Call for second level Educate Together

Saturday, January 26, 2008

By Seán Flynn, Education Editor

Some 90 per cent of parents with children in Educate Together (ET) schools would send their children to second-level schools also run by the multi-denominational group, according to new research.

The research from Trinity College is expected to give a new impetus to moves already underway to establish Educate Together schools second-level.

Educate Together controls 44 schools at primary level, 22 of which are in the Greater Dublin Area.

The group has seen spectacular growth in recent years. It has also played a pivotal role in reaching out to immigrant communities in Dublin.

Over 3,000 of the 3,200 primary schools in the State remain under the aegis of the Catholic church.

The results of the feasibility study on Educate Together schools at second-level will be presented at a special meeting today.

The report recommends that Educate Together proceed with its project to establish a second-level school, with the research concluding: “It is our considered view that Educate Together can, should and must make this happen.”

Yesterday, Emer Nowlan, second-level project manager at Educate Together, said that she has already been in contact with a growing number of parent and community groups who are actively campaigning for Educate Together second-level schools.

“When parents look at their second-level schools that are available to them, they see a sharp contrast between the ethos of their primary school and that of the post-primary schools in their area.”

“They are used to an environment where everyone’s background is equally respected, and where pupils, parents and teachers al participate in every aspect of school life.

“They want to choose a post-primary school with the same ethos.”

According to the survey, parents in Educate Together schools says their main priority is the social and emotional development of pupils rather than high academic achievement.

Only 35 per cent of parents believe academic results are the best indication of a “good” school.

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