Minister rapped over integrated school snub

Following Education Minister Barry Gardiner’s announcement that the proposed integrated primary school in Ballycastle will not receive Government funding, North Antrim Alliance representative Jayne Dunlop has expressed her disappointment.

Ms Dunlop said: “I am surprised that the Government has not supported this new primary school, as it has substantial support from parents who want to see their children raised in an mixed environment.

“Alliance believes that children should be given the opportunity to mix with those from different sections of the community, rather than being forced to attend single community schools.

“The reason given by the Minister for not supporting Lir primary school is that other schools would become less viable. However the Department of Education had no difficulty in recently funding a new Irish medium school.

“The Government says it supports a shared future in Northern Ireland. But by funding an Irish Medium School, with limited cross community appeal, at the expense of an integrated one, it isn’t promoting shared education in Ballycastle or giving children the chance to form friendships with children from other backgrounds.”

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