New School Patrons and Trustees

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    Hi Parents,
    I would be very interested hearing from other parents about the roll that the school patron, and the roll the school Trustees play in running a school.
    A number of groups have asked for pledges of support for the new secondary school on the Ballymakenny Road. The bodies are the VEC, ERTS and Le Cheile. Do any of you have children in schools run by any of these groups?
    My DS attends the new mixed Primary School that will share the site with the future secondary school, and the primary school is under the patronage of the ArchBishop and the school’s Trustees are the ERTS. The school is very well run, brilliant teachers, excellant Principal.
    I would like to make an informed decision on who to support for the secondary school. It is all a bit confusing, on paper all Patrons appear to offer the same, or very similar guiding principles – I am a great believer in the proof of the pudding being in the eating?
    Can any of you with a bit more experience in this area offer an opinion?


    the secondary level school by educate together is

    hope this is of some help – just briefly looked but they have a group on facebook and you should be able to get in touch with someone to explain it to you further


    i went to a public meeting on this group and was very informative..i support them


    I would support the Educate Togetherroute


    My response to this is based on a desire to see more choice of education providers. At present both Louth VEC and the Edmund Rice Trust already have secondary schools in the area. These are fine schools. I have visited both and been impressed with both. However, and this is the main difference for me, the ethos of one of them at least (ERT), is denominational no matter how you look at it. Would the proposed ERT school not be a denominational school also ? I imagine it would have to be. While VEC schools often say they are "multidenominational" – they will accept children of other faiths – but they can in some areas still be under the trusteeship of the local RC diocese (I don’t know if this is so in Louth) and can have religious ceremonies etc based in one faith so it is difficultto see how that can really be fully multidenominational in the true sense. This, I appreciate, may not matter to everyone but it matters a great deal if you don’t belong to the majority denomination and there is pressure for school places. In such situations a denomational school will have the right toprioritise children of it’s own denomination for places if it chooses to. This is enshrined in law. I know denominational schools do accept children of other faiths but they may be the last category on the enrolment criteria and so be the first to lose out if demand for places exceeds supply. I went to the meeting also about the Educate Together option and was impressed that their approach differs from other providers in that they have set out a strategy to promote a learner led and critical thinking approach which is what universities and and multinational employers have been identifying as deficits in our current model. They would also offer the International Baccalaureate as well as the Leaving Certificate which may broaden further study options for those wishing to study abroad. However, it is a new approach at second level, which while I find it attractive, I do understand that other people are less familiar with it (although there are two ET primaries in the town).

    I think also that I read somewhere that the VEC was proposing to open an Irish speaking school (?) Please correct me if I am wrong. I would imagine there is a degree of support for this too and I want to respect the wishes of those parents who understandably seek this option. My difficulty, however, is that although I would have no problem whatsoever with the concept of an all-Irish school, I could not begin to hope to send my child with special needs to it . This child could not cope with demands of being taught through Irish but can manage well with support in an English medium mainstream school. An all Irish second-level school would not suit many such children with language based learning issues.

    Basically I would just like to see a school that would be equally accessible to all children of all denominations and none and which could readily accommodate children with special needs. I guess if neither of these issues affect you at a personal level they will not be barriers but they are significant ones for me and my family.

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