Cllr Maire Hendron said: “Given the economic cutbacks that we face I can not understand the reasoning behind the DUP proposing to set up a new commission to look at an integrated education system. I am even further perplexed at this motion when a similar body in the shape of NICIE already does excellent work at promoting integrated education.
“The Alliance Party have been leading change to deliver more integrated education but we have always stated that it should not be made compulsory. There should always be a freedom of choice.
“I have been wary of the DUP’s reasoning behind their call for an integrated school system in recent months. I do not believe they support the principles of a genuine shared future, I am concerned that they are using it as a smoke screen for another objective.
“A shared future is not about trying to force people into doing things that they do not agree with. It is about allowing people a choice about where they live, socialise or go to school.”
Note to editors
New motion proposed by Cllr Hendron
“This Council recognises the valuable work done over many years by the Northern Ireland Council for Integrated Education in promoting and developing integrated education in Northern Ireland. While believing that a system of integrated education cannot and should not be imposed upon the people, this Council nonetheless, fully supports the work of NICIE and calls upon the Assembly within the terms of already existing legislation to adequately fund and support NICIE”.