Fresh Start funding allocation welcome news

Tina Merron, CEO of the Integrated Education Fund (IEF), has welcomed the news from the Secretary of State that the first tranche of SHA “Fresh Start” money will be released to help capital projects in integrated schools.

Theresa Villiers today (March 23) announced a cash boost of £43m as agreed in the Stormont House Agreement, to promote shared and integrated education as major elements in helping Northern Ireland  progress towards a genuinely shared future.

Projects to benefit from the funding include the planned new building for Drumlins Integrated Primary school as well as major developments at Roe Valley IPS and Braid IPS. Other proposed building works at integrated schools will now be able to progress to the planning stage.

Commenting on the announcement, Tina Merron said

“This is good news for integrated schools which have been waiting for many years, in some cases, to develop suitable accommodation for their pupils and staff. Integrated schools have all been established by campaigning parents and teachers, often in temporary accommodation and it is a testimony to the success of those schools that they have flourished in spite of desperately needing substantial capital investment. The release of this money means that the growing number of people accessing integrated education can be welcomed to schools which are fit for purpose and designed for 21st Century education. We look forward to further good news as future tranches of this money are released in the months and years to come.”

The full announcement from the Secretary of State, Theresa Villiers, can be found here: