How Educate Together Schools Work
From time to time parents/guardians wish to bring certain matters to the attention of the school. In “Communication between home and school” below we set out the procedure for doing this but first we describe the make-up of the school, which helps to explain why this procedure makes sense.
The four core principles of Educate Together (ET) are:
- Child-centred: Educate Together schools are committed to active learning approaches that encourage children to interact with their peers and teachers while they learn. Educate together schools are focused on helping each individual child reach his or her full academic and social potential.
- Co-educational: ET schools are committed to encouraging all children to explore their full range of abilities and opportunities. Boys and girls learn and socialize together in the school environment. This approach delivers the best educational and social development for children.
- Multi-denominational: all children have equal rights of access to the school, and children of all social, cultural and religious backgrounds are equally respected.
- Democratically run: Limerick city ET is established as a national school, and in common with all national schools it has a Board of Management (BoM) consisting of eight people (the principal, one teachers’ nominee, two parents’ nominees, two wider community representatives and two patron nominees). The patron of the school is the Educate Together national body. The BoM sets up sub-committees from time to time which deal with areas such as after-school activities, premises, policies etc.
Under section 15 of the Education Act 1998, “It shall be the duty of the board to manage the school on behalf of the patron and to provide or cause to be provided an appropriate education for each student at the school for which that board has responsibility.”
The school also has a Parent-Teacher Association (PTA). The Education Act 1998 provides that it shall “promote the interest of the students in a school in co-operation with the board, principal, teachers and students”.
Every parent in the school is automatically a member of the PTA, which is affiliated to the National Parents’ Council. The PTA meets regularly and organises events which contribute to the school in community, social and financial terms. A committee is elected annually and is open to all parents to put themselves forward. The PTA also has sub-committees which deal with parental involvement, building and traffic and the school yard, as well as one for the parents of children with special needs.
Parental involvement in the school is very welcome, and can take place in a number of ways, such as:
- being an active member of the Parent Teacher Association;
- joining a sub-committee of the PTA or the BOM;
- helping out with the PTA on occasions such as the bazaar, summer fete etc.;
- bringing an idea to the school for activities or helping out in the school (in accordance with the parental involvement policy, also on the school website);
- helping out as requested from time to time in the newsletter;
- joining the Board of Management (the term of the board is four years, the current board runs until November 2015).
The Parents’ Council provides an additional voice to the on-going betterment of the non-curricular activities at the school, alongside those of the staff and the student council. It empowers all parents to offer ideas for improvement for all children in the school and to create a partnership between home and school.
If you’d like to contact the Parents’ Council about how we can work for you, upcoming events, classes or to volunteer then please do so at the address below. We’d love to hear from you.