Alliance Integrated Education spokesperson Kellie Armstrong MLA has called for clarification on what is being done to address the shortfall in school places available to families who wish their children to have an integrated education.
She was speaking after a survey commissioned by the Integrated Education Fund showed over 67 per cent of parents would support their child’s school becoming officially integrated, while 78 per cent said the merging of schools along cross-community lines was a good way to save money and rationalise the education system.
Ms Armstrong said: “Upwards of 2,000 pupils have been refused places at integrated post-primary schools in recent times. Integrated schools are bursting, with many having to ask for temporary variations annually to deal with a tiny part of their oversubscription. The time has come for an overhaul of the system to ensure parental choice for integration is being met.
“The Department of Education and the Education Authority both need to clarify what they are doing to address this urgent need. Families wish their children to have an integrated education and we must provide for that demand.
“We need to stop disappointing children, who are often unable to secure a place at an integrated school. It is the 21st Century – we should be investing in our children’s education rather than wasting money propping up a segregated system.”