Liam Neeson backs campaign for integrated schools in North

Actor says time has come for all children to be educated together

A  video still issued by the Integrated Education Fund of actor Liam Neeson backing a new campaign in favour of integrated education in the North. Photograph: PA

A video still issued by the Integrated Education Fund of actor Liam Neeson backing a new campaign in favour of integrated education in the North. Photograph: PA

 

Liam Neeson has backed a new campaign in favour of integrated education, claiming the time has come for all children in Northern Ireland to be educated together.

The Ballymena-born actor has released a short video supporting an initiative from the Integrated Education Fund to make integrated education available in almost every school in the North.

“We look to our children for the future, so why do we continue to educate them apart: different religions, different backgrounds, different schools?

“There is another way. Most people agree that educating children together is a better way forward for our society.

“It’s time to turn our aspiration into reality, to believe in your children and believe in their future,” he said.

The campaign, called “Integrate My School – I’m In”, aims to give parents the power to influence schools to transform to integrated status.

At the centre of the campaign is a website — www.integratemyschool.com — where parents of children at primary and post-primary schools in the North can register their interest in transforming their school into an integrated one.

The fund’s chief executive, Tina Merron, said research has repeatedly revealed that a majority of Northern Ireland parents want their school to become integrated.

She said integration was supported by the North’s Department for Education, and that if a minimum of 20 per cent of parents at a school expressed an interest, the board of governors was required to put the matter to the whole school for consultation. – (PA)