Looking to the future – it’s only just begun.


Happy Christmas from all at the IEF!

 

2021 draws to an end, and we can all finally look back on a year that’s brought more than its fair share of both challenges and celebrations. First of all, we’d like to wish everyone a very happy Christmas and New Year. Your support for the Integrated movement is invaluable and appreciated more than you know!

The ongoing Covid-19 pandemic in all its permutations has proven to be the biggest challenge for educators, children and parents everywhere – we applaud each and every one of you for your hard work and resilience over the past 18 months.

That’s not to say it’s been all bad news. Four new schools joined the integrated family in 2021, with Harding Memorial, Central, Seaview Primary Schools joining Brefne Nursery in all winning approval from the Education Minister to transform to integrated status.

September also saw Lagan College mark its 40th anniversary, with schools across the country joining in to mark the birth of integration. From a single Scout hut in 1981 to the massively oversubscribed modern campus in 2021, Lagan shows us that from small acorns mighty oaks grow.

We were also thrilled to be able to hold two years’ worth of Carson Awards there, back in October!

Polls continued to show a high and sustained support for Integrated Education from the Northern Irish public, with a countrywide Attitudinal Poll showing 71% of respondents in favour of integration being the norm going forward.

The Integrated Education Bill continues its way through Stormont, with the IEF amongst the stakeholders presenting to the education committee. The long awaited Independent Review of Education in Northern Ireland is finally under way, with the panel confirmed. Our message is clear – the current system is unsustainable and root and branch reform is the only way forward. We will continue to engage at all levels to keep integration at the forefront of educational discourse.

Within the past month two further schools have also held positive parental ballots in favour of moving to integrated status, namely Straid Primary School and St Anne’s Primary School and we look forward to working with them throughout the year.

We are also eagerly awaiting approval for two more schools awaiting a Ministerial decision, Glengormley High and Bangor Central Nursery.

With your continued support and encouragement we know we can make 2022 another successful year and together we can build a better future for all our children and young people.