What Is The Ethos Of An Educate Together School?
You may be hearing a lot about Educate Together schools. They are popping up all over the country and proving to be an extremely popular choice for parents who are sending their children to school. Right now there are 84 Educate Together primary schools and thirteen Educate Together second-level schools in Ireland.
You might be wondering what makes an Educate Together school different. What are the differences between an Educate Together and other schools? The ethos is a good place to start.
Here is some information about the ethos of Educate Together schools and how they work.
According to the overall educate together website the educate together charter is an independent NGO that runs schools that guarantee equality of access and esteem to children “irrespective of their social, cultural or religious background”. It is a learner approach to education which aims to be extremely inclusive.
One of the main differences between an Educate Together School and other schools are just how united the parents, pupils and staff are. They are democratically run and everyone works together to make things happen and keep things running smoothly. Everyone has a voice and there is a great sense of community spirit throughout the school.
Equality is the most important element of any educate together school. They aim to provide excellent standards of education while maintaining a great sense of inclusiveness for all students. Each Educate Together school class will have students from many different countries and who associate themselves with many different belief systems. Religious is not a guiding force in an Educate Together School – the individual learners are. It is a child-centred approach to learning.
In many other Irish National schools, a board of management work together to manage the school. In a Catholic school, the decisions and ethos will be connected to the Catholic faith. Many Educate Together schools were formed by parents initially. They wanted an opportunity for their children to go to a school that was not denominated by a religious ethos and focused on inclusiveness and diversity instead. This is why parents have such a strong voice and input in to the decisions of the school.
Educate Together schools are not anti-religious. They respect that students will have many different religions and belief systems. For this reason, they do not teach religion in the traditional way. Their belief is that specific religious education is not appropriate at school and is the responsibility of the parents. As part of the Educate Together Curriculum awareness of different belief systems is explored. Rather than instructed these belief systems are informed. The idea is that they are explored in a non-religious and non-theistic way but rather in a way to explore how we all work together to have a shared human experience.
Educate Together Schools are funded in much the same way that other schools are. The teachers and staff are paid by the government as well as grants being offered to cover the costs of certain tools and activities. These grants do not cover everything though and for this reason Educate Together schools will have many fundraising activities and events to try to cover the extra costs. As the ethos of the school is inclusiveness of all social backgrounds these fundraising events will always be voluntary.
Written by Tracey Quinn staff writer at FFHQ who also blogs at www.loveofliving.ie.