THE multi-denominational body, Educate Together, has been given the go-ahead to open two more schools.
It has been selected as patron for new schools to open next September in the Sandymount/Ringsend area of Dublin and in Knocknacarra, outside Galway.
Education Minister Ruairi Quinn has indicated that Knocknacarra may also get another new school in 2015, based on the Steiner education model, which adopts a less conventional approach to teaching than traditional Irish primary schools – and places a big emphasis on the arts as an integral part of the learning process.
The preferences of parents in the areas played a role in deciding who gets to operate the new schools. In Knocknacarra, there was very strong demand for both a Steiner school and an Educate Together school.
The Steiner movement has had a long battle to gain recognition with the Department of Education because of concerns about whether it complied with the State's teaching and learning requirements for primary schools.
There are two Steiner schools operating in Co Clare with provisional recognition from the department, and they have had to make changes to bring the curriculum in line.