Friday 20 January 2017

Educate Together schools are for the 'haves' and not for all

Published 10/06/2016 | 02:30

Education Minister Richard Bruton Picture: Tom Burke
Education Minister Richard Bruton Picture: Tom Burke

Colette Browne wrote an interesting and provocative piece (Irish Independent, June 7) on Education Minister Richard Bruton's suggestion for community national schools. Ms Browne seems to suggest the Educate Together model should be the chosen one for our primary schools in the future. The Educate Together vision states: "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."

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I couldn't agree more. However, it was a pity that Ms Browne didn't share the entire contents of the ESRI 2012 Report 'School Sector Variation Among Primary Schools in Ireland' with your readers, which gives the following facts on Educate Together schools: 1. Very few, if any, children from the Travelling community attend these schools. 2. Very few children from lower socioeconomic background attend these schools. 3. The parents of the children attending these schools come from the higher professional classes. 4. The majority of mothers of children attending these schools are from the degree class.

So I ask the question, is the Irish taxpayer paying for a quasi-private education system for the 'haves' and is Educate Together using religion as a smoke screen to develop their own brand of education throughout the country?

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