Integrated Education In Northern Ireland
That this House notes that the Belfast Agreement embraces the need to facilitate and encourage integrated education because an essential aspect of the reconciliation process is the promotion of a culture of tolerance at every level of society; notes, however, that only five per cent. of pupils in Northern Ireland attend integrated schools, which bring together pupils, staff and governors, in roughly equal numbers of Protestants and Catholic pupils, plus other faiths and none, to cultivate self-respect and respect for other people and cultures; applauds the fact that the integrated education movement has made major strides this academic year with the opening of seven new integrated schools and that the number of such schools stands at its highest, thanks to the efforts of dedicated parents, the Northern Ireland Council for Integrated Education and the Integrated Education Fund; further notes that 700 pupils were denied access to integrated schools because of a lack of places; notes that President Bush will receive two students from Ulidia Integrated College at the St Patrick's Day event at the White House symbolising US support for the integrated education movement; recognises that integrated education does not provide a panacea for a deeply segregated and divided society but that increasing the integrated education sector will be a massive investment in a non-sectarian and pluralist society, without imposing a single educational model but giving all parents and students a choice; and urges the Government to increase its support to integrated schools as an urgent matter of public policy.
This motion has been signed by a total of 20 MPs.
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