Lack of vision, tribal politics and systemic inertia have restricted the growth of integrated education, a Westminster inquiry has heard.
MPs were told that “unacceptable segregation” continued to flourish in the design of Northern Ireland’s education system.
The comments were made in a submission to the Northern Ireland Affairs Committee by Nigel Frith, principal of Drumragh Integrated College in Omagh.
The cross-party group is holding an inquiry examining whether the level of money allocated to education is sufficient to meet the challenges facing the sector.
A report from the auditor general found the education system was coming close to a tipping point.
While funding had increased between 2012/13 and 2016/17, there has been a 9.3 per cent reduction in real terms. In that time, more schools have found themselves in the red.
Mr Frith made his written submission to highlight the financial, economic, educational and social importance of integrated education.
Just 65 of the north’s 1,176 schools are integrated.
Mr Frith wrote that the financial benefits were striking.
“Following the integrated model, the needs of the local and school community are met by one principal, one senior leadership team, one workforce and one site/building. This is in stark contrast to the wasteful duplication of systems that exists across Northern Ireland today – duplication that we clearly cannot afford,” he said.