the running of the school. This maximises the partnership between the professional, objective role of the teacher and the necessarily personal involvement of the parent in their child’s education.
- Because our schools don’t teach any one religion as ‘truth’, we don’t require teachers to teach religious views that conflict with their conscience or beliefs.
- Our teachers make a special effort to teach children to question the world around them and to express their own opinions. Students are facilitated to interact with their teachers in a relaxed and supporting environment.
Respect is at the core of pupil teacher relationships in Educate Together’s equality-based schools. This child-centred approach empowers the individuality of the students while respecting their identities.
“I love being called by my first name. My name is Mary, not Ms W….. I’m only ever Ms W…. in official correspondence. Anyone who knows me, calls me Mary and I’m with the pupils in my class day in, day out so they know me well and why shouldn’t they call me ‘Mary?’’
Educate Together primary school teacher
“I always feel lucky to be working in an Educate Together School. It is the ethos of the school that helps me to get out of bed in the mornings. I love the flexibility that we are afforded in the Learn Together Programme and how the four strands of our curriculum allow us to address the issues and needs of our own community and to respond to the ever changing world we live in.”
Maeve Corish, Principal, Donabate Portrane ETNS
Teaching an Ethical Education Curriculum
Ethical Education is a key component of the Educate Together model; it’s a curriculum that is living in Ireland’s equality-based schools and it seeks to offer students the opportunity to meaningfully and critically reflect upon the world around them. Ethical Education focuses on questions of equality, justice, sustainability and active citizenship. Educate Together teachers teach Ethical Education as an independent subject at primary (Learn Together) and second-level (Ethical Education Curriculum).
“Teaching in an Educate Together school is all about respecting the child, nurturing a sense of awe and wonder in the world around them and encouraging them to think critically and for themselves!”