Educate Together

Sligo School Project is affiliated to Educate Together.

To understand the relationship between the two organisations it is helpful to remember the history of both the school and Educate Together.

The first multi-denominational schools in Ireland were set up by local groups. To adhere to the regulations of Irish Law each of these groups set up a company limited by guarantee and became the patron of their school. This is also the case with Sligo School Project when it was set up in 1987.

At the same time (during the 1980s and 1990s) these schools formed a lobby group under the name of Educate Together.

In 1998 Educate Together became a company limited by guarantee itself. The members of this company at its inauguration were the independent patrons and boards of management of the multi-denominational schools that existed at that time, including Sligo School Project. (For a very brief history of E.T., follow this link.)

For anyone who is not familiar with company law, this can be compared with the forming of an umbrella organisation by sports clubs, e.g. it is similar to Sligo Rovers being a member of the F.A.I. who are both legal persons. For Sligo Rovers that means that the club is independent in all its business, but has made a commitment to adhere to the principles (rules and regulations) of the F.A.I.; the relationship between Sligo School Project and Educate Together is the same in this regard.

Educate Together, after being established by the independent schools as a legal person itself, started establishing schools and became a school patron, too. Gradually the number of schools that were established under the patronage of Educate Together grew and in the last decade it became the norm for multi-denominational schools to be set up under the patronage of Educate Together instead of an independent patron locally.

At present there are still eleven of the original multi-denominational schools that are run by independent patrons locally, Sligo School Project amongst them. All of these schools uphold the ethical principles of the Educate Together Charter. As member of Educate Together they pay an annual membership fee (per child enrolled in the school), and they are entitled to voting rights at the Educate Together AGM. To some extent the schools use the services of the national office of Educate Together to deal with administrational issues, e.g., garda vetting, board of management training.

On a day to day basis Educate Together however does not and legally cannot exert any of the powers of a patron within these schools, because the patronage still remains with the local school (resp. the company that runs the school).

In the case of Sligo School Project this includes the issuing of a local core curriculum which is used as the guiding document for teaching on ethical topics in the school. It also includes, e.g. decisions on employment of staff.