Armstrong says more active encouragement of integrated education needed

Alliance Strangford candidate Councillor Kellie Armstrong has said integrated education needs actively encouraged, not just merely facilitated, as a week celebrating it comes to a conclusion.

Integrated Education Week 2016’s theme is ‘Integrated schools promote harmony,’ and Cllr Armstrong said more commitments need to come from the Executive in order to further promote the sector.

“As Integrated Education Week comes to an end, it is a perfect time to look at the need for more integrated education facilities across Northern Ireland. The most important factor in this is giving our children the best education possible and the development of more integrated schools would help do that.

“As a parent who didn’t have an opportunity to attend an integrated school, I have found the integrated experience for my child enlightening and inspiring. Children who experience integration at a young age have a confidence in themselves and respect for each other’s culture. It’s this refreshing and positive approach that will enable a new future for Northern Ireland.

“Many integrated schools have to turn away pupils because they are oversubscribed. In my own area, Strangford Integrated College has to refuse 80 – 100 children per year because they have not been given permission to expand to meet demand.

“I call upon the Executive to invest further in the integrated school estate to ensure the increasing number of parents and children who want to attend an integrated school are able to do so.”

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