Our Vision – Integration Not Separation
We believe that educating all children together is an essential part of the reconciliation process and of building a society that celebrates respect, understanding and friendships across traditional divides.
What could a different kind of education system look like?
1. The types of schools provided by the reformed education system would reflect the demands and wishes of the local community.
2. All schools in receipt of public money would have a duty to be inclusive spaces; to be open in both school policy and practice to children, staff and governors from all the religious and cultural backgrounds that make up Northern Ireland. Schools’ progress and achievements would be monitored and inspected by the appropriate public authority.
3. Financial support, at least initially, would be provided for schools in order to assist continuous improvement and progression towards integration. The financial support would reflect the level of integration provided.
4. Fair Employment legislation would be extended to all schools to provide teachers with the same recruitment and employment protections afforded to every other employee in Northern Ireland.
5. Equality Legislation (Section 75 of the Northern Ireland Act 1998) would be extended to apply to schools to ensure equality of opportunity.
6. Teachers of all faiths and none would be trained together to best prepare them for working within an education system that is open and inclusive.
7. All schools would have a single framework of governance with the same ‘core’ for every school so that all Boards of Governors would equally reflect their wider school community. The make-up of the Boards would include flexibility to enable schools to express their particular identity and ethos.
8. An integrated model of schooling would be the presumed option for any new schools.
9. One single planning and employing authority for education would be established.
10. Publicly funded sectoral bodies would no longer be required.