Parents at Culmore Primary School have voted by 90% in favour of the school transforming to Integrated status, joining the network of Integrated schools in Derry/ Londonderry.
Culmore Primary School is a historic school established over 150 years ago. Located on the outskirts of the Derry/ Londonderry, the school maintains the attentive approach of a small rural school whilst offering a modern educational experience in a progressive setting. The school has always endeavoured to have an inclusive ethos and the progression to become an Integrated school was the natural next step to enable the school to continue to give the pupils an excellent progressive education.
Clare McMenamin, Principal of Culmore Primary School, commented:
““The staff and Board of Governors of Culmore Primary School are absolutely thrilled that our parents have decided to vote ‘YES’ for this move towards Integrated status. The successful outcome of this ballot just epitomises the progressive vision shared by all at our school. We have always been immensely proud of our inclusive, nurturing ethos here.
We are excited to be able to progress with our Transformation Action Plan now, before finally submitting our Development Proposal to the Department of Education”.
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. 90% of voting parents supported the school’s move to Integrated status.
Tina Merron, Chief Executive of the Integrated Education Fund (IEF), said:
“We applaud the result of this parental ballot at Culmore Primary School and welcome the school to the growing network of Integrated schools offering Integrated Education in the Derry/Londonderry 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:
“NICIE is pleased to see parents voting yes for Integrated status at Culmore 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.