Politicians, business leaders, campaigners and civic influencers gathered at Stormont House yesterday evening (Thursday 07 June) where the IEF hosted a reception and presented our far-reaching plan for the future of the NI education system.
Sailesh Vara MP, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State at the Northern Ireland Office, joined guests at the historic building for the launch of the Fund’s new strategic vision document, entitled Integration Works for Everybody.
Integration Works for Everybody sets out targets to grow integrated education to represent 10 percent of school places in NI by 2021, and – with government support – to 30 percent by 2031.
Over the next three years the charity needs to raise £3.6 million to support its campaigning and grant-making activities.
IEF Campaign Chair, Baroness May Blood, told the invited audience:
“Northern Ireland currently has no functioning Assembly and we see politics becoming increasingly polarised. Yet for more than 35 years we have had a shining example of how people of all backgrounds, beliefs and traditions can come together to heal division and nurture children – in integrated schools. It’s time this was seen throughout our education system.
“The IEF’s vision document sets out how we would develop and support a holistic approach which puts children, not institutions, at the heart of education policy and planning. The document represents our commitment to working tirelessly to empower parents, empower schools and advocate for positive change in the education system.”
Key areas include the streamlining of education administration, making inclusivity and diversity awareness a duty of all schools, and positive planning for integrated education and shared public housing.
Integration Works for Everybody can be downloaded here.
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