'Prayers for toddlers is horrifying to me'
Alex (9) and Lily (6) Cunningham attend Rathfarnham Educate Together National School. They travel 30 to 40 minutes to get there every morning. Their parents, Derval and Ray, have both been atheists since their teenage years.
Ray says that a Catholic school was never on the cards. "I didn't want to send a child to a school where they'd have to do Communion and Confirmation classes, so a multi-denominational school was the only option."
Derval adds: "At our local school, even in Montessori they're learning prayers, which is horrifying to me. As soon as we had Alex, we put his name down for Educate Together and that was the only option for us. The ethos of the school is important to the family.
"I like the diversity, the fact that it is child-centred and inclusive, and I think the level of parental involvement is more than in other schools."
Alex and Lily both say they are very happy at their school. "We learn about a lot of religions, like Buddhism. We celebrate the festivals and we do projects on them," says Alex.