Ford and Lawther back integrated option

Antrim Alliance Councillors David Ford and Alan Lawther have criticised the decision by the Education Minister to refuse funding for the proposed Antrim integrated college.

They said: “It is outrageous for the Minister to turn down the proposed new integrated college on the basis that Parkhall College may transform to integrated status, when there is no clear sign that this is likely to happen in the near future.

“All the evidence shows that there is significant parental demand for integrated education, but this is not an option for post-primary students in Antrim.

“For several years we have been trying to persuade the last three Education Ministers to carry out a strategic review of post-primary education in Antrim, covering all three sectors – controlled, maintained and integrated. Each of the Ministers has failed to do.

“The Bain Report makes it clear that such reviews are the way ahead. This is much the best way of saving the money wasted on segregation and of building a shared future. Yet Ms Eagle has still not announced such a review.

“It would be disappointing for the parents’ campaign group if the Minister had announced a year’s delay for a full review, but it would have been logical from the Department’s point of view. What is unacceptable is that the Minister has simply issued a refusal and is not taking any action herself to face up to the needs of all the children of Antrim.”


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