District schools are part of review

The principals of two integrated schools in Banbridge have welcomed the Stormont review of the integrated education sector which is due to be completed by the summer.

Principal of Bridge Integrated Primary School, Teresa Devlin said that on the 35th anniversary of integrated education it was an “important opportunity to reflect on the journey and the very hard work of the parents and board governors.”

The aim of the review is to provide recommendations for structures and processes to support the effective planning, growth and development of a more integrated education system within a framework of viable and sustainable schools.

Mrs. Devlin said that the review must look at ways to give every parent and child who wants it, an opportunity to have access to quality integrated education.

“It’s a wonderful opportunity to raise the profile of the work being done in this sector,” Mrs Devlin said. “Our school has been oversubscribed for the last 10 years.

“We have had to turn away 20 per cent of applicants so it is clear in this area that there is a high demand for quality integrated education.”

New-Bridge Integrated College Principal Anne Anderson echoed Mrs. Devlin’s support for the review.

She said: “I welcome the Minister’s decision to carry out a Review of Integrated Education. Our 20th Anniversary provided us with the opportunity to reflect our journey which has contributed to the growth and development of integrated education.

“£500m has been agreed for capital funding over the next 10 years for shared and integrated education. We are confident that the Review will consider how the potential capital investment from the Stormont House Agreement can be best used to support New-Bridge Integrated College and other integrated schools.

“This Review will enable all school communities, particularly parents who align with the principles of integration of equality, faith and values, parental involvement and social responsibility, to find their voice and be recognised.”