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Walk the walk on integrated education, Peter

It was interesting, though sadly unsurprising, that no progress has been made toward integrating education since the DUP leader made a speech in favour of shared schools last year.

This lack of follow-through exposes Peter Robinson's comments as a tactical ruse, rather than a serious commitment. If the first minister were serious, his party and OFMDFM would already be working with the Department of Education and consulting across different school sectors.

In order to make a genuine push toward a 'truly integrated education system', a major consultation must take place. It should study the instances of campus and curriculum sharing already taking place in many schools.

It should look at ways of providing involvement for the Catholic clergy and representatives from other religions in the governance of state schools, so we can move towards a system genuinely representative of pupils and parents from all faiths and none.

There is so much work to do and it is deeply disappointing that Mr Robinson has not taken the initiative to get it started. The new Northern Ireland Conservative Party will have a positive and sustained commitment to get children from all faiths and none learning together, which is very much at odds with the First Minister's vague words.

ANNIKA NESTIUS-BROWN

Northern Ireland Conservatives

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