A research team from Ulster University carried out an independent Community Conversation with the purpose of gathering the views of parents, affected by over-subscription of primary school places in the South Belfast area.
The Community Conversation report shows that there is additional capacity needed in the Integrated and Maintained sectors if parental preference is to be supported.
Although the focus of the Community Conversation was primary school provision, parents expressed concerns about post-primary school places, in particular the lack of places at Lagan College. As part of a more joined-up approach to education in the area, the researchers strongly recommended a review of options to expand post-primary school provision in South Belfast.
The Community Conversation was commissioned by the Integrated Education Fund and undertaken by researchers from the UNESCO Centre, Ulster University during Autumn 2018. The aim of the research is to support planning authorities in developing a sound understanding of the views of local communities. The report will be given to the Department of Education, the Education Authority and Council for Catholic Maintained Schools to help inform area planning in South Belfast.
Tina Merron, Chief Executive of the IEF said “The Community Conversation in South Belfast has given an important opportunity for parents, principals, Governors/Trustees and other community stakeholders to voice their views about sustainable education provision in the south Belfast area.
Our belief in the Community Conversation methodology transcends a wish to see a specific outcome. All stakeholders have a duty to respect the views of local communities and, indeed, it is a core principle of this approach that the process belongs to the participants and not to any organisation or educational body.”
The report is now available for download here.
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