26 Feb

Integrated Alumni in London host Economists’ Debate on Education Reform

A high-powered meeting in London has heard that bold new thinking is immediately required if we are to truly fulfil Northern Ireland’s potential. The London group of the Integrated Education Alumni Association organised a public seminar at the Deloitte headquarters on 19 February where educational and economic experts discussed the type of education system Northern Ireland needs to deliver long-term economic stability and prosperity.

The high-profile guests provided expert analysis informed by both their experiences and their expectations. Nearly 100 people, most originally from Northern Ireland, attended the event. Discussions revealed support among the audience for bold steps to reform the education system which would benefit Northern Ireland’s economy and promote social cohesion. (more…)

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19 Feb

Integrated Education Fund Call for New Trustees

The Integrated Education Fund (IEF) is an independent charitable trust that raises funds locally, nationally and internationally. The Fund provides a financial foundation for the development and growth of integrated education and to increase opportunities for meaningful sharing in education across the community in Northern Ireland.

The Board of Trustees of the Fund is a small but experienced and dedicated team of volunteers working to make integration, not separation, the norm in Northern Ireland’s schools. We are now seeking new members with the commitment, willingness and time to participate actively in the work of the Fund.

We would particularly like to receive an expression of interest from individuals who strongly support the concept of integrated education and have experience and expertise, at a senior level, in PR, marketing or fundraising. (more…)

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16 Feb

Teacher training colleges’ budgets safe this year but Minister Stephen Farry warns of cuts

The Employment and Learning Minister, Stephen Farry MLA, says that maintaining the premia payment to teacher training colleges in Northern Ireland will inevitably impact on other areas. Last week the Executive rejected the Minister’s proposal to cut the extra funding, altogether worth £2m, awarded to Stranmillis University College and St. Mary’s University College. The funding is designed to support small and specialist institutions.

Stephen Farry stated: “Northern Ireland continues to operate a system of teacher training that is not fit for purpose. It remains financially unviable, it is not keeping pace with world-class standards, and it is not in keeping with the creation of a shared and inclusive future… the Executive has continued to divert scarce resources into propping up an unsustainable and segregated system. This decision clearly puts the interests of institutions above the needs of students and the economy.” (more…)

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13 Feb

McNulty will restore pride and passion as Newry/Armagh MP

Armagh’s All-Ireland winning full back, Justin McNulty has been selected as the SDLP candidate in May’s Westminster election.

Mr McNulty was selected at a packed convention in the Armagh City Hotel on Thursday Night.

Speaking after his selection, Mr McNulty said:  “The energy in the room tonight was electric. I’m delighted and filled with determination to justify the faith that the party has placed in me. (more…)

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13 Feb

Lack of progress on internet safety disappointing – Overend

Ulster Unionist Party Children and Young People’s spokesperson, Sandra Overend MLA, has used Safer Internet Day 2015 to renew her call for the Executive to bring forward an internet safety strategy. The Mid-Ulster MLA has spoken of her disappointment at the lack of progress in this area, given the dangers faced by children and young people online.

Mrs Overend commented: “For more than two years now, I have lobbied the Office of the First Minister and deputy First Minister to bring forward a cross-departmental strategy without delay. Indeed two years ago I led a debate and won Assembly support for a cross-party motion recognising the dangers for children associated with the internet; and calling on the First Minister and deputy First Minister to take the lead on the publication of a cross departmental internet safety strategy to help children enjoy the internet safely. Progress since then has, to say the least, been disappointing. (more…)

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13 Feb

DUP selects Bell for South Belfast

The DUP has selected Jonathan Bell to be the Party’s South Belfast candidate in the General Election.

DUP Leader Rt. Hon. Peter Robinson MLA said, “I’m delighted that Jonathan has been selected and unionists in the constituency have a strong candidate whom they can rally around. He has the experience and skill to be a first class representative for the constituency.

I would have liked a single agreed unionist candidate in South Belfast but that outcome could not be achieved. Such a situation would have moved the seat undoubtedly beyond any nationalist or republican. However with such a crowded field, Jonathan has a really unique opportunity to move this seat into the unionist column at Westminster.” (more…)

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