As politicians, pundits and the public gear up for another set of elections in Northern Ireland – this time for the Assembly, electoral reform and local Councils in May – the Integrated Education Fund has attended the annual conferences of three of the main parties represented, to let candidates know that we and thousands of parents are serious about wanting a change in our education system.
We were armed with questionnaires to assess delegates’ opinions and awareness of integrated and shared education. This also let us open up a conversation around the economic and social benefits of making schools welcoming and accessible to all young people. We were delighted that in most cases political activists were open to discussing the idea of integration, even if the subject didn’t figure large in many of the formal presentations and speeches. We are now waiting to see how the issue is dealt with in the election manifestos.
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