Stormont bill does not put integrated education above any other sectors

A letter from Councillor Stephen Donnelly:

By Letters
Tuesday, 22nd February 2022, 1:44 am
Updated Tuesday, 22nd February 2022, 1:46 am
Letter to the editor
Letter to the editor

There are a number of factual inaccuracies in the article (‘DUP still seeking backing of other MLAs in attempt to veto Integrated Education Bill,’ February 17, see link below).

The bill itself was amended at its consideration stage and does not include any reference to promotion of integrated education.

Likewise, the article states the bill requires education bodies to apply a presumption any new school would be an integrated one. That is not true.

Instead, this bill – which does not remove funding from other schools or children anywhere – does not put integrated education above any other sectors. Rather, it is about making provision for its support, ensuring parents who want to send their children to integrated schools are given the opportunity and listening to young people, who repeatedly state they want to experience the unique experience integrated education brings, an experience I received as an integrated pupil.

I urge anyone who wants to see integrated education supported to contact their MLAs and seek their support for this bill. Instead of just talking about the shared future we want for young people, let’s deliver it.

Stephen Donnelly, Alliance councillor, West Tyrone

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