Carl Frampton and Baroness May Blood met pupils, parents and teachers at Central Integrated Primary School in Carrickfergus today to celebrate the school’s Transformation to integrated status.
The Transformation was approved by the then Education Minister Peter Weir in April this year, the culmination of a collaborative process driven by school staff, parents and school governors.
Almost any school in Northern Ireland can become integrated after a positive parental ballot and a successful Development Proposal. Schools are supported in their Transformation journey by the Northern Ireland Council for Integrated Education (NICIE) and the Integrated Education Fund (IEF), who also provide financial support to help schools explore the process and work with its local school community.
Carl Frampton, NICIE Patron, said:
“It’s great to come out to Carrickfergus and see another school transform to integrated status. This is a credit to all the hard work and long hours put in by parents and teachers who want a more integrated future. I’m lucky, I got my integration through boxing, a sport where people from all sides mix. We need to see more Integrated schools like this so that children from all backgrounds can meet, play and learn together every day.”
Baroness May Blood, Campaign Chair of IEF, said:
“There is a real momentum behind integrated education at the moment. Central Integrated Primary School is just one of four schools that transformed at the start of the new school year, the largest increase in integrated schools at any one time for decades. It is great to see parents, schools and local communities leading the charge and helping to bring our young people and their families together.”
Nuala Hall, Principal of Central Integrated Primary School, said:
“Today is a really special day for our school community. It is wonderful to celebrate our new integrated status with such esteemed guests as Carl Frampton and Baroness Blood, two widely recognised champions of integration in our society. A lot of hard work has gone into getting us to this point but it has been worth it. Whilst we have always been proud to be a school that welcomed children from all traditions and backgrounds, it is important that we formalise and embed an inclusive ethos in every aspect of school life.”
Roisin Marshall, CEO of NICIE, added:
“This is the start of a wonderful new chapter for the whole school community at Central IPS and a real milestone in their journey of Integration. We are so pleased that they decided to take this step, it means more parents from Catholic and Protestant traditions, as well as those from other beliefs, cultures and communities will be able to see this as a primary school option for their children.”
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