Nursery set to switch to integrated status

A nursery in County Down is set to become the latest school in Northern Ireland to transform to integrated status.

By The Newsroom
Tuesday, 4th January 2022, 2:17 pm
Pupils at Bangor Central Nursery School in Co Down which is the latest to transform to integrated status.
Pupils at Bangor Central Nursery School in Co Down which is the latest to transform to integrated status.

Education Minister Michelle McIlveen has approved the move for Bangor Central Nursery School which will be effective from September.

It brings the total number of schools with official integrated status in Northern Ireland to 69.

The Integrated Education Fund (IEF) said 97% of parents of children at Bangor Central had voted in favour of the move.

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Ministerial approval for the change comes just ahead of the deadline to apply for nursery places which falls on January 28.

Principal Pamela Algie described the move as “formalising” the existing ethos.

“Bangor Central Nursery School has always been an inclusive school where all communities, cultures and backgrounds are welcomed and celebrated,” she commented.

“The natural next step for the school was to seek to formally integrate through the transformation process.

“In everything we do as a school, we put the children and families first.

“As an Integrated Nursery School we are formalising our ethos that everyone in the community is valued in our school and that learning together in an inclusive environment, even from this young age, is what is best for the children in our care.”

IEF Chief Executive Tina Merron said it was “fantastic news for the parents, teachers and governors who have worked so hard to get this process across the finishing line”.

“Demand for places in integrated schools is higher than ever and it’s important to be able to give this choice to parents at all levels.

“It’s been a great year for transformations and we look forward to working with more schools and parents to enable an integrated place for any child that wants one,” she commented.

Roisin Marshall, chief executive of the Northern Ireland Council for Integrated Education, said: “Alongside Bangor Central Integrated Primary School, there is now more choice for parents in the Bangor area who want their children to have an integrated education across nursery and primary school.”