Ford accuses Department of ‘sectarian thinking’

Alliance Leader David Ford MLA has accused the Department of Education of ‘sectarian thinking’ in the way it allocated special funding to schools in North Belfast in December.

Mr Ford said: “I was informed last week that Hazelwood College and Hazelwood Integrated Primary had not received any of the funding from the Executive’s special package.”

“I immediately tabled a question to the Minister of Education calling for integrated schools to be treated fairly, on the same basis as controlled and maintained schools.”

“His reply makes it clear that the Department consulted the Belfast Education and Library Board and CCMS, but did not hold discussions with the NI Council for Integrated Education. All available funds have now been allocated.”

“It is disgraceful that the Department could ignore integrated schools. This smacks of sectarian thinking – that only Protestant and Catholic schools were considered.”

“The Department has a commitment to equality and inclusivity. I welcome the Minister’s belated commitment to consider other requests for funding, but his failure to consult NICIE must be redressed immediately.”


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