Anger after Robinson and McGuinness fail to say shared education is part of CSI

Alliance Education Spokesperson Trevor Lunn MLA has expressed disappointment after the First and Deputy First Ministers failed to provide assurances that the issue of shared education would be discussed in depth in the Cohesion, Sharing and Integration document. Trevor Lunn pressed Peter Robinson and Martin McGuinness on the issue in an Assembly question and their answer failed to even mention the phrase ‘shared education’

Trevor Lunn MLA said: “Peter Robinson’s recent comments on tackling segregation in education look very weak, given the fact that he and Martin McGuinness did not even mention the phrase ‘shared education’ when I sought assurance that the issue would be addressed in detail in their new community relations document.

“It would not be difficult to include a section on tackling division in our schools system in this important document. Their failure to say in their answer that they would deal with this matter in the strategy is surprising given the basic nature of the issue.

“This is a setback for the massive number of people in our society who want to see segregation ended for good. Mr Robinson’s recent bid to capture the centre ground will be in vain if he cannot deliver real vision for shared education within the CSI document.”


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Here is the question Trevor Lunn poses to the First and Deputy First Ministers:

To ask the First Minister and deputy First Minister if they can give an assurance that the draft Programme for Cohesion, Sharing and Integration will include a section on shared education.

The draft Cohesion, Sharing and Integration Programme, which includes a section on education, is continuing to be developed following the consultation process which closed on 29 October.

The consultation attracted 290 written responses and these are currently being analysed. The subsequent report will reflect the wealth of views and material gathered from 11 public meetings and 15 targeted sectoral meetings, which were held at a range of different locations throughout September and October. We have no doubt the findings of the report will include people’s views on education.

We expect to receive the draft consultation report this month, following which we will begin the process of considering how we will build on and strengthen the document in light of the outcome of the analysis of the consultation.

This is a cross departmental document, and will receive further input from departments before we bring it to the Executive again.

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