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Parents Vote Yes for Integration at Ballyhenry Primary School!

Today marks a significant day for the school community of Ballyhenry Primary School in Glengormley, as parents have voted in favour of the school transforming to Integrated status.

November 30, 2023

School News

Ballyhenry Primary School is a thriving primary school in Glengormley.  The school motto is ‘Achieving success in a caring environment.’  This pastoral approach to education is what encouraged the school community to look at the process of Transformation to become an Integrated school.

Mrs Knocker, Principal of Ballyhenry Primary School, commented:

“We are thrilled to announce that our school is embarking on an exciting journey towards becoming an Integrated school.  We are truly delighted to serve a diverse community where integration is fundamental to our school culture.  Our aim is to create an inclusive environment where everyone feels welcome and valued.  This exciting development allows us to build on our existing inclusive practices, nurturing a sense of belonging for all. Together, we look forward to embracing the opportunities that lie ahead and continuing to provide a high-quality education to all our students.”

No school can become Integrated without the consent of a majority of parents.  Therefore, in order to begin the process to become an Integrated school, a democratic ballot must be held and the majority of parents must vote in favour of the change in status.

The ballot was carried out by Civica Election Services, and every adult registered as a parent or guardian was eligible to vote.  85.5% of voting parents supported the move to Integrated status.

Tina Merron, Chief Executive of the Integrated Education Fund (IEF), said:

We applaud the result of this parental ballot at Ballyhenry Primary School.  Ballyhenry Primary will join the thriving network of Integrated schools serving the Glengormley area. 

We commend the Board of Governors for giving their parents this opportunity.  The results from other parental ballots held in recent years suggest that when parents are informed and engaged on the issue of Integrated status for their child’s school, then an overwhelming majority tend to vote in favour.  This is most encouraging and reflects the results of many public attitude surveys held on this important issue.”

Roisin Marshall, Chief Executive Officer of the Council for Integrated Education (NICIE), said:

“It is great to see an increase in demand for Integrated Education in the Glengormley area. NICIE is pleased to see parents voting yes for Integrated status at Ballyhenry Primary and we look forward to working with the school on their Transformation journey.”

The next step for the school will be compiling a Development Proposal, which will be submitted to the Department of Education including a Transformation Action Plan.  A Minister for Education, or in their absence the Permanent Secretary, 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 Council for Integrated Education provide support and advice for parents, staff and Governors considering taking the first steps to Integrated Education.

If you would like further information on Integrated Education and the process of Transformation, please see integratemyschool.com