Lyttle says shared education proposals fall short of the fundamental institutional change needed to end division

Alliance East Belfast MLA Chris Lyttle has said the shared education proposals outlined by the Education Minister falls short of the fundamental institutional change needed to end division. His comments were made following a statement in the Assembly from the Education Minister on the report of the Ministerial Advisory Group on Advancing Shared Education.

Chris Lyttle MLA said: “I welcome the comments by the Education Minister in which he stated that we do not want an education system that is blighted by separation.

“However a report commissioned in 2012 by OFMDFM to help produce good relations policy, said that fundamental institutional change is needed to address the deep divisions in our community. I believe that the Education Minister’s proposals fall far short of achieving that fundamental change.

“This report also highlighted the importance of the expansion of the integrated education sector and collaborative working between schools, however, at a recent OFMDFM Committee meeting, it was revealed that work is yet to begin to identify the ten shared education campuses which were outlined in the First and deputy First Minister’s shared future strategy ‘Together: Building a United Community’.

“Alliance supports shared education initiatives, as anything that increases contact between children from different backgrounds should be welcomed, and I would like to pay tribute to the good work of the Shared Education Ministerial Advisory Group. However, shared education should not be used as an alternative to integrated education. We should not be looking at it in terms of shared versus integrated education. We should be delivering the serious change needed to advance both.”


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