Strangford Alliance MLA Kieran McCarthy has stated that funding made available to ensure Rowallane Integrated School opens as planned in September by the Integrated Education Fund charity is great progress, and commended the people who have made it happen.
The Ards Alderman stated: “News that funding has been made available by a charity rather than by the Government is a great step forward for the parents and children seeking integrated education in the Rowallane area.
“That this school, and another integrated school in Clogher Valley, will now open on schedule is tribute to the dedication of those who have provided the support and funding to bring our children together in this way. The mood of severe disappointment from three weeks ago has been lifted.
“It is also good news for those, from the Alliance Party and others, who spent the past week lobbying on behalf of integrated education in the United States. The Americans know from their own experience the value of desegregation.
“However, this news makes the Government’s own stance even more baffling. How can they fail to find room in a budget of hundreds of millions to enable integrated schools to proceed while pledging to repair dilapidated buildings elsewhere? The Department cannot be allowed to use the hard work of a charity to make up for funding the Government itself has no excuse for failing to provide.”