Principal Mary McDowell (far left) with some of the parents and Junior Infants
There was much excitement today as Kildare's newest Educate Together primary school, Leixlip ETNS, opened to its first cohort of Junior Infants. The school opened in its temporary accommodation in the Leixlip Amenities Centre which is kindly making its sports facilities available to pupils. Permanent accommodation is currently being sought by the Department of Education and Skills.
Educate Together was granted patronage of the school after an online survey run by the Department of Education and Skills. Parents were asked for their preferred choice of patron and parents of Leixlip overwhelmingly voted in favour of an Educate Together school.
Said Mary McDowell, Principal of Leixlip ETNS:
"I am very excited to be founding principal of Leixlip Educate Together National School. I have always been an ardent advocate of the Educate Together philosophy and the equality-based inclusive education it provides for all children. In Educate Together schools, no child is ever excluded based on religion, background or culture, and this is the main reason I, myself chose Educate Together for my own children.
Educate Together schools teach children about equality and justice, ethics and the environment, different belief systems and which also gives the pupils an awareness and understanding of moral and spiritual standards, such as honesty, respect, justice, integrity, trust and responsibility. I know that the school will grow and expand to reflect Ireland's ever-changing society and I look forward to sharing with our parents, their children's exciting journey through primary school."
Said Orla Matthews of the Leixlip Educate Together Start-Up Group:
“We fought long and hard over the past five years for this to happen but we are so delighted that the doors to Leixlip ETNS are finally open. It marks a brand new era of equality-based education and choice for all parents here in Leixlip.”
2019 is a busy year for Educate Together. In addition to Leixlip ETNS, Educate Together will open a further seven primary schools in Cork, Dublin and Wicklow as well as four secondary schools - Galway ETSS, Dublin North East ETSS, Wicklow ETSS and Drogheda ETSS.
The organisation will also apply for a further six secondary schools to open in 2020 in Dublin and Wicklow.