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Educate Together to run second level school

July 26, 2012

Multidenominational patron Educate Together will have responsibility for a secondary school for the first time.

Minister for Education Ruairí Quinn announced the patrons for 14 new post-primary schools yesterday. Educate Together will run a school in Blanchardstown, west Dublin, and will share patronage of a school in Drogheda, Co Louth, with Co Louth Vocational Education Committee (VEC).

Some eight other schools will also be under the care of VECs in Dublin, Galway, Kildare, Meath and Cork. Gaelscoileanna body An Foras Pátrúnachta will become patron to two schools, and the Church of Ireland and Le Chéile Schools Trust, a Catholic organisation, will have responsibility for one school each in Greystones, Co Wicklow, and Mulhuddart, Dublin 15, respectively. All 14 of the schools will be co-educational.

Groups that missed out on patronage included the Loreto Education Trust, which applied to open a school in Ashbourne, Co Meath, and the Marist Education Authority, which sought patronage in Dundalk, Co Louth.

Applications from The Edmund Rice Schools Trust in Drogheda, the Muslim Primary Education Board in Blanchardstown and the Redeemed Christian Church of God in Navan, Co Meath, were also turned down.

Four of the new schools, all VECs, will open in September 2013, and 10 will open the following September. Applications for school patronage closed in February. Patrons were asked for evidence of parental demand and plans for how the proposed schools would provide for extending or strengthening diversity of provision in each area.

There were 31 applicants.

The Department of Education assessed the applications, made recommendations and forwarded the assessments to the New Schools Establishment Group, which was set up by the Minister as an independent advisory body.

It examined and agreed with conclusions reached by the department, and wrote to the Minister in June this year with its recommendations. Mr Quinn made the final decision on patronage.

Yesterday the Minister said that in deciding on patronage he “was particularly conscious of taking into account the clear parental demand for plurality and diversity of patronage”.

“I am particularly pleased that Educate Together will be patron in one school and co-patron in a second school, given that Educate Together was officially recognised by me as a second-level patron just one year ago,” he said.

“I am also pleased that for the first time in a generation a new Catholic and a new Church of Ireland voluntary secondary school are to open. This demonstrates clearly that I and the department are committed to diversity of ethos and respect for parental choice.”

He said he was confident the new schools, alongside existing schools in each area, would mean parents and students would have “real choice”.

The Minister’s announcement was widely welcomed by the appointed patrons. Paul Rowe, chief executive of Educate Together said the need for innovation at second-level has never been more urgent.

“These new schools will nurture critical and creative thinking and ethical citizenship – developing the knowledge, skills and attitudes students need to live, learn and work in modern, globalised societies,” he said.

Church of Ireland Archbishop of Dublin and Bishop of Glendalough, The Most Rev Dr Michael Jackson said the Minister’s decision on the Greystones school “demonstrated a recognition that faith-based schools still have a role to play in Irish education”.

Caoimhín Ó hEaghra, chief executive of An Foras Pátrúnachta, said their appointment as patrons was “a fantastic achievement” for the parents, founding committees and all those who had “relentlessly” campaigned.

And Co Dublin VEC chief executive Dr Marie Griffin said their new community college in Lusk would be among the most modern in the State.


  • Blanchardstown West, Dublin 15: Educate Together (September 2014)
  • Drogheda, Co Louth: joint patronage of Co Louth VEC and Educate Together (September 2014)
  • Mulhuddart, Dublin 15: Le Chéile Schools Trust (September 2014)
  • Greystones, Co Wicklow: Church of Ireland (September 2014)
  • Lusk, Co Dublin: Co Dublin VEC (September 2013)
  • Claregalway, Co Galway: Co Galway VEC (September 2013)
  • Naas, Co Kildare: Co Kildare VEC (September 2013)
  • Navan, Co Meath: Co Meath VEC (September 2013)
  • Cork City – South Suburbs/ Carrigaline: Co Cork VEC (September 2014)
  • Maynooth, Co Kildare: Co Kildare VEC (September 2014)
  • Dundalk, Co Louth: Co Louth VEC (September 2014)
  • Ashbourne, Co Meath: Co Meath VEC (September 2014)
  • Balbriggan, Co Dublin: An Foras Pátrúnachta (September 2014)
  • Dundrum, Co Dublin: An Foras Pátrúnachta (September 2014)