Ethos logo in E

Ethos of Donegal ETB Schools


Donegal ETB provides full-time educational services in 15 post-primary schools in the county. The names of our schools may vary – Community College, Vocational School, College, Gairmscoil, Coláiste. However, all share the ethos and core values of a Donegal ETB school. Our schools provide a holistic, quality learning environment which prepares individual students for higher/further education or immediate entry into the workplace and equips them with the skills necessary to become active citizens in a democratic society.

Ethos of Donegal ETB Schools:

The ethos of Donegal ETB schools describes how the partners in our school communities live together, work together and relate to each other. Ethos encompasses the culture, policies, practices and relationships that exist within our school communities. The 1998 Education Act describes ethos as the “characteristic spirit” of a school.

Ethos Statement

Donegal ETB schools are state, co-educational, multi-denominational post-primary schools underpinned by the core values of Excellence in Education, Care, Equality, Community and Respect.


Donegal ETB schools are ‘state’ schools as they are under the patronage of a public body.

Ethos logo in E


In Donegal ETB schools ‘co-educational’ goes beyond a binary perspective on gender to include the full diversity of gender identities and gender expressions in the school community and underpins respectful relationships across this diversity. Our schools aim to eliminate gendered stereotypes and the influence of such stereotypes.


In Donegal ETB Schools, ‘multi-denominational’ means that all students are given equal opportunities to engage with the curriculum and school life. Our schools strive to enable every student to realise their full potential regardless of any aspect of their identity or background. Our schools provide a safe physical and social environment to all members of the school community that reinforces their sense of identity and belonging to the school community and wider society.

Donegal ETB schools are underpinned by five core values:

Excellence in Education

Excellence in Education encompasses: 

  • outcomes, where all members of the school community are enabled to reach their full potential
  • experiences, where provision is tailored to individual skills and needs, and a positive environment offers safety and support and encourages exploration and taking risks in learning
  • expectations, where all members of the school community collaborate, play their roles to the best of their ability, and are motivated to learn in different ways
  • school cultures where the core values of care, equality, community and respect are promoted
  • the intellectual, spiritual, physical, social and moral aspects of students’ identity.


is about the welfare, wellbeing, and safety of all members of the school community. It is exemplified in meaningful relationships, connectedness and empathy, alongside support and solidarity.


is about treating all members of the school community equally while recognising and celebrating the diversity and dignity of these members. It is exemplified in prioritising resources on the basis of need and promoting a culture of inclusion.


encompasses students, staff, parents/guardians and the local community. It is about having a shared vision, values and purpose, a sense of belonging and a voice that is listened to. It is exemplified in productive collaboration, positive contributions and effective communication across the school community.


is about upholding the dignity, rights, and recognition of the identity and background of each member of the school community. It is exemplified in relationships between all members of the school community and decision-making that impacts positively on the rights, feelings and aspirations of the diversity of people within the school community.

All Donegal ETB schools are involved in the process of embedding ETB core values in their policies and practices using ETBI Patrons’ Framework on Ethos as a guide. A number of our schools are using School Self Evaluation (SSE) to underpin the effectiveness of this process.

Further information available through these links: