Schools considering becoming integrated can get new help and insight into the process thanks to a new Department of Education official guide.
The Department’s new booklet, Integration Works, will be distributed to school principals and governors throughout Northern Ireland. Any school in Northern Ireland, except Special Schools or hospital schools, can apply to go through the process, termed “transformation”, to develop integrated status.
Principal of Killyleagh Integrated Primary School, Jason Milligan, joined Derek Baker, Permanent Secretary at the DE, to launch the document which outlines the help and guidance available.
Killyleagh PS, in County Down, became officially integrated in September 2016. Describing the school’s experience of the process, Jason Milligan said
“It’s been well worth it. We have seen the school flourish in the year since transformation and the latest step was opening our new 26-place nursery, so that children can experience integrated education from an early age.”
The Integration Works document is designed to inform school communities about integrated education and to help them decide whether transformation is right for their school. To Download Integration Works from the Department of Education website please click here.
Introducing the new guide, Derek Baker said
“Integrated education brings together pupils, staff and governors from Protestant, Catholic and other cultural traditions within a single school community. As we aim to become a shared society that respects diversity, integrated education has much to offer the school system and society as a whole.
“The Department of Education aims to encourage and support an increasing network of sustainable integrated schools providing high quality education. Therefore, the Department has developed this guidance to provide advice and help to school communities considering the option of transformation to integrated status.”
Supporting the publication of the Department’s new guidance, the Integrated Education Fund has a grant programme available for schools wishing to explore the possibility of transformation. Help and advice are offered by the DE, the IEF, NICIE and the Education Authority.
NICIE and the IEF will be hosting an information event for principals, teaching staff, governors and parents who wish to find out more about the transformation process. It is at Crumlin Road Gaol on Wednesday 07 March and you can find out more details and register your interest here.
To read more about the opening of Killyleagh Integrated Nursery click here.