Glengormley High School becomes first Northern Ireland post-primary school to achieve integrated status since 2009

Education Minister Michelle McIlveen has approved a development proposal that will enable Glengormley High School to transform to integrated status, effective from the start of the next school year.
Pupils at 
Glengormley High School. Photography by Declan RoughanPupils at 
Glengormley High School. Photography by Declan Roughan
Pupils at Glengormley High School. Photography by Declan Roughan

It is the first school to be approved for transformation this year, and holds the distinction of being the first post-primary school to succeed in the process since Parkhall Integrated College in 2009.

Principal Ricky Massey said: “The Glengormley High School Governors and staff are absolutely delighted with the Minister’s decision today. We have been on this journey since early 2019 – engaging with pupils, parents, staff and the wider community.

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“The consultation evidenced a high demand for Integrated Education within our community and thankfully this will now been offered. Becoming integrated is not about taking anything away from our community, but adding something amazing to it.

“I am indebted to the invaluable help of the Northern Ireland Council for Integrated Education (NICIE), the Integrated Education Fund (IEF) and the Education Authority (EA) working in conjunction with my staff to get us to this point.

“We are so excited about this new chapter in our history which will ensure that our school is intentionally invitational to the whole of our diverse local community.”

There are approximately 25,000 children in 68 integrated schools, 20 of which are colleges (age 11-18) and 48 of which are primary schools (age 4-11).

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According to Northern Ireland Council for Integrated Education (NICIE) only 7.5% of children in Northern Ireland attend an integrated school while over 70% of parents express a preference for Integrated Education.

Roisin Marshall, CEO of NICIE said: “Today is an exciting day for Integrated Education and for families and young people in the greater Glengormley area. This is the first post-Primary school that has Transformed to Integrated status in over 10 years and Glengormley High School is a very welcome addition to the existing 20 Integrated colleges.

“We look forward to working with Glengormley High School, the IEF and the Education Authority to support them to build their Integrated ethos in a school where children and adults can learn together for a shared society.”

Tina Merron, Chief Executive of the Integrated Education Fund welcomed the move: “This is a great day for the parents, pupils and the wider school community who have campaigned for a number of years to bring Integrated Education at post-primary level to Glengormley.

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“No school can begin the process of Transformation without a parental ballot in favour of becoming integrated, so what we have here is an example of parent power at its finest. The Minister’s decision to approve this development proposal has only added to the momentum behind the Integrated Movement which has had a very strong year, despite the pressures of the pandemic.”

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