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Integrated schools sector hits out at DUP's education proposals

By Rebecca Black

A DUP proposal to ditch a law that helps the integrated schools sector has been lambasted.

Party leader Peter Robinson attracted criticism from the NI Council for Integrated Education (NICIE) after he called for the removal of the Department of Education's statutory duty to encourage and facilitate the growth of integrated education.

A new DUP policy document entitled Education For All was launched on Friday.

It states that "no school sector or ethos should be afforded extra statutory protection within the law" and makes no mention of integrated education in its 13 pages.

In a letter to the Belfast Telegraph, NICIE's Noreen Campbell said the call was a "distraction". She added: "The continued focus on schooling attests to the powerful role of education and illustrates the reluctance to challenge the segregated system that exists.

"At this time of economic crisis when schools' budgets are being cut, the potential for savings through the creation of a 'network of sustainable schools' is ignored in favour of maintaining the status quo."

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