Almost any school can become integrated through a process called Transformation. Transformation is the term used to describe the process of changing an existing school’s status to integrated status. It occurs as a result of a parental wish to see their child’s school become integrated.
Holywood High School transformed to become Priory Integrated College in 1997. Priory Integrated College today is a diverse and welcoming environment for pupils of all religions and none, from all cultural and social-economic backgrounds and of all abilities. The college’s religious balance compares favourably with the demographic pattern of East Belfast and North Down, with well over 30% of its pupil intake from minority communities throughout the area.
Staff and principals who have gone through the transformation process report many positive benefits such as giving pupils opportunities to broaden their perspectives and to prepare for a more culturally diverse world. Integrated education helps break down barriers and develop more positive social attitudes among young people, as well as nurture and improve community relations. It also has intellectual benefits provided by learning environments where assumptions are challenged, problems without obvious solutions are tackled and opposing viewpoints and interpretations of events are considered.
If you would like to find out more about the Transformation process or register your child’s school to become an integrated school then visit www.integratemyschool.com. If you have any further questions or would like to speak to someone about the process, then contact Jill Caskey at the IEF by phone (028 9069 4099) or by email (firstname.lastname@example.org).