Parents vote overwhelmingly for integration status
Parents at 4 more schools across Northern Ireland have voted overwhelmingly in favour of beginning the process of Transformation to Integrated status.
No school can become Integrated without the consent of a majority of parents by secret ballot. St. Eugene’s Primary School in Strabane had a 73% turnout with 87% voting yes; Magherafelt Nursery School had a 61% turnout with 84% voting yes; St. Eugene’s Primary School in Tircur near Omagh had 71% turnout and 87% yes; and Lurgan Model Primary School had a 55% turnout with 99% in favour.
Lesley Whiteside, Principal of Magherafelt Nursery School, said:
“And it’s a ‘Yes’ to Transformation…We want to thank our parents for prioritising the Transformation Ballot and for supporting Magherafelt Nursery School in the move towards Integrated status. As we ‘Explore, Learn and Grow’ together, we look forward to the next steps of our journey towards Integration.
Learning together and understanding each other is central to the inclusive and cross-community learning environment which has been the fabric and culture of our school ethos since opening in 1975.”
Tina Merron, Chief Executive of the Integrated Education Fund said:
“We applaud the results from these parental ballots which only goes to underline just how much parents want Integrated Education. There have now been 17 such ballots held since the launch of our ‘Integrate My School’ campaign just a few years ago. Recent figures have confirmed that many Integrated schools are consistently oversubscribed, and we need to work together to deliver an Integrated place for every child that wants one.”
Roisin Marshall, Chief Executive Officer of the Council for Integrated Education, said:
“This result is a validation of all the insight and hard work of parents, teachers and Governors. With such resounding results we are looking forward to supporting all these schools in developing their Development Proposal and Transformation Action Plan, both of which will outline how they intend to create a high-quality Integrated experience.
The ballots were carried out by Civica Election Services, and every adult registered as a parent or guardian was eligible to vote in confidence on the school’s future.
The next step will be compiling a Development Proposal, which will be submitted to the Department of Education including a Transformation Action Plan. The Minister for Education will then make the final decision.
Almost every school in the country, apart from hospital and special schools can apply to Transform to Integrated Status and the parental ballot is a major step in this journey. The IEF and NICIE provide support and advice for parents, staff and Governors considering taking the first steps to Integrated education.