Educate Together held its annual Ethical Education conference on November 25th and 26th. The theme of this year’s conference was Raising Student Voices and students took centre stage on Friday evening as representatives from both primary and second level Educate Together schools took part in Ireland’s first ever StudentMeet.

The conference was officially opened by Minister for Education and Skills, Richard Bruton, T.D., who said:


“I am delighted to launch Educate Together’s conference this evening. Educate Together is at the forefront of educational innovation and the movement combines excellent teaching standards with values of social justice and human rights.”


The Minister went on to say how impressed he was to hear students sharing ideas and initiatives which they have led in their schools and he spoke of how heartened he was to see students take such an active role in their schools.


During the StudentMeet representatives from a number of student councils, including Rathfarnham ETNS, gave a rundown of why their involvement in their school’s student council is important, not just to themselves but to the whole student body in their school, and outlined some of the initiatives which student councils concern themselves with. The confidence and competence with which these students spoke brought the theme of the conference to practical reality. In his later address to delegates at the conference, Paul Rowe, CEO of Educate Together, said that,


“Ethical Education is all about the primacy of creative and critical thinking, of students taking responsibility, becoming self-aware and being equipped with the skill to become active, respectful and responsible citizens in a rapidly changing world.” 


A keynote speaker at the conference was Dr. Niall Muldoon, Ombudsman for Children.


See for more details of the conference.