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News from the Integrated Education Fund – 23 April 2024

‘Our Peace, Our Future

Free premiere of our short animated film narrated by Ciarán Hinds on Thursday 2 May at the iconic Strand Cinema.  Light refreshments served at 6pm, with the screening at 6:30pm and the event finishes at 8pm.  After the screening there will be a panel discussion on the contribution of Integrated Education towards peacebuilding and reconciliation in Northern Ireland since theGood Friday Agreement.

Tickets only available from the IEF.  Email gareth@ief.org.uk to book your seat ASAP.

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IEF Comedy Night | 17 October 2024 | Ulster Hall

You don’t want to miss the Stand-Up for Integrated Education Comedy Night with Tim McGarry, Colin Murphy, Wendy Wason and Shane Todd at the iconic Ulster Hall, Belfast, on 17 October 2024!

 

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Lurgan Model Primary Celebrates Becoming an Integrated school

The school community of Lurgan Model Primary School is celebrating after hearing the news that the Department of Education has approved their Development Proposal to transform to Integrated status.

APRIL 23, 2024

SCHOOL NEWS

The school is one of 26 who have held positive parental ballots since 2019 and brings the number of Integrated schools in Northern Ireland to 72.

Lurgan Model Primary School is a well-established primary school, having educated children since 1863.  The school building itself is listed as a building of great historical significance.  When the school opened it was part of the ‘Model’ school system operating in Ireland at that time.  As such, the school was established for all children, regardless of religion and was proudly non-denominational.  This ethos was reaffirmed and strengthened when the school looked to start the process of Transformation to become an Integrated school.

No school can become Integrated without the consent of a majority of parents.  Due to the evident parental demand in the Lurgan Model Primary School community, a democratic ballot was held in Summer 2022.  The outcome of the ballot was that an overwhelming majority of 99% of the parents voted yes to the school transforming to Integrated status.  The next step in the journey to integration was the school submitting a Development Proposal to the Department of Education, including a Transformation Action Plan.

Almost two years after the parental ballot, Lurgan Model Primary School was delighted to get confirmation that the Development Proposal has been approved.  The school continues to offer an excellent standard of education, as it has for over 160 years, educating around 180 pupils, who will now receive an Integrated Education.

Neil Campbell, Principal of Lurgan Model Primary School, said:

“On Thursday 18 April 2024 we received written confirmation from the Department of Education that the Education Minister has approved our development proposal to transform to an Integrated school from 1 September 2024.

We are delighted at this news and thank the Education Minister for his decision. The Minister has ensured we can now plan for the beginning of the 2024/25 academic year with clarity and optimism, and we are grateful for his carefully considered approval.

We would like to thank everyone who has supported our Transformation, especially our parents who voted overwhelmingly to formally begin this process in June 2022, The NI Council for Integrated Education (NICIE), The Integrated Education Fund (IEF) and The Education Authority’s Sectoral Support Team.

Lurgan Model opened 161 years ago as an expressly non-denominational school for all children, regardless of religion. Our Transformation to controlled Integrated status reaffirms and strengthens our inclusive ethos as a school where all communities, cultures and backgrounds are welcomed and celebrated.

Our little people who continue to cross our threshold every day will remain at the heart of all that we do. No matter the background they come from they will be cherished, valued and respected for who they are, in an inclusive environment that nurtures empathy and understanding for everyone, in the hope of a better tomorrow.”

Tina Merron, Chief Executive of the IEF, said:

“We congratulate the Board of Governors, staff and parents of Lurgan Model Primary School on their successful Transformation to Integrated status.  It has taken a lot of time, dedication and commitment from the entire school community to complete this process and become an Integrated school.  We look forward to welcoming Lurgan Model Primary School to the growing community of Integrated schools across Northern Ireland.

Roisin Marshall, Chief Executive Officer of NICIE, said:

“”Having worked alongside the Lurgan Model Primary School community, NICIE is thrilled that the Development Proposal to Transform to become an Integrated school has been approved.  We look forward to continuing to work with the school and supporting them on their Transformation journey.”

Almost every school in the country, apart from hospital and special schools, can apply to transform to Integrated status.  The IEF and NICIE provide support and advice for parents, staff and Governors considering taking the first steps towards Integrated Education.

 

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