Kildare and Wicklow Education and Training Board (KWETB) is implementing Education and Training Board Ireland’s (ETBI) ethos across its schools and colleges. This is part of a broader national initiative involving all ETBs.
The process of identifying core values and ethos has been evolving over the past decade. All ETB schools are State, Co-Educational, and Multi-Denominational. ETB ethos is underpinned by the core values of Excellence in Education, Care, Respect, Equality and Community. In Autumn 2021, schools are putting in place measures to examine their own policies and practices and ensure that these are aligned with ETBI core values.
What is ethos?
Put simply, ethos is how we live, work, and relate to each other in our school community. While it encompasses the curriculum and how it is taught, ethos is broader than this. It also relates to shared core values, to the hidden curriculum, to decision making processes and to the relationships that underpin the daily life of school.
The 5 Key areas of our Ethos are as follows:
Excellence in Education
As the state provider of education, the ETB sector defines a ‘multidenominational’ school in the following way:
In ETB schools, all students are given equal opportunities for enrolment in line with the Education (Admissions to School) Act 2018. Once enrolled, our schools strive to provide all students with equal opportunities to engage with the curriculum and school life. In all aspects of school life all members of our school communities are treated equitably regardless of their race, gender, religion/belief, age, family status, civil status, membership of the Traveller community, sexual orientation, ability or socio-economic status.
Our schools provide a safe physical and social environment that reinforces a sense of belonging to the school community and wider society. They strive to enable every student to realise their full potential regardless of any aspect of their identity or background. Our schools promote a fully inclusive education that recognises the plurality of identities, beliefs and values held by students, parents and staff. We prepare open-minded, culturally sensitive and responsible citizens with a strong sense of shared values.
Over recent decades, Ireland has experienced major cultural, religious, political, social and demographic changes. As ETB schools are ‘state’ schools, they have particular responsibilities in respect of the ‘common good’ in an increasingly diverse society. It is therefore imperative that ETB schools have a clear understanding of the ethos underpinning life in their schools and are guided in their realisation of this ethos.