Integrated education in Northern Ireland

Sir, – Some 24 years ago the Good Friday Agreement included an obligation to encourage integrated education in Northern Ireland.

Now at last a Bill has been passed in Stormont placing a legal duty on the department of education to support integration education proactively.

Every year integrated schools are over-subscribed.

Poll after poll has shown that a majority of parents support integrated education. It is parents who have worked to set up integrated schools, often in the face of abusive opposition.


When schools wish to transform to integrated status, the voting of parents is overwhelmingly in favour. Children grow up unaware of how much we all have in common. There is still too much sectarianism, too many “peace” walls, too much segregated housing.

Let us all hope that this Bill will lead to integrated education being available for all those who value the difference it can make towards the shared society we deserve.

– Yours, etc,