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Integrated schools defended

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The organisation set up to promote Northern Ireland’s integrated schools has spoken out to defend the religious balance in its schools.

Noreen Campbell, chief executive officer for the Northern Ireland Council for Integrated Education (NICIE), has also welcomed a call from UUP Assembly Member Sam Gardiner that there should be a 10-year review of integrated school status.

Mr Gardiner, MLA for Upper Bann, said he is “deeply concerned” that three integrated schools are still far from the target of having 30% of their pupils from the local minority community 10 years after they opened.

“It is not acceptable that integrated schools receive additional public funding running into hundreds of thousands while coming nowhere near achieving their 30% target enrolment from the local minority community after a 10-year period.”

Ms Campbell said: “Approaching the 30th anniversary of integrated education, NICIE would welcome a wider public debate on the future development of integrated education.”

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