Educate Together appoints new CEO

Emer Nowlan to take over body which is patron of 90 primary and 17 second-level schools with 30,000 pupils

Educate Together, the largest multi-denominational school patron, has named Emer Nowlan as the organisation's new chief executive officer. She will replace current chief executive Paul Rowe in February 2020.

Educate Together, founded in 1978, is patron of more than 90 primary and 17 second-level schools in Ireland which cater to 30,000 pupils.

Ms Nowlan has been working with the Migrant Teacher Project at Marino Institute of Education, a project to boost the number of teachers from diverse backgrounds in Irish schools.

She previously worked for Educate Together in a number of key positions between 2007 and 2017, including chief operating officer, head of education and network development and second-level project manager.


Ms Nowlan said she was delighted to be appointed as the organisation’s next chief executive,

“Huge progress has been made in equality-based education over the past 20 years under Paul Rowe’s leadership. It is a privilege to have the opportunity to build on these achievements and to lead the organisation into a new and exciting phase.

“Demand for Educate Together’s equality-based schools has never been greater, and I look forward to working with families, students, campaigners, educators and our partners across the sector to meet that demand.”

Management roles

Ms Nowlan has worked in various educational and management roles in different countries. She is a qualified secondary teacher, and has lectured on undergraduate and post-graduate courses in UCD, DCU and Marino Institute of Education.

The selection process was led by Jen Cummins, chair of the board of Educate Together.

Ms Cummins said Ms Nowlan had a strong track record in education, in senior management in the NGO sector, and in promoting and embedding human rights and equality in Irish society. "She will be taking the reins at a time of profound cultural and social changes in Ireland, and at a time of tremendous opportunity for reform of our education system."

Carl O'Brien

Carl O'Brien

Carl O'Brien is Education Editor of The Irish Times. He was previously chief reporter and social affairs correspondent