The Educate Together Charter
The schools operated by the member associations of Educate Together, are fully recognised by the Irish Department of Education and Skills and work under the same regulations and funding structures as other schools in Ireland. However, they have a distinct ethos or governing spirit. This has been defined in the following terms in the Educate Together charter:
Equality-based i.e. all children having equal rights of access to the school, and children of all social, cultural and religious backgrounds being equally respected.
Co-educational and committed to encouraging all children to explore their full range of abilities and opportunities. Boys and girls learn and socialise together in the school environment. This approach delivers the best educational and social development for children.
Child-centred in their approach to education. Educate Together schools are committed to active learning techniques that encourage children to interact with their peers and teachers while they learn. Educate Together schools are focused on helping each individual child reach their full academic and social potential.
Democratically run with active participation by parents in the daily life of the school, whilst positively affirming the professional role of the teachers.
the Educate Together Movement
Educate Together is an organisation that was formed in the 1970s out of the necessity to facilitate parents who wished to have equality and human rights based education in school, with open access to all children. Educate Together's first school, the Dalkey School Project, opened in 1978. Demand for equality-based education has grown rapidly in Ireland, and Educate Together has opened 40 new primary schools in the past 10 years alone.
After nearly 40 years of success at primary level, the first Educate Together second-level schools opened in 2014. There are now 81 Educate Together primary and nine second-level schools in Ireland. In total, these 90 schools provide education for over 23,000 pupils, employing more than 1,200 teachers and staff. Last September, Educate Together opened five second-level schools as well as four primary schools in Dublin, Cork, Wicklow and Mayo.
This reflects the growing desire and determination of families in these communities to establish schools where all children are equally respected regardless of social, religious or cultural background. Demand for the Educate Together model of education now extends outside of Ireland. In 2014, an Educate Together school opened in Bristol in England.
Constant demand for more Educate Together schools and over-subscription rates in many existing schools suggests that this model of education is one that has responded successfully to the changes in Irish society over the last four decades. The Educate Together national office is inundated by queries from families who want equality-based schools in their communities. Our existing schools are reporting that many thousands of children’s names are being signed up to already oversubscribed waiting lists.
Educate Together is an independent NGO. As a patron body and registered charity, Educate Together relies on State grants, charitable donations and a network of volunteers to keep us going and growing. You can read more about Educate Together's funding here.