Shared housing and integrated education: Building good community relations

Shared housing and integrated education: Building good community relations by Allan LEONARD 7 August 2019 A panel discussion on how shared housing projects and the integrated education movement are contributing towards good community relations was held at St Mary’s College, Belfast, as part of the Feile Festival. The panellists were Deborah Howe (Equality Commission), Christine Davis (Housing Executive), Grainne Mullin (Radius Housing), and Jill Caskey (Integrated Education Fund). The event was chaired by Gerry McConville. After a welcome by Jessica …

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‘If we tell people the cost of segregation, they will support greater integration’

If people are told the financial cost of segregation and service duplication, there will be much greater support for social integration, says community worker Maureen Hetherington.  Maureen is director of The Junction community and peace-building centre in Derry-Londonderry and was interviewed in the latest ‘Forward Together’ podcast. “I have no doubt that integrated education is absolutely fundamental to getting people to know each other, to engage with each other,” stresses Maureen. “The difficulty there is that we don’t have the …

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How do we create a better society? Announcing the ‘Forward Together’ podcasts

To mark 21 years since the signing of the Good Friday Agreement, an important new initiative begins on Good Friday, 19th April, 2019.  A series of podcasts will be broadcast twice a week, seeking answers to questions about the future of Northern Ireland and the border counties. The objective is to promote a wider, more inclusive and engaged conversation about how we make progress, further solidify peace and create a genuinely shared and integrated society.  We want that discussion to …

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Education: We all have a role to play

Education: We all have a role to play by Allan LEONARD 7 February 2019 The Integrated Education Fund hosted a day conference on some aspects of education in Northern Ireland, with a discussion on what role individuals, local communities, and organisations can play in realising a better vision. Contributors included: Baroness May Blood (Integrated Education Fund (IEF)), Dirk Schubotz (Queen’s University Belfast), Mairead McCafferty (Northern Ireland Commission for Children and Youth (NICCY)), Eileen Chan-Hu (CRAIC NI), Maire Thompson (Hazlewood Integrated …

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St Mary’s: Accommodation or Integration?

At the heart of the debate on the future of St Mary’s College is a wider one about the future of education in Northern Ireland. How do we want our children to be educated? Do we want a system that prioritises parental choice between different sectors or one that maximises opportunities for children from different backgrounds to learn together? A number of recent developments highlight a lack of unified education planning by the Executive. Last Friday the DUP launched its …

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Essay: ‘All political careers end in failure’ – the legacy of Enoch Powell

My assumption is that it must have been quite an election.  I can only assume, as I had not even been conceived, let alone born, then, but the contest around the UK had far-reaching implications for both Britain and Ireland.  Polling exactly forty years ago today – barely eight months after the previous general election – resulted in Harold Wilson and the Labour Party being re-elected (though only just), and Tory leader Ted Heath’s political career being effectively over.  Heath …

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#Belfast2020: Future will have to be more integrated than its troubled past…

On Nuzhound this morning there are two stories one above the other, which demonstrate the problem of trying to manage Northern Ireland’s (and Belfast in particular) problems from the sidelines. John Simpson makes the blindingly obvious statement that integration is the key to Belfast’s woes. In many older parts of Belfast the population is too crowded. Victorian (or even post-1945) housing sits uneasily alongside the demands of improved living standards for space, amenities and services. In too many parts of …

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Robinson: “shared education is the way forward”

I was fortunate enough to catch the end of an event in Newcastle last night when children from thirteen maintained, controlled and integrated primary schools ‘graduated’ from the Shared Languages, Shared Cultures programme, run by the town’s Shimna Integrated College. The programme, supported by Queen’s University’s Sharing Education Programme (hats off to Prof Tony Gallagher) and funded by Atlantic Philanthropies and businessman Gerard O’Hare, recently picked up the TES Outstanding Community Partnership Award.  The TES judges’ commented: “The main hope for …

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…a long-standing focus for Catholic discontent.

There is an element of Groundhog Day in the sudden outburst of debate on education and integration/segregation. Despite Brian’s claim that Catholic schools were fully funded in the 1970s (see point 10 in his list), that didn’t occur until November 1992 when it was announced that: In a historical deal agreed between the Catholic bishops and the Department [of Education], Catholic schools will now be entitled to 100 percent financial support for new buildings. Hitherto they had to meet 15 per cent of …

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