A Belfast principal has told an audience at the House of Lords that the success of his primary school proves the value of integration and the demand for places in integrated education. Cliftonville Integrated Primary School became officially integrated in 2008 and the decade since then has seen it become one of the fastest-growing primary schools in Northern Ireland.
Head teacher Bill Fletcher was invited to address a gathering of around a hundred Integrated Education Fund supporters at a dinner at Westminster on Monday 05 November. The audience included business leaders, entertainers, writers and campaigners for integrated education as well as peers and past pupils of integrated schools.
Thanking the guests for their support for schools such as Cliftonville IPS, Bill Fletcher said:
“I can honestly say that since moving to an integrated school, I see my job in a new light. I no longer see myself as an educator preparing children for life; I am now preparing children for society, a society which I hope will continue to flourish in spite of the vacuum at Stormont. I am very proud to be part of what is the greatest and most cost-effective cross-community project – bar none – and the embodiment of positive change in our society.”
The event was hosted by Lord Dubs and Baroness May Blood, IEF Campaign Chair, who retired from the House of Lords in July. The dinner was generously sponsored by Tony Carson.
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