Lunn: Drumragh Integrated College ruling will be a game changer for integrated education

Alliance Education spokesperson, Trevor Lunn MLA, has called on the Education Minister to place the duty to facilitate and encourage the growth of integrated education at the heart of educational planning. His comments were made ahead of a motion that he will propose in the Assembly on Tuesday and follows the judicial review taken by Drumragh Integrated College after the Education Minister turned down their request for expansion.

Trevor Lunn MLA said: “Mr Justice Treacy’s judgement and comments have the potential to be a game changer for the integrated schools movement. He has reinforced the obligation that the Department has in the 1989 Education Reform Order to facilitate and encourage the growth of integrated schools. The consequences for area planning are also far reaching.

“The demand for integrated education, which is evidenced by every assessment of public opinion, will now have to be taken into account. Forward planning will no longer be an assessment of the maintained and controlled sectors alone.

“I was disappointed that the Executive’s ‘Together: Building a United Community’ strategy did not mention integrated education. This ruling underlines why this was a mistake and I hope that in future shared future policies, the Executive will include specific targets on integrated education.”


Motion Integrated Education

‘That this Assembly notes the High Court ruling on the judicial review taken by Drumragh Integrated College; welcomes the reaffirmation of the statutory duty under Article 64 of the Education Reform (NI) Order 1989 “to encourage and facilitate integrated education”;further welcomes the Court’s confirmation that integrated education, as referred to in Article 64, means a standalone concept envisaging the education of children together at the same school rather than in a school which has a predominately Catholic or Protestant ethos; and calls on the Minister of Education to place Article 64 at the heart of educational planning and to publish guidelines within his own Department and beyond to ensure that this is the case in departmental decisions when planning for education.’

[Mr Lunn, Mr Lyttle, Mr Dickson, Ms Lo]

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