The Educate Together Ethos is based on the Charter.
Recalling Article 26.3 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights:
“Parents have a prior right to choose the kind of education that shall be given to their children” and Article 42.4 of the Bunreacht na hÉireann (Constitution of Ireland):
“The state shall provide for free primary education and shall endeavour to supplement and give reasonable aid to private and corporate educational initiative, and, when the public good requires it, provide other educational facilities or institutions with due regard, however, for the rights of parents, especially in the matter of religious and moral formation”, and recognising:
1.1 That many parents have a valid preference for schools in which boys and girls of all social, cultural and religious backgrounds can be educated together in an atmosphere of mutual understanding and respect,
1.2 That the multi-denominational schools established under the banner of Educate Together are a distinctive response to the growing demand for such an option within the Irish educational system, Educate Together affirms that:
2.1 Children of all social, cultural and religious backgrounds have a right to an education that respects their individual identity whilst exploring the different values and traditions of the world in which they live,
2.2 Parents are entitled to participate actively in decisions that affect the education of their children. In particular, they have the right to decide what kind of school reflects their conscience and lawful preference,
2.3 Multi-denominational schools have the right to be treated no less favourably than other schools within the Irish educational system, in accordance with their needs and their identity,
2.4 The state has a duty to take the identity of the multi-denominational sector fully into account when deciding on policy that affects the establishment and development of schools,
and Commits itself to:
3.1 Support the establishment of schools which are, Multi-denominational i.e. all children having equal rights of access to the school, and children of all social, cultural and religious backgrounds being equally respected, Co-educational and committed to encouraging all children to explore their full range of abilities and opportunities, Child centred in their approach to education, Democratically run with active participation by parents in the daily life of the school, whilst positively affirming the professional role of the teachers, in any area where the demand for such a school exists,
3.2 Promote fuller awareness and recognition of the identity of the multi-denominational sector at all levels in Irish society and abroad,
3.3 Participate in appropriate structures and activities concerned with the future development of education in Ireland and abroad,
3.4 Promote a future where multi-denominational education will be as freely available to parents as any other educational option they may choose. Formally launched on 12th May 1990 at the Aula Maxima, University College Galway, Ireland. Amended on April 17th 1999 at the first Annual General Meeting of Educate Together, Bray Co. Wicklow. © Educate Together, 2004 Vision Statement “We are working towards an Ireland in which all people have access to an excellent education that is inclusive of all, irrespective of belief system, race, ethnicity, class, culture, gender, language, lifestyle and ability.”
“Educate Together will be an agent for change in the Irish State Education system seeking 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. In Educate Together schools, every child will learn in an inclusive, democratic, co-educational setting that is committed to enabling and supporting each child to achieve their full potential while at the same time preparing them to become caring and active members of a culturally diverse society.”
Values and Commitments
Educate Together is committed to:
- Placing the child at the centre of the educational process
- Respecting and celebrating the different and unique identities of all. An educational philosophy that promotes the values of justice, equality and human rights for all children and challenges injustice and unfair discrimination.
- Providing children with the knowledge, skills, dispositions and attitudes that they need, enabling them to make informed moral decisions and preparing them to become caring members of society.
- Empowering children to take an active role in society and in the stewardship of the environment.
- Working in a democratic way that embraces the input from children, parents, teachers, and supporters to enable the highest level of partnership and participation
- Working together and with other educational partners in a consultative and collaborative way.
- Building school communities which engage with, and work meaningfully with the local community
- Ensuring that this type of education is provided by the State and available to all families who wish to access it.
These commitments are reflected in the following mottoes:- “Learn Together to Live Together” – “No Child an Outsider”
This charter is reproduced from the Educate Together website: Educate Together Charter