Farry says transfer debate needs to involve integrated education

North Down Alliance MLA Stephen Farry has said that the expansion and role of integrated education should be a key component of the debate on the scrapping of the 11-plus. His comments come as the Integrated Education Fund launched a campaign to raise £20 million and on the same day that the Assembly debated post-primary transfer.

Dr Stephen Farry MLA said: “There is a real need, during discussion of the whole transfer procedure, to bring integrated education into consideration.

“Declining school numbers combined with falling budgets means that rationalization of the school estate is needed. Basically, public money should be spent on pupils and teachers, not school buildings. This means we need to share facilities and amalgamate services, delivering more integrated schools. The current transfer debate presents the chance to consider how existing school buildings could be used in a system which relies primarily on choices being made at 14 rather than 11.

“The launch of the IEF’s campaign re-emphasizes the nonsense that integrated education, the choice of so many parents, is left without funding to the extent that it needs external money. Sustainable schools policy cannot just leave integrated education on the periphery. This sector is central to improving community relations and making the education system more efficient and effective.”


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