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Integrated schools have an important role in education - Ruane

23 September, 2008

Sinn Féin Education Minister Caitríona Ruane has highlighted her support for integrated schools.

The minister was speaking during an assembly debate on integrated education which called for a review of the viability criteria for integrated schools.

The minister said:

"As minister I have a statutory duty to encourage and facilitate integrated education. But, I do not need legislation to spell out my duties because I believe in the concept of integrated education and also the integrating of education.

"Across the north we have 58 integrated schools serving the educational needs of over 18,000 children and young people. There is a growing demand from parents for integrated education against a backdrop of falling rolls in many schools and this demand is to be welcomed. But, we also need to acknowledge the important contribution of other schools attracting children from all our communities.

"The assembly debate called for a review of the viability criteria for integrated schools. I support this call and will review the criteria in the context of existing policy and legislation.

"We must ensure that the educational interests of all our children and young people are at the core of all our reforms and reviews. These will be carried forward in a strategic way to benefit all children, regardless of what school type or sector they are in." ENDS

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