In response to questions we have been asked at our campaign public meeting and at public events we have attended, we have developed a list of questions and answers, that you can refer to, if you have any queries.
Second-Level Educate Together FAQs
#1. What makes an Educate Together Second-level school different to other schools?
Besides generally not having uniforms and teachers being addressed by their first names, other differences include classes lasting one hour compared to 45 minutes and pupils sitting in groups rather than rows encouraging them to be actively involved in their own learning.
#2. Do Educate Together schools follow the curriculum used in other schools?
Educate Together Second-level schools teach the standard curriculum as set by the Department of Education & Skills but with a move away from ‘teaching to the test’ and towards an emphasis on the learner. Students develop skills in creative and critical thinking, communication, teamwork, research and leadership.
#3. Is it true that Educate Together schools don’t do religion as part of the curriculum?
Religious education is taught in Educate Together schools as part of the ethical educational curriculum.
The curriculum focuses on the ethical, moral and social development of young people in inclusive schools. It encourages learners to explore their own spiritual identities in a safe and supportive environment, while also being aware of and respecting the notion that other people may think differently to them.
#4. Does a child have to have attended an Educate Together primary school to obtain a place in a Second-level school where Educate Together is patron?
No, an Educate Together Second-level school is open to all children, regardless of what primary school they have attended.
#5. What provision is made for special needs support within Educate Together Second-level schools?
Students with additional learning needs, are helped, supported and challenged to achieve the very best they can. Enrichment programmes are provided for gifted and exceptionally able students so that they can be stretched and challenged to realise their potential.
Our Campaign – Facts
#1. I’m planning to send my child to an existing Second-level school, if I complete an Expression of Interest form will this count against my chances of securing a place in my first choice school?
No, completing an Expression of Interest form will not impact your child getting a place in their first choice Second-level school. If there is an Educate Together Second-level school in the South Kildare area in the future, it will mean more choice and free up places in other Second-level schools, allowing more children to get their first choice of school.
#2. If I fill out an Expression of Interest form am I either guaranteed, or obliged, to take up a place, if the campaign is successful is securing an Educate Together school?
No, by completing an Expression of Interest form you are neither guaranteed, nor under any obligation to take up a place in an Educate Together Second-level school, should such a school become available.
#3. My child has already started Second-level school, is there any point in me filling out an expression of Interest form?
Yes, completed expressions of interest from parents with children already in Second-level can still be used to demonstrate that if such a school had been available at the time, you would have chosen it.
And don’t worry, your child won’t have to move schools should the Educate Together Second-level school open in the future.
#4. Does this campaign mean that a new Second-level school is imminent in the south Kildare area?
No, a new school is only opened when the Department of Education & Skills determine there is a demographic need for an additional school in an area.
#5. If a new school is sanctioned for the area how is patronage of the school decided?
The New Schools Establishment Group within the Department conducts an assessment and provides a recommendation to the Minster for the awarding of patronage of a new school.
Important criteria in that assessment include whether the decision will result in greater diversity and plurality of second level school patronage in an area where there is parental demand for such diversity and plurality.
This parental demand is demonstrated by completed expression of interest forms.
#6. My preference would be to send my child to a Gaelscoil Second-level school, so why would I register my interest for an Educate Together Second-level option?
If there is sufficient demand, a proposal can be placed with the Department of Education to have an Irish stream within a new Educate Together Second-level school, thus catering for children who wish to do their Second-level though Irish.
Over to you! Any further queries please let us know in the comments below.