14 Jun

Parents back bid to create north’s first integrated nursery school

Parents back bid to create north's first integrated nursery schoolParents have given overwhelming support to a plan to create the north’s first official integrated nursery school.

Bangor Central Nursery School will now seek to transform from controlled to integrated status.

There are 95 nursery schools in the north, all of which are either state controlled or Catholic maintained.

While there are hundreds of other non-denominational pre-school groups, Bangor NS would be the first to join the integrated sector.

Principal Millie Williams balloted parents after governors found interest in integration among the school community.

The vote showed 97 per cent support.


13 Jun

New £19m school plan for Ulidia

New £19m school plan for UlidiaA public information event will take place later this month to outline plans for a new £19m school at Ulidia Integrated College in Carrick.

A proposal has been outlined for construction of a 9,980 square metre building on the existing site at Victoria Road to accommodate 700 pupils.

The information event will take place in the school, on Tuesday June 25, from 4.00 pm until 7.00 pm.

However, a planning application has not yet been submitted to Mid and East Antrim Borough Council.

Interested parties will be invited to make comments on the proposed design which can be obtained from Hamilton Architects in Belfast before July 17.


11 Jun

New-Bridge College enjoy right royal date

New-Bridge College enjoy right royal dateNew-Bridge Integrated College Principal, Mrs Anne Anderson, Ms Suzanne Harrison, Head of History and eight students were said to be ‘thrilled’ to meet Prince Charles and his wife Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall recently.

The royal couple were in Ireland for a two-day visit along with President Micheal D. Higgins and his wife Sabina to celebrate the links between Britain and Ireland and their people.

Representatives from New-Bridge Integrated College were delighted to be invited to attend the ‘VIP’ event in Glencree where they had the opportunity to speak personally to the dignitaries about British/Irish Relations as well as North/South Relations within the island of Ireland.

Principal Anne Anderson said that they felt honoured to be invited by Eamon Rafter, Learning-Coordinator at Glencree Centre for Peace and Reconciliation, who has worked with the school in recent years.


7 Jun

Catholic teaching qualification offered by Stranmillis

Catholic teaching qualification offered by StranmillisStranmillis College will teach a qualification needed to get a job in Catholic schools for the first time.

Staff have been working with St Mary’s University College to deliver the Certificate in Religious Education (RE).

It is necessary to be employed as a teacher in a Catholic primary or nursery school.

It will be taught by Stranmillis academics to degree students from September 2019.

Previously, students there only had the option of an online distance learning course if they wanted to get the certificate.

Education students at St Mary’s study for the Certificate in Religious Education as part of their teaching degree.


7 Jun

‘If we tell people the cost of segregation, they will support greater integration’

‘If we tell people the cost of segregation, they will support greater integration’If people are told the financial cost of segregation and service duplication, there will be much greater support for social integration, says community worker Maureen Hetherington. Maureen is director of The Junction community and peace-building centre in Derry-Londonderry and was interviewed in the latest ‘Forward Together’ podcast.

“I have no doubt that integrated education is absolutely fundamental to getting people to know each other, to engage with each other,” stresses Maureen. “The difficulty there is that we don’t have the integrated society. So we absolutely need to start the social housing, that has to be cross-community and it has to be mixed. We could highlight the cost of segregation.

“When we get down to the bread and butter issues, the majority of people out there want the best for the children, their family, they want to keep surviving, they want a quality of life. This cost of segregation, if people realise, if we look at that and redistribute the money to where it is really needed, then I think that people would be up for a more integrated society.


31 May

Research reveals impact of religious discrimination on NI teachers

Research reveals impact of religious discrimination on NI teacherSegregated education and legal discrimination are causing the “cultural encapsulation” of teachers in Northern Ireland along religious sectarian lines, research has revealed.

A report by Ulster University’s School of Education has found teachers’ education and training and legal exemptions from anti-discrimination protections lead to significant separation along Protestant and Catholic lines.

The publication of the paper, on teachers’ employment mobility, was supported by UNESCO and the Integrated Education Fund.

The report found that teachers from Protestant and Catholic backgrounds follow career paths which are “community consistent”. The former tend to work in controlled schools, which are perceived as de facto Protestant, and the latter tend to work in maintained (Catholic) schools.


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