We enjoyed exploring the fabulous new building and picking up some tips for when we eventually move into our permanent accommodation (now expected to happen during the 2018/19 school year). We also got to explore the building of Hansfield Educate Together Second-Level School and dream about the day that we can walk across the road to Citywest Educate Together Second-Level School (still to be sanctioned but we live in hope!)!
We attended two workshops in the morning, one on the reconfiguration process and one on promoting Educate Together. Anyone not already familiar with Educate Together's Fair-Transparent-Equal campaign is encouraged to read up about it.
The formal business of the AGM included 4 motions put forward by Citywest ETNS. On the day of the AGM, we opted to withdraw 3 of the 4 motions, following updates from the ET Board of Directors that came out after our motions were submitted. These three motions were related to the Strategic Review for Educate Together that our school suggested last year. We are delighted to see the progress that Educate Together have made in relation to the Strategic Review and we look forward to taking part in the review and to learning about the outcomes from it over the coming year.
The 4th motion that we put forward was in relation to the dire lack of substitute teachers in Ireland at the moment. This motion passed. We look forward to seeing action from Educate Together in relation to this and we hope they will be supported in this action by the teacher unions, IPPN and other school management bodies so that less teaching time is lost to our children by unavoidable staff absences.
Caitriona felt honoured to be nominated to the Board of Directors of Educate Together by our Board of Management. Following elections at the AGM, Caitriona was elected as a Director. This is a voluntary, unpaid post which Caitriona will undertake in addition to her work at Citywest ETNS and other commitments. With Caitriona's vast experience within Educate Together and education, her personal passion for the Educate Together values and ethos and her open approach to challenges, our Board of Management feels that she has a lot of offer Educate Together on a broader level. We also know that this experience will be of benefit to our own school as Caitriona brings back a better understanding of the broader issues within the Educate Together community.
Our three delegates took part in debates on the various motions put forward by member schools, most particularly in relation to professional development for teachers and July Provision. With just one voting card per school, the three delegates took their responsibility as representatives of Citywest ETNS seriously and discussed each motion together before deciding how Citywest ETNS would vote. Motions included sharing information on new school buildings, teaching Irish in special classes for children with ASD, the school meals programme, posts of responsibility, support services for children with additional needs, inclusion and membership discounts for particular schools.
Speakers included Professor Kathleen Lynch, Joan Burton TD and Diarmaid Mac Aonghusa, outgoing Chairperson of the ET Board of Directors. Paul Rowe, CEO of Educate Together, presented an Annual Review. Aoife picked up a copy of the new Humanism lessons and will share them with teachers in our school.
This is the first time that our school was so well represented at the AGM and we look forward to continuing to take an active role in the national ET community, without which our school could not exist.
Many thanks to the three delegates for giving up their weekend time to do this for our school.