18 June, 2018
The Galway Educate Together Second Level Startup group (GET2LS) is ready for the next stage in the process to decide on patronage of Galway’s new second level school. The Department is expected to launch a survey of parents in the next few days, and the Educate Together group has urged supportive parents to attend their upcoming public meeting, and to register their interest on the Department’s website.
“Parental preference is a key element in deciding which organisation is granted patronage,” according to GET2LS chair Roisin McManus. “It is vital that parents take the time to register their support for Educate Together.”
The group will hold a public meeting at 8pm on Monday 25th June, in the NUI Galway Lifecourse Building (ILAS), for parents interested in learning about the Educate Together model, in the context of the current patronage competition for a new school in Galway. This meeting will provide information on the Educate Together ethos and model, and be addressed by representatives of Educate Together, including Regional Development Officer Jennifer Buttner, amongst others. All are welcome to attend, and learn about what makes the Educate Together model distinctive and rewarding for students and their families.
“Educate Together offers an ethos that is inclusive and child-centred,” according to GET2LS PRO Maggie Hall. “It offers an approach to education that is democratic and nurturing. Many Galway parents are already familiar with it at primary level, with five schools across the county, but Galway is the last major city not to have an Educate Together school available at second level.”
The new school, due to open in 2019, is a ‘regional solution’ aimed primarily at the Galway city and Oranmore school planning areas, and is intended to meet the increasing demand for second-level education in Galway, with an anticipated enrolment of 1,000. Educate Together is committed to including an Aonad (Irish-language stream) in the school if there is sufficient parental demand. The location of the school will be decided at a later date by the Department, and entry to the school will be open to all pupils living within the catchment area.
“Students need a breadth of skills and attributes to succeed in today’s diverse world and changing workplace,” notes Educate Together CEO Paul Rowe. “They need to be able to learn, unlearn and relearn throughout their lives. Our second level schools aim to provide an education that will enable all students to contribute meaningfully to their communities, embrace the rights and responsibilities of citizenship in a democratic society and develop the knowledge and skills necessary to live their lives and to build their careers in the 21st century.”
GET2LS has been campaigning for an Educate Together second level school for six years, with over 1600 parents already expressing their support for this model over the course of the campaign. Galway has no multi denominational voluntary secondary school, and this bid offers the only opportunity to fill that gap and diversify school patronage in Galway.
“This final stage of the patronage process will only take account of expressions of interest (EOIs) registered through the Department’s own web service,” notes GET2LS secretary Marguerite Hughes. “We are reaching out to our existing supporters to remind them to register their support online. However, it is also important for us to reach out to all parents within the region, so that they understand the Educate Together model, and register an informed preference online.”
Further information is available at www.GET2LS.org. The Department of Education is expected to announce the parental preference survey in the coming days, with responses due by a date in July. The Educate Together public meeting is 25 June at 8pm in the ILAS (Institute for Lifecourse and Society) building on the NUI Galway campus, near Corrib Village.
The Department of Education and Skills (DES) announced plans to approve a new Second-Level School for Galway on 13 April, 2018. The proposed school is a ‘regional’ solution for Galway and Oranmore. Further details were released on 7 June, when prospective patrons were invited to submit applications.
The target catchment area for the proposed school has been announced, but the location of the new school will not be decided until a later date. Enrolment in the school will be open to all pupils living inside the catchment area.
There are five Educate Together primary schools in Galway: in Tuam, Kilcolgan, Claregalway, Newcastle (Galway city), and Knocknacarra (Galway city). Four (all but Tuam) fall within the catchment area of the new school.
Educate Together already operates 13 second level schools nationwide, and will be opening an additional four in 2018. The organisation has applied to be patron of each of the four second level schools due to open in 2019. Further information about Educate Together second level schools is available online.
GET2LS can make available a range of interviewees for print and broadcast interviews.
In addition to the photographs included here, which are cleared for media use, other graphic materials are available directly from GET2LS.
Educate Together national website: http://www.educatetogether.ie
GET2LS site: http://get2ls.org/
GET2LS Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/get2ls/
GET2LS Twitter: https://twitter.com/get2ls
Brendan Fogarty – 087 632 9892
Marguerite Hughes – 087 962 1681
Dr. Andrew Ó Baoill – 087 241 7003