A new guide from the Department of Education in NI – entitled “Integration Works” – sets out the process of becoming an officially integrated school.
Jason Milligan, the Principal of Killyleagh Integrated Primary School which recently took on integrated status in September 2016, joined Derek Baker, Permanent Secretary at the Department of Education along with representatives of the Integrated Education Fund to announce the help available for schools exploring the move.
Schools told that “Integration Works” as DE issues new guide.
Schools considering becoming integrated can get new help and insight into the process thanks to a new Department of Education official guide.
Principal of Killyleagh Integrated Primary School, Jason Milligan, joined Derek Baker, who is Permanent Secretary at the DE, and representatives of the Integrated Education Fund and the NI Council for Integrated Education, at Hazelwood Integrated College to announce the help available for schools exploring the move.
The Department’s new booklet, Integration Works, will be distributed to school principals and governors throughout Northern Ireland. Any school in Northern Ireland, except Special Schools or hospital schools, can apply to go through the process termed “transformation” to develop integrated status.
Introducing the new guide, Derek Baker said: “Integrated education brings together pupils, staff and governors from Protestant, Catholic and other cultural traditions within a single school community.
“As children and young people prepare to live and work in a global, multicultural and pluralistic society, the benefits o
f educating them together are becoming increasingly recognised. As we aim to become a shared society that respects diversity, integrated education has much to offer the school system and society as a whole.
“The Department of Education aims to encourage and support an increasing network of sustainable integrated schools providing high quality education.
“Therefore, the Department has developed this guidance to provide advice and help to school communities considering the option of transformation to integrated status.”
Killyleagh Primary School, in County Down, became officially integrated in September 2016. Commenting on the transformation process for his school, Principal Jason Milligan said: “It has been well worth it. We have seen the school flourish in the year since transformation and the latest step was opening our new 26-place nursery, so that children can experience integrated education from an early age.”
The Integration Works document is designed to inform school communities about integrated education, to help them decide whether transformation is right for their school.
Supporting the publication of the Department’s new guidance, the Integrated Education Fund has a grant programme available for schools wishing to explore the possibility of transformation. Help and advice are offered throughout the process by the DE, the IEF, NICIE and the Education Authority.
There are currently 65 integrated schools in Northern Ireland and 25 of those have been through the transformation process to become integrated.