It is time to stop managing division and start tackling the causes of division, including the segregation in the education system, the Chair of the Community Relations Council told viewers of the Northern Visions TV and online channel.
Peter Osborne was speaking during a discussion of integrated education, alongside the IEF’s Chief Executive, Tina Merron, and Jason Milligan, Principal of Killyleagh Integrated Primary School. It was broadcast last night (Tuesday 3 October).
Peter said the current structure of education in NI is “socially bankrupt, morally bankrupt – and when you look at the finances – we could do with a few million pounds invested elsewhere instead of duplicating education systems.”
Chaired by journalist Victoria Wilson, the conversation looked at how an integrated school can be set up including the process of “transforming” to integration. Tina Merron described the core aims and values of integrated education and said that most parents support the idea but did not know their school could change. She outlined the “integrate my school” platform which enables parents to register their support for the process for their own school online.
Asked about the perspective of Killyleagh IPS, which became integrated a year ago, Jason Milligan said it had fostered a sense of pride and ownership in the wider school community and advised other schools to “Go for it!”
“It’s been very positive. You have to engage with the community, bring everyone along with you; it’s been hard work but well worth it.”
Peter Osborne said he thought it was a terrific initiative and encouraged viewers to check out Integratemyschool.com or to contact the IEF.
“Parents can make a difference; they are at the heart of integrated education.”
You can watch the full programme online here.
Please click here for a list of all integrated schools in Northern Ireland.
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