CHILD-CENTRED, MULTI-DENOMINATIONAL, PUBLICLY ACCOUNTABLE PRIMARY SCHOOLS
Community National Schools (CNS) are child-centred, multide-nominational, publicly accountable schools which strive to pro-vide high quality education for every child. They give equal op-portunities to all children in the communities they serve. They were established in 2008 and are managed by the Education and Training Boards (ETBs).
The establishment of Community National Schools was part of the State’s response to an increasing diversity in Irish society. The characteristic spirit of a Community National Because of this, there is a growing demand amongst parents for the School is centred around these four core values. State to provide more choice of school types other than single-denominational models. There is also a growing demand in Ireland for publicly-managed primary schools, as up until now they have been publicly funded but privately managed. The development of the Community National School model answers both demands and represents a very exciting and welcome evolution in Irish education. With a long history of excellence in primary education acknowledged world-wide, the Irish State is yet again breaking ground with this new model of primary school that recognises and celebrates the identity of all children equally.
Local ETBs are the patrons of Community National Schools. ETBs, formerly VECs, are statutory authorities with responsibility for Community National Schools, over 270 second-level schools, and a wide range of adult and further education training centres and services. They have developed an excellent reputation for their provi-sion of inclusive, innovative, high quality education that meets the needs of the entire community.
Having ETBs as patrons is significant for Community National Schools, as the schools benefit greatly from a broad range of supports and services that are not available to other schools. ETBs provide governance, educational, administrative, financial, Human Resources (HR) and Information Technology (IT) supports to schools. This has a direct impact on the children and families attending these schools, as it allows school leadership to focus on their primary task of leading teaching and learning. This ensures the highest standard of excellence in our schools. ETBs can also provide a valuable service to the parents of children attending Community National Schools through their adult education programmes.
Like all primary schools, Community National Schools follow the Primary School Curriculum, (DES, 1999). However, a unique aspect of the model is its ‘ethos’ or ‘characteristic spirit’. The characteristic spirit of a Community National School is centred around these four core values:
Excellence in Education
In a Community National School, your child will:
For more information about Community National Schools, please visit www.cns.ie. Here you can express an interest in a Community National School in your area, find out about the different Community National Schools, and find other useful links.
Article provided by Séamus Conboy, ETBI Primary Support Officer, ETB Ireland