26 Sep

NI Schools face urgent viability audit

The Education Minister, John O’Dowd made an announcement to the Assembly on Monday afternoon (26th September 2011) stating his determination to improve the quality of education even if it means having to close a number of schools.

An immediate audit is to be carried out to identify which Northern Ireland schools are no longer viable and need to be closed starting with post primary schools and looking specifically at pupil numbers, finances and educational quality. (more…)

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12 Sep

Backing A Winner – Down Royal Raceday 2011

Supporters Gather At The Racetrack To Celebrate Integration

Around a hundred guests enjoyed a Day at the Races in early September, with a delicious lunch, entertainment and good company.  Leo Callow did the honours as MC and Tim McGarry delivered a hilarious short monologue about his experience at school – and, on briefly serious note, his support for the One School of Thought campaign.

There was an exhibition of art by Christine Trueman (who is also chair of the governors at Millennium Integrated Primary School) and Dr David Sweet (who is also a consultant paediatrician at the Royal Maternity Hospital).  Their work was for sale, with a share of the takings going to the IEF and a private commission was auctioned in aid of the Fund’s work. (more…)

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12 Sep

A Million Pounds For Schools Who Want To Share!

Children from Pond Park Nursery School and St Aloysius Nursery Unit in Lisburn joined Sara  Shields, Grants  Officer  of the Integrated Education Fund,  to celebrate the pledge of a million pounds to promote and support sharing between and within schools.  The nurseries are working together  in an IEF PACT (Promoting A Culture of Trust) scheme which brings children of different cultural backgrounds together to explore diversity. (more…)

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6 Sep

One School Of Thought – Children Should Learn Together

An open letter published today in Northern Ireland calls on the new Executive, Education Minister and MLAs to encourage our politicians to make educational reform a key priority over the next four years, for the sake of all our futures. At the same time, a new campaign is launched in which the wider public can become involved: One School of Thought.

It’s a campaign fully supported by the Integrated Education Fund.

(more…)

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1 Sep

30 Years Of Integrated Schools In Northern Ireland!

Many Happy Returns to Lagan College in South Belfast which celebrates a significant birthday this year. The College was founded in 1981 as a response to the challenges of community conflict and a divided school system in Northern Ireland.

All Children Together – founded by parents – argued that one of the most powerful ways Christians could respond to the charge that the fighting was about religion would be for Protestants and Catholics to educate their children together in the same schools. A letter from Mrs Cecil Lenihan to the Belfast Telegraph led to public meetings which in turn and in time led to the foundation of Lagan College. (more…)

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