Lunn – shared education campuses proposal is totally inadequate to improve community relations

Alliance Education spokesperson Trevor Lunn MLA has said that the proposals outlined by the First and deputy First Minister for ten shared education campuses are totally inadequate to improve community relations.

Trevor Lunn MLA said: “I am extremely concerned by the lack of ambition that is coming from OFMDFM on a shared future for our education system. Ten shared education campuses is totally inadequate. I am very worried if this is the height of their aspiration for our schools.

“This target will only affect a small number of areas and a few thousand children. We need an overarching joined up regional strategy that will affect all schools and all school children.

“Where are the targets for integrated education? Where are the targets for sharing in all schools right across Northern Ireland?

“Will these ten campuses truly promote sharing and increase the level of contact between those of different backgrounds or will it be a case of two schools being located side by side but where contact is kept to a minimum.

“With the cost for Lisanelly reported to be £130million, will all ten campuses cost over£1billion? Is this what is needed for our education budget? Are we going to close schools in sustainable buildings to facilitate the opening of these shared education campuses? There is no information and no details about how these proposals are going to be implemented or where the budget is coming from. I do not think that Messrs Robinson and McGuiness know either. Does anybody even know where these campuses will be set up?

“There is also no mention of any plans to restart the Community Relations in Schools schemes whose funding was axed by Caitriona Ruane several years ago. I believe that these schemes did far more for integrating our children that this proposal for 10 shared campuses will ever do.”

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