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'Integrated' education flourishing in our State schools

In the wake of the post-primary transfer selection tests I and my family have recently had the opportunity to visit a number of so-called State grammar and secondary schools.

Apart from it being a most pleasurable and worthwhile experience, it has also opened our eyes to the great integrated education debate.

As a previous advocate of integrated education I - along with most people - have believed that these schools were almost exclusively of one faith. I now know that this image is far from reality.

Even a cursory examination of each school's primary feeder schools shows quite a large number of pupils coming from the Roman Catholic school sector.

In addition we had the opportunity to speak with and view the work of pupils drawn from different racial and religious backgrounds. The experience has totally changed my views on the requirement for an integrated sector. It seems to me that we are throwing away large parts of our education budget to feed a myth. Integrated education is already alive and flourishing in the State school sector.

Instead of chasing a myth, let's place the much-needed funds currently being wasted on integrated education to further encourage the sterling work being done by these schools.



Belfast Telegraph


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