Trevor Lunn MLA: “The Good Friday Agreement stated that the integrated education sector would be facilitated and encouraged, yet the evidence shows that this is not being met. Parental choice is not being respected with 342 children failing to gain an integrated pre-school place.
“The Department of Education must increase the number of integrated pre-school places that are available. The fact that all new primary school builds in the controlled and maintained sector received a new nursery, yet there were none for the new builds in the integrated sector, shows why there is an oversubscription problem for integrated pre-school provision.
“With 145 four year olds being turned away from a place in an integrated primary school, this highlights the lack of places right throughout the integrated sector.
“The Executive have correctly identified the benefits of pre-school education for the education and social development of our children, yet the lack of places at nurseries with an integrated ethos is denying the rights of parents who wish their child to receive their pre-school education in a nursery with such an ethos.”