By Tina Merron, Chief Executive of the Integrated Education Fund.
In his article for the Belfast Telegraph (DebateNI, August 20), Education Minister John O’Dowd observed that shared and integrated education are complementary and that “increasing shared education should be welcomed”. Everyone should indeed welcome and encourage all steps, no matter how small, which will eventually lead us to an education system where all our children, regardless of religion, ethnicity, social class or ability, are sitting side by side in the same classroom every day.
The Minister rightly points to the importance of parents having the freedom to choose the type of school they want for their child. Unfortunately, as a recent ruling in the High Court highlighted, the Minister and his officials denied that choice to many parents who wanted to send their children to Drumragh Integrated College. (more…)