Educate Together Schools are Equality-Based Schools
Since its establishment in 1978, Educate Together has evolved a school model that is based on equality and human rights. Educate Together schools guarantee equality of access and esteem to children irrespective of their social, cultural or religious background. They are learner centred in their approach to education and are run as participatory democracies, with respectful partnership between parents, pupils and teachers.
Like other national schools, Educate Together schools are state-funded, non-fee-paying and deliver the national curriculum.
Culturally inclusive, democratic schools
Educate Together schools have been pioneers in developing a culturally inclusive and democratic ethos. Educate Together was the first patron body to explicitly include and encourage the formation of Student Councils both in its Charter and in its Patron curriculum. Educate Together schools were the first schools in the state to introduce books with LGBT families and characters into school libraries. They were among the first schools in the state to officially adhere to a policy of celebrating difference. Educate Together schools are clear in their responsibility to teach about difficult social issues, such as homelessness, migrant rights and the current refugee crisis.
Educate Together has always put the child at the heart of the educational process.
Schools that Support the identity of every child
Educate Together schools provide a learning environment that is safe and supportive of the identity of every child. A child’s identity - ethnicity, class, culture, gender, language, sexuality, family background or ability, belief system or philosophical viewpoint - is affirmed and validated. Children learn about the major world belief systems in our schools as well as atheism, agnosticism and humanism. The Learn Together Ethical Education Curriculum, which is taught in place of religious instruction in Educate Together schools, encompasses morality and spirituality; equality and justice; belief systems and an ethical approach to the environment.
Schools provide facilities for the teaching of faith after school hours. There is no faith formation within school hours and at no point are children separated from their classmates according to religious beliefs.
Schools that Encourage children to think freely and critically
Educate Together provides this fully inclusive model because over the last four decades we have observed that children do not choose their friends on the basis of belief systems, cultural or social backgrounds. Children are open-minded, curious, inquisitive and imaginative. At Educate Together this receptiveness is employed to discuss how ‘difference’ is not something to be shunned but to be explored and appreciated. Your child will be encouraged to think freely and critically. Your child will never be made to feel like an outsider: there is no ‘them’, there is just ‘us’. A sense of awe and wonder is nurtured in our schools. Stillness, reflection and meditation are key components of the school year.
Pupils are encouraged to think critically and constructively. Questioning is encouraged and dissension and debate, conducted in a respectful environment, are viewed as essential learning opportunities.
Read what parents have to say about Educate Together here.
Find your local Educate Together primary or second-level school here.
Find out more about our campaign and start-up groups here.