Four new Educate Together primary schools are to open in Ireland, with three set to move into buildings left empty after Catholic schools amalgamated, and one taking over a divested Church of Ireland school.
According to RTE, Minister for Education Ruari Quinn announced today that schools under the patronage of Educate Together will open in temporary premises in Tramore, Co Waterford, Trim in Co Meath, and Malahide in Dublin.
Talks have been ongoing between the Department of Education and religious bodies, mainly the Catholic Bishops, over how to divest or amalgamate existing schools to make way for more multi-denominational schools.
However, the first school to actually be divested in this round of transitions, as opposed to moving into an empty building left after an amalgamation, was in Ballina in Mayo, where the Church of Ireland has agreed, along with parents, to divest its school and allow it to be run by Educate Together.
The moves follow Department of Education surveys of 28 areas in the country where there are demands for changes in patronage. The surveys, covering over 200 schools, also found that while many parents supported the idea of greater educational diversity, the vast majority were happy with the patronage of their own school.