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66% of people in Northern Ireland agree that Integrated Education should be the norm

LucidTalk has revealed the results of their Northern Ireland-wide attitudinal poll on education.  Two thirds of respondents agreed that Integrated Education should be the main model for our education system in Northern Ireland.

May 16, 2023

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Polling was carried out by Belfast based independent polling and market research company LucidTalk, on behalf of the Integrated Education Fund (IEF).  Over 2,500 full responses were collated, and the poll was balanced by gender, age-group, area of residence, and community background, to ensure it was demographically representative of Northern Ireland today.

One key finding of the poll was that two thirds of the people in Northern Ireland agreed that Integrated schools- which intentionally educate together children every day in the same classrooms, inclusive of different religions, gender, and race- should be the main model for our education system. Furthermore, 65% of those polled went so far to say that they would support their school transforming to Integrated status.

Those polled included 53% who have children being educated in pre-school, primary and post-primary schools, plus an additional 35% who have children aged over 19 years old.  That figure of 88% represents the age groups who schooling most impacts, or has recently impacted, at this current time.

The poll result indicates a clear majority of people in Northern Ireland, from different cultural traditions and backgrounds, support Integrated Education as the future of the education system.

The results reflect the changing face of society in Northern Ireland today.  73% of those who agreed that Integrated Education should be the norm are aged between 18- 34 years old, showing the younger generation are overwhelmingly supportive of Integrated Education.  This would indicate a need for more Integrated Education provision as the demand for an Integrated Education looks set to increase rapidly in the coming years.

Peter Osborne, Chair of Integrated Education Fund (IEF), commented on the poll results:

“The timing of this Northern Ireland wide attitudinal poll is particularly apt as we reflect on the 25th anniversary of the Belfast/ Good Friday Agreement which pledged to facilitate and encourage Integrated Education.  Over the past 25 years we have seen interest, support and parental demand for Integrated Education continue to increase.  The poll results highlight the support for Integrated Education from the people of Northern Ireland.  Despite this support, many areas in Northern Ireland remain with limited or no Integrated options available to parents.  The IEF and its supporters will continue to support all efforts to increase Integrated Education provision in response to the growing demand.’

Summary report available online here.