Parents at Bangor Central Nursery School have voted overwhelmingly to take the pre-school facility on the path to becoming officially integrated.
The school’s principal and board took the step of balloting parents after they found evident interest in integration among the school community. The vote (run by Electoral Reform Services between 24 May and 07 June 2019) showed 97% support for integration through the process known as “transformation”.
Principal Millie Williams welcomed the news on behalf of the whole school:
“The Governors and staff of Bangor Central Nursery School are delighted that so many of our parents have chosen to go on this journey towards integration. This is a great opportunity for very young children from all communities to learn together daily. The children can make friends and get to know each other no matter what their background is. This nursery school has always welcomed families from all traditions and backgrounds. We have been providing pre-school education in Bangor since 1942, and now, with overwhelming parental approval, we are on the path to become the first stand-alone integrated nursery school in Northern Ireland.”
Roisin Marshall, CEO of Northern Ireland Council for Integrated Education (NICIE), said:
“We know there is an appetite for integrated education among parents in Northern Ireland and this ballot underlines that in no uncertain terms. We look forward to supporting Bangor Central Nursery as the school community explores the process of transformation and works together to further develop and strengthen its welcoming and inclusive ethos. Parents want children of all traditions, beliefs and backgrounds brought together at school from the earliest stages and NICIE will work hard to help embed that at Bangor Central Nursery.”
Tina Merron, CEO of the IEF, added:
“Congratulations to everyone at Bangor Central Nursery on starting the journey towards integration. Parents have been consulted and made their preference clear, echoing the findings of successive opinion polls over many years and adding to the evidence that communities are ready for an education system which is set up for children of all faiths and none to learn, play and grow together. Interest in local schools becoming officially integrated has never been higher.”
The two organisations will support Bangor Central Nursery School as it progresses towards a Development Proposal to become integrated.
Parents around NI can express their support for their own school to become officially integrated on the Integrate My School platform: www.integratemyschool.com
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