Educate Together

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Educate Together
Educate Together Logo.jpg
Logo of Educate Together
Motto Learn Together to Live Together - No Child an Outsider
Founded 1984
Type Educational
Registration no. CHY 11816
  • Ireland
Services Primary Education, Secondary Education, Teacher Training, Advocacy
Key people
Paul Rowe (CEO), Diarmaid Mac Aonghusa (Chair)
Mission To ensure that parents have the choice of an education based on the inclusive intercultural values of respect for difference and justice and equality for all.

Educate Together is an educational charity in the Republic of Ireland which is the patron body to equality-based, coeducational, democratically-run and child-centred schools. It was founded in 1984 to act as the patron body for the new multidenominational schools that opened after the successful establishment of the Dalkey School Project.[1] Educate Together is now the patron of 79 national schools in the Republic of Ireland.[2] In 2014 three Educate Together Second Level Schools opened in Dublin 15, Drogheda and Lucan along with the first Educate Together school outside Ireland, in Bristol in the United Kingdom[3] In joint patronage with Kildare and Wicklow ETB, Educate Together opened another second-level school, Celbridge Community School, in 2015.


Educate Together has its roots in the Dalkey School Project founded in 1975. Before multi-denominational education, some of those involved in education in Ireland, such as Aine Hyland, Michael Johnston and Florrie Armstrong, questioned the denominational nature of the system and the need to have students of different faiths in different schools.[4] This committed group of educationalists and parents established the organisation with the stated aim: “To develop and support in Ireland the establishment of schools which are multi-denominational (i.e. with equal right of access for the children of Catholic, Protestant and other parents, and with the cultural and social background of each child held in equal respect), co-educational and managed under a system which is predominantly democratic in character, wherever and whenever there is viable local support for such a school.”

The organisers of the school met opposition from a conservative Catholic group that circulated a leaflet in the Dalkey area alleging that the new school was "atheistic", "divisive", "hostile to religion" and "a precedent for major trouble in other areas".[5]

Even today, the majority of primary schools in the Republic of Ireland are owned by religious communities (or boards of governors).[6] Of the 3,200 primary schools in Ireland, only 2% are multidenominational.

The Dalkey School Project was founded in 1975.[5] The school opened at the start of the 1978–79 school year in temporary premises with Florrie Armstrong as the school principal.[4]

By 1984 two other multi-denominational schools had been started and Educate Together was established as a co-ordinating umbrella body. The organisation became a company limited by guarantee in 1998 and from the year 2000, all new Educate Together schools operate with the patronage of the national company.[7] Educate Together has charitable status in Ireland.

In 2016, Educate Together was awarded Secularist of the Year by the UK's National Secular Society, for putting "secularist principles into action and [demonstrating] what a 21st century secular education system should look like – children and young people educated together, taught an ethical education curriculum in a school with an inclusive ethos without any imposition of religion".[8]


The number of schools run by the organisation has grown: in 2007 it was 40, in 2008 it was 44 and by 2015 this number had risen to over 80 including its second level schools and its first school in the UK. In terms of pupil numbers 2015 was the first year in which there were over 20,000 students attending an Educate Together school. By 2009 Educate Together had become the fastest-growing patron of schools in the Republic of Ireland.[9] In 2015, three new schools opened in Tuam, Co. Galway, Pelletstown, Dublin and New Ross, Co. Wexford and one . [10]


Educate Together schools guarantee equality of access and esteem to children irrespective of their social, cultural or religious background.[11] Educate Together schools are learner centred in their approach to education and are run as participatory democracies, with partnership between parents, pupils and teachers.[12]

Learn Together Curriculum[edit]

Educate Together schools teach the Irish Primary School Curriculum, which includes 30 minutes a day to be spent on faith formation.[13] In an Educate Together school this time is spent teaching their Learn Together Ethical Education Curriculum rather than the religious instructions programmes taught in denominational schools.[14] There are four strands to this programme.

  • Moral and Spiritual: children learn about feelings and values, the development of conscience, choices and consequences, stillness and meditation.
  • Equality and Justice: children learn about wants and needs, rights and responsibilities; the promotion of equality and the nature of democracy locally (student councils are encouraged), nationally and globally.
  • Belief Systems: children learn about the rites and ceremonies, celebrations, key figure and beliefs and values of the six main world religions: Islam, Christianity, Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism and Sikhism. Schools also address Atheism, Agnosticism and Humanism.
  • Ethics and the Environment: children learn about appreciation and stewardship of the natural world. Educate Together schools have an ethos of respect, diversity & inclusion.

Second Level schools[edit]

Educate Together second-level schools aim not to 'teach to the test' but to instead develop their students' skills in creative and critical thinking, communication, teamwork, research and leadership.[15]

Research published by Trinity College in 2008 showed that 90 per cent of parents who sent their children to an Educate Together school would send their children to a secondary school based on the same model if it was available.

Educate Together’s first second-level school - Hansfield Educate Together Secondary School, welcomed its first cohort of first-year students in August 2014. Educate Together is also joint patron of Kishoge Community School in Lucan and Ballymakenny College in Drogheda. It opened Celbridge Community School in August 2015 with Kildare and Wicklow Educational Training Board.

Colleges of education[edit]

In the Irish system, student teachers complete their initial teacher education in state-funded, religiously-run Colleges of Education, where a substantial amount of time is set aside for Religious Education and the study of either the Catholic or Church of Ireland religious instruction programmes. At present Educate Together is working in four of the five state-funded Colleges of Education. Educate Together is currently lobbying for sustained access to full-year groupings at least twice in the undergraduate and post-graduate cycle.

Educate Together offers a one year, part-time postgraduate Certificate in Ethical and Multi-denominational Education in partnership with St Patrick’s College of Education, Dublin.[16]

List of Primary Schools[edit]

School Name County Website / Email
Adamstown Castle Educate Together N.S. Dublin
Ardee Educate Together N.S. Louth
Ashbourne Educate Together N.S. Meath
Aston Village Educate Together N.S. Louth
Balbriggan Educate Together N.S. Dublin
Ballinteer Educate Together N.S. Dublin
Belmayne Educate Together N.S. Dublin
Blessington Educate Together N.S. Wicklow
Bracken Educate Together N.S. Dublin
Bray School Project N.S. Wicklow
Cabra Educate Together N.S.(opening Sept 2016, Name to be confirmed) Dublin
Canal Way Educate Together N.S. Dublin
Carlow Educate Together N.S. Carlow
Carrigaline Educate Together N.S. Cork
Castaheany Educate Together N.S. Dublin
Castlebar Educate Together N.S. Mayo
Castleknock Educate Together N.S. Dublin
Claregalway Educate Together N.S. Galway
Citywest Educate Together N.S. Dublin
Cork Educate Together N.S. Cork
Dalkey School Project N.S. Dublin
Donabate/Portrane Educate Together N.S. Dublin
Drumcondra Educate Together N.S.(opening Sept 2016, Name to be confirmed) Dublin
Dublin 7 Educate Together N.S. Dublin
Ennis Educate Together N.S. Clare
Esker Educate Together N.S. Dublin
Firhouse Educate Together N.S. Dublin
Gaelscoil an Ghoirt Álainn Cork
Galway Educate Together N.S. Galway
Glasnevin Educate Together N.S. Dublin
Gorey Educate Together N.S. Wexford
Greystones Educate Together N.S. Wicklow
Griffeen Valley Educate Together N.S. Dublin
Griffith Barracks Multi-Denominational School Dublin
Hansfield Educate Together N.S. Dublin
Holywell Educate Together N.S. Dublin
Kilcolgan Educate Together N.S. Galway
Kildare Town Educate Together N.S. Kildare
Kilkenny School Project Kilkenny
Knocknacarra Educate Together N.S. Galway
Le Chéile Educate Together N.S. Louth
Letterkenny Educate Together N.S. Donegal
Limerick Educate Together N.S. Limerick
Limerick School Project Limerick
Lucan Educate Together N.S. Dublin
Lucan East Educate Together N.S. Dublin
Malahide / Portmarnock Educate Together N.S. Dublin
Maynooth Educate Together N.S. Kildare
Midleton Educate Together N.S. Cork
Monkstown Educate Together N.S. Dublin
Mullingar Educate Together N.S. Westmeath
Navan Educate Together N.S. Meath
Newbridge Educate Together N.S. Kildare
Newtownwhite Educate Together N.S. Mayo
New Ross Educate Together N.S. Wexford
North Bay Educate Together N.S. Dublin
North Dublin National School Project Dublin
North Kildare Educate Together N.S. Kildare
Pelletstown Educate Together N.S. Dublin
Portlaoise Educate Together N.S. Laois
Powerstown Educate Together N.S. Dublin
Ranelagh Multi-Denominational School Dublin
Rathfarnham Educate Together N.S Dublin
Riverview Educate Together N.S. Dublin
Rochestown Educate Together N.S. Cork
Rush and Lusk Educate Together N.S. Dublin
Skerries Educate Together N.S. Dublin
Stepaside Educate Together N.S. Dublin
Swords Educate Together N.S. Dublin
Thornleigh Educate Together N.S. Dublin
Tralee Educate Together N.S. Kerry
Tramore Educate Together N.S. Waterford
Trim Educate Together N.S. Meath
Tuam Educate Together N.S. Galway
Tullamore Educate Together N.S. Offaly
Tyrrelstown Educate Together N.S. Dublin
Waterford Educate Together N.S. Waterford
Wexford Educate Together N.S. Wexford
Wicklow Educate Together N.S. Wicklow


List of Second Level Schools[edit]

School Name County Website / Email
Cork Educate Together Secondary School Cork
Hansfield Educate Together Secondary School Dublin
Kishoge Community College Dublin
Bremore Educate Together Secondary School Dublin
Stepaside Educate Together Secondary School Dublin
Clonturk Community College Dublin
Ballymakenny College Louth
Celbridge Community School Kildare
North Wicklow Educate Together Secondary School Wicklow


List of UK Schools[edit]

School Name City Website / Email
Redfield Educate Together Primary Academy Bristol
Locking Parklands Educate Together Primary Academy (opening 2017, name to be confirmed) North Somerset

See also[edit]


External links[edit]