Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 24 July 2014

Focus on shared education could produce lasting legacy

Peter Robinson has been taking a stance on issues beyond flags and emblems.

The First Minister strongly underlined his commitment to shared education when he addressed an event hosted by the Sharing Languages, Sharing Cultures organisation, which brings schools of different traditions together. After referring to the Programme of Government (PfG) he said: "While I can't say too much about it tonight, I hope that when it is published you will see the inspiration that projects like this one have provided. I hope the legacy of your work will be felt far and wide beyond South Down."

Shared education is a popular cause, and one on which he may be able to achieve political consensus.

Surveys the Belfast Telegraph carried out at the Sinn Fein, UUP and SDLP conferences showed enormous support among party members for more sharing of teachers and resources between state and Catholic schools.

We regret that the DUP have been the only party to refuse permission for such a survey at their conference, but we will let that pass.

Barring last minute hitches the PfG will be published this morning at an Assembly meeting. Reaching agreement on concrete measures to promote a shared education system would allow Mr Robinson, and the other leaders, to make an impact which would be felt for generations to come.

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