Local MLA hosts public meeting for integrated education

Strangford MLA Kellie Armstrong will host the meeting outlining the Private Member's Bill.
Strangford MLA Kellie Armstrong will host the meeting outlining the Private Member's Bill.

A public meeting is set to be held in response to the forthcoming Integrated Education Bill in the new NI Assembly.

Strangford MLA Kellie Armstrong will host the meeting outlining the Private Member’s Bill.

Kellie Armstrong explained: “This Bill is not about devaluing any other sector.

“It is purely about strengthening the current integrated provision, so every parent who wishes to send their child to an integrated school is able to do so.

“I personally never had the opportunity to attend an integrated school and as a mother who sends her child to an integrated school, I have found the integrated experience for my child enlightening and inspiring.”

Councillor Armstrong highlighted recent statistics which revealed a high level of local support for integrated education.

“A poll carried out by Milward Brown in 2013 showed 83 per cent of people here believe integrated education is a vital part of creating a shared future in NI.

“And 60 per cent of parents would prefer new schools resulting from consolidation of smaller schools be integrated.

“Yet even though the Department of Education has a statutory duty for integrated education, it does not plan, set targets or collect information on the demand for integrated education.”

Cllr Armstrong stated that the Private Member’s Bill will be brought forward in the new Assembly, and has invited the public to make their views known online (preferably by 31 January) at: www.kelliearmstrongmla.co.uk/haveyoursay.

The meeting will be held from 5.45pm-7pm on Wednesday, January 25 in The Junction at Holywell, 8-12 Bishop Street.