Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 18 September 2014

DebateNI home of Northern Ireland politics

The Young: Class divisions - young ready to break down the religious barriers

An overwhelming majority of our young people have said non-segregated education is important for the future of Northern Ireland.

A total of 550 young people between the ages of 16-24 were asked to prioritise the importance of non-segregated education for the future of Northern Ireland.

They were given response options on a scale of 1-5, going from vital/very important to totally unimportant.

In total 82.9% of respondents said they felt non-segregated education is important for the future of Northern Ireland.

This breaks down into 55.8% categorising it as vital/very important and 27.1% saying it is important.

Some 9.8% were ambivalent and just 3.8% felt it was not important while 3.5% said it was totally unimportant.

Protestants were marginally less supportive of an end to segregated education than Catholic young people were.

Almost 44% of Protestant young people felt non-segregated education was important for the future of Northern Ireland while the equivalent percentage for Catholics was 56.2%.

On the flip side, around two thirds of young Protestants thought non-segregated education is not important to the future of Northern Ireland, while just 36% of Catholics felt the same way.

Pollsters LucidTalk described the outcome as a "massively positive result for the supporters of non-segregated education in Northern Ireland", pointing at the overall figure of 82%. They went on to note that while more Catholics support non-segregated education, the difference with Protestant opinion is "not large".

There are currently 21,500 children attending integrated schools in Northern Ireland.

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