Chronological History

1974 : “All Children Together” group is formed to promote the idea of schools that would be shared by the whole community and be ´integrated´.

1978 : Dunleath Act is passed at Westminster which allows existing segregated schools to change their recruitment and ethos to become integrated. No existing schools succeed in taking advantage of the Act.

Lagan College original building1981 : Opening of the first planned integrated school, Lagan College. Formed by a group of Protestant and Catholic parents with 28 pupils in a scout hall on the outskirts of Belfast.

1985-89 : Ten schools open supported by parental fundraising, trusts and foundations.

1987 : Northern Ireland Council for Integrated Education (NICIE) is established as a co-ordinating body for the ten new schools.

1989 : Education Reform Act gives the Department of Education in Northern Ireland (DE) statutory responsibility to encourage and facilitate integrated education.

1991 : NICIE is core funded by DE as a co-ordinating body for integrated education, to assist the development of planned integrated education. NICIE gives advice and guidance to all integrated schools and parents groups.

1991 : Brownlow College becomes the first school to choose to change its status and management type and become integrated through a process officially called ‘transformation’

1992 : Integrated Education Fund is set up as an independent body to be a financial foundation for the furtherance of integrated education.

Here is a chance in these Video Case Studies to hear from some Principals who have been through the Transformation process2000 : Millennium Primary School in Carryduff becomes the 45th integrated school to open in Northern Ireland. In total, 14,000 children are attending integrated schools, representing 4% of all school places in Northern Ireland.

Sept 2000 : Over 1,000 children are turned away from integrated schools due to lack of places.

Nov 2000 : Integrated Education Campaign is launched to increase places from 4% to 10% by 2008 funded by a major gift fundraising campaign to raise £10 million.

Dec 2000 : Department of Education reduces the viability criteria for newly opened integrated primary schools from 25 to 15 pupils enrolled in year one in cities and from 25 to 12 in rural areas.

Oct 2001 : Department of Education reduces the viability criteria for newly opened integrated second level schools from 80 to 50.

For both primary and second level schools, religious balance is required – in the first year 10% of enrolments must be from the minority religion, working toward an overall balance in the school of 30% from the minority.

In addition new schools must have secured a suitable site.

Sept 2002 : In total there are 15,695 pupils in integrated schools at all levels ie nursery, primary and second level.

Maine Integrated Primary SchoolSept 2003 : Three new integrated primary schools open – Round Tower (formerly Spring Farm) in Antrim and Glengormley (both transforming to integrated status), and Maine in Randalstown. This brings the total number of integrated schools at primary and second level to 50.

2004 : The largest increase in integrated schools in a single year takes place as five new schools open and two more transform to integrated status.

2005 : Groarty Primary School in Derry transforms to integrated status

2006 : Integrated Education Movement celebrates its 25th anniversary as two more schools transform – Crumlin High School and Ballycastle Primary School.

2009 : IEF launches ‘Towards Tomorrow Together’ – a new 5 year development plan aiming to raise £20 million for integrated and shared education.

2014 : A High Court judge rules that the Department of Education needs to be “alive” to its statutory duty to encourage and facilitate the development of integrated education” at a strategic level. Justice Treacy also clarifies that the term ‘ integrated education’ cannot apply to an informally mixed school but only to formally constituted integrated schools.

 2015 :  Mallusk Primary School, dating back to 1936, becomes an integrated primary school. The same year, Clintyclay Primary School in County Tyrone is the first Catholic Maintained school to submit a development proposal to become integrated. The Minister for Education rules against the proposal and instead accepts a CCMS proposal to close the school.

loughries integrated primary school2016 : Two more schools become integrated:, Killyleagh Primary and Loughries Primary, both in Co Down. In total there are 22,000 pupils in integrated schools at all levels from nursery, to post-16 courses.  There are 45 integrated primary schools (20 of which are transformed schools), many with pre-school provision attached, and 20 second level schools (5 of which are transformed schools).

2020 :Between February 2019 and February 2020, 8 schools across Northern Ireland held ballots among their parents – and the result was positive in all cases. These schools are now taking their first steps towards becoming integrated as a result of parents saying that they would like this to happen.