Sinn Féin - On Your Side

Integrated Education suffering in the absence of a local Assembly

30 August, 2006

New research published independently by Millward Brown Ulster revealed that 80% of the people surveyed would like to see their MP, MLA or local councillor support Integrated Education in the North.

Sinn Fein Education Spokesperson, Michael Ferguson has responded to a statement issued by the NI Council for Integrated Education (NICIE) in relation to new research published independently by Millward Brown Ulster, which stated that respondents favoured those politicians, and parties that supported Integrated Education.

Commenting upon the release Michael Ferguson said,

"Supporting Integrated Education was something that former Sinn Fein Education Minister Martin Mc Guinness did throughout his period of office, as well as the Irish Medium Education Sector, the CCMS, the Controlled sector and others because he saw Education as central to personal freedom and social justice.

"I welcome Michael Wardlow's (Chief Executive of the Council for Integrated Education) statement on these research findings, which will also serve to remind everyone of the inclusive approach adopted by Sinn Fein. It is also important to remind all of the education sectors that the biggest threat to our education system at the moment is British Direct rule.

"It was British Minister Angela Smith and now Marie Eagle who refused to fund recent applications for new integrated schools. I recently had to lobby the British Government against closing Hilden Integrated School because it would deny parental choice when there is no other school in the immediate vicinity to meet this choice.

"It is important that all NICIE and the other sectors not only support the restoration of the institutions but call upon the DUP to support the appointment of a local Education Minister because their failure to do so will undermine the educational entitlement of not only NICIE but all of our children and young people. The British Government has already put their cards on the table and it is to Erode education, Erode education, and Erode education. We need a Local Minister, a Local Minister, a Local Minister." ENDS

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