23 Nov

Scary figures bring prizes to school gardens

Four integrated primary schools will be busy planting young trees in their grounds thanks to the pupils’ success in the Allianz scarecrow contest. Pupils from Six Mile, Lough View, Rowandale, Millennium and Forge Integrated Primary schools travelled to CAFRE Greenmount Campus in Antrim on Friday (20 November) to collect saplings they won for their work. (more…)

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18 Nov

“Fresh Start” offers fresh hope for integrated schools

After months of intensive talks, The Northern Ireland Executive, the UK and Irish governments have agreed a set of actions to implement the Stormont House Agreement (SHA) which was drawn up last December. This development should see the release of a pot of money aimed at helping integrated education. The latest paper has been entitled “A Fresh Start”.

Introducing “A Fresh Start”, The First Minister and Deputy First Minister stated

“It is our belief and conviction that this framework… has the potential to nudge history forward by transforming how we support each other in overcoming our deepest divisions.” (more…)

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17 Nov

Young Fans quiz Music Legends Stiff Little Fingers

Northern Ireland punk legends, Stiff Little Fingers, met some of their new generation of fans before their sell-out concert at the Ulster Hall on Saturday (14 November) when students from Hazelwood Integrated College filmed an interview with the band.

The sixth formers from Hazelwood – Marta Piatkowska, Karolina Kolec, Ethan Lea and Jack Wilson – jumped at the chance to quiz the iconic musicians and hone their media skills.

Both the school and the band are marking special anniversaries – Hazelwood IC is celebrating thirty years since its opening, whilst Stiff Little Fingers are also celebrating 25 years of St Patrick’s Day gigs in Glasgow next march with a live video and CD. And the punk rockers are sharing their celebration by raising funds for the Integrated Education Fund (IEF). (more…)

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16 Nov

Education System needs attention say SDLP members

Party members and supporters attending the SDLP’s annual conference this year (Saturday 14 November) were canvassed for their views on the Northern Ireland education system. The IEF, in conjunction with polling company LucidTalk, asked 50 delegates at the meeting in Armagh three questions – and the results show a huge appetite for education reform. There was also a strong call for better local consultation on plans for education in an area.

When asked: “ Would you like to see an independent non-political review of the current NI education system?” a massive majority – 88% – said “Yes”.

In response to the question “Do you think there is a sufficient level of engagement and consultation with local communities in planning for education provision?” 86% said “No”. (more…)

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9 Nov

Shared Education Bill – Make Your Voice Heard!

The integrated education movement has an important opportunity to help plan the path of government policy on education for the foreseeable future. It’s critical that your voice is heard loud and clear in the debate on education reform in Northern Ireland.

Last week the Education Minister introduced the Shared Education Bill into the Assembly, and the Education Committee is now inviting submissions to its consideration of the Bill. Contributions must be submitted by Thursday 19 November 2015. (more…)

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6 Nov

Celebration of support for integrated education at the House of Lords

Baroness May Blood MBE has called for speedy release of the money pledged to integrated and shared education in the Stormont House Agreement.

Baroness Blood was speaking at a dinner at the House of Lords for supporters of the Integrated Education Fund. She told guests that the political stalemate at Stormont should not be allowed to stand in the way of an important development for the young people of Northern Ireland:

“I was greatly encouraged that all political parties as well as the two governments were supportive of this essential part of the Agreement. Unfortunately, as we know, political events leave implementation of that Agreement in the balance. However, this is an opportunity we cannot afford to miss and we cannot afford to give up hope. We must do all we can to ensure this commitment to integrated education is taken forward and fast. (more…)

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