Lunn: We need integrated and shared education

Alliance Education spokesperson, Trevor Lunn MLA, has said that there is a need for shared and integrated education in Northern Ireland. His comments were made ahead of an Assembly debate on Monday which only mentions the promotion of shared education.

Motion: Shared Education

‘That this Assembly notes with approval the concept of shared education; believes sharing between all types of school could lead to better educational and community relation outcomes; further notes with disappointment the failure of the current Minister of Education to effectively facilitate sharing across the sectors; believes the current Area Planning process has not been conducive to sharing between schools and that the Ministerial Advisory Group report on advancing shared education was a missed opportunity; expresses disappointment at the continuing failure to introduce a shared education premium; and calls on the Minister of Education to take practical steps to promote and facilitate sharing, so that a single education system can become a realistic policy goal.’

Trevor Lunn MLA said: “I support shared education initiatives, however there is a need for integrated education to be promoted at the same time.

“While shared education has a place in our education system, it should not be seen as an alternative to the integrated model which the department has a legal obligation to encourage and facilitate, a duty which it has so far failed to fulfil.

“We should not allow the DUP and Sinn Fein to use their proposal for 10 shared education campuses as an excuse for not doing anything on integrated education. I also want to see every child have the opportunity to take part in a shared education programme rather than just the pupils at these campuses.

“Shared education must mean real sharing such as pupils sharing classrooms and teachers as opposed to two schools being located in the same grounds. Sharing the same school gate, but being taught in different buildings will not do much to promote community relations – that is not real sharing.

“Children from all communities must be given the option of being educated together whether through integrated or genuine shared education initiatives.”


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