Hopes for the establishment of an Educate Together secondary school in Kilkenny rose significantly this summer when Education Minister Ruairi Quinn made the historic announcement that Educate Together is to be the patron of a new secondary school.
This new school in Blanchardstown West will be opened in 2014, a year in which Educate Together will also act as co-patron for two other schools in South Lucan and Drogheda.
Spurred on by this announcement, the Kilkenny Educate Together secondary school start-up group will be holding further enrolment events in the coming months throughout Kilkenny along with public meetings to give members of the public an opportunity to find out more about the campaign and get involved.
Group spokesman Mick Greene noted that the group had three aims when it formed in 2009. “Firstly, we wanted ET to be recognised as a potential patron for secondary schools in Ireland. Secondly, we wanted to see ET be appointed as patron for a new school. And finally, we want Kilkenny to have a new secondary school under the patronage of Educate Together,” he said. “We have achieved our first two aims and are hoping for similar success with our third.”
This new school model being proposed by the group prioritises problem solving, critical thinking and communication skills over the existing rote-learning model of education. This is in line with the recent announcement by the Department of Education to phase out the Junior Certificate exams.
Research undertaken by the group has concluded that there is will be a need for 400 additional secondary school places in Kilkenny over the next four to five years. The group also conducted market research in 2010 that found an overwhelming demand among the Kilkenny public for this new type of new school, with 76% of respondents indicating that they would prefer to their children to an ET secondary school in the area if it were established.
For further information, contact Duncan Russell on 087 2995549 or Mick Greene on 085 1668149, or see www.kilkennyeducatetogether.com and the Kilkenny Educate Together page on Facebook.