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Great news for Integrated Education in Bangor

Bangor Academy and Sixth Form College is the largest school in Northern Ireland.  The College takes pride in educating over 1,800 pupils daily and the school aim is ‘To provide an outstanding education for every student.’  As part of this outstanding education, the school‘s Governors responded to parental demand for Integrated Education, by balloting their parents to determine whether the school should transform to Integrated Status.

The ballot was carried out by Civica Election Services, and every adult registered as a parent or guardian was eligible to vote.

Today the results are in and 79.4% of parents voted for the school to change to Integrated status.

Matthew Pitts, Principal of Bangor Academy and Sixth Form College, commented:

‘This is an exciting day for Bangor Academy and Sixth Form College.  It is a once in a lifetime opportunity to lead this thriving school in the next stage of its development, as an Integrated College.  We are delighted that so many parents participated in the vote and for such an overwhelmingly positive result.

The entire school community, teachers and Board of Governors look forward to working closely with The Council for Integrated Education and the Integrated Education Fund (IEF) to proceed through the process to become fully Integrated.’

Likewise, Rathmore Primary School in Bangor which educates almost 600 children, is celebrating the news that a clear majority of their parents also support a similar move to Integrated status.

Rathmore is a UNICEF Rights’ Respecting School and the inclusive ethos of the school is highlighted in the school motto: ‘Caring, learning, excelling together.’  This ethos has been further demonstrated with the successful vote to transform to Integrated status announced today.

No school can become Integrated without the consent of a majority of parents.  Therefore, in order to begin the process to become an Integrated school, a democratic ballot must be held and the majority of parents must vote in favour of the change in status.  At Rathmore Primary School 82.3% of parents voted for the school to change to Integrated status.

Julie Hardy, Principal of Rathmore Primary School, commented:

‘We are delighted with the overwhelmingly positive results of the parental ballot.

During Rathmore’s 50th Anniversary celebrations and reflections last year, we enjoyed strong engagement and support from our whole community.  While our Governors initiated the conversation about Integrated status, this positive parental vote reflects the changing needs and desire in our school community to intentionally open our doors wider to have children learning and playing side by side from Nursery to Primary 7.

As a school with high quality teaching and learning and an inclusive ethos at our core, this result indicates an exciting future for the next 50 years in Rathmore.  We will build upon our established ethos as a UNICEF Rights Respecting School and our motto ‘Caring, Learning, Excelling Together’ as we start the Transformation journey towards Integrated status in September 2025.

We look forward to working closely with the Education Authority, The Council for Integrated Education and the Integrated Education Fund to plan and become more intentional about supporting, protecting and advancing an ethos of diversity, respect and understanding in Rathmore.’

Tina Merron, Chief Executive of the Integrated Education Fund, said:

We applaud the result of both parental ballots held in Bangor which underlines just how much parents want an Integrated Education for their children in this area.  These two schools will join Bangor Central Integrated Primary School and Bangor Integrated Nursery School in providing Integrated Education in the Bangor area.  I commend the Board of Governors for giving their parents this opportunity.  The results from other parental ballots held in recent years suggest that when parents are informed and engaged on the issue of Integrated status for their child’s school, then an overwhelming majority tend to vote in favour.  This is most encouraging and reflects the results of many public attitude surveys held on this important issue.”

Roisin Marshall, Chief Executive Officer of the Council for Integrated Education, said:

This is a significant and exciting moment for the whole community in Bangor.  The result of both votes shows the swell and growth of parental support for Integrated Education.  I congratulate the parents on being the change they want to see within our education system.  The Council for Integrated Education looks forward to hearing the stories of how the children, parents and governors have benefitted from their Integrated experience learning together, in one school, for a shared society.”



The next step for both schools will be compiling a Development Proposal, which will be submitted to the Department of Education including a Transformation Action Plan.  A Minister for Education or in their absence, the Permanent Secretary, will then make the final decision.

Almost every school in the country, apart from hospital and special schools, can apply to Transform to Integrated status and the parental ballot is a major step in this journey.  The IEF and Council for Integrated Education provide support and advice for parents, staff and Governors considering taking the first steps to Integrated education.

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Council For Integrated Education

NI Council for Integrated Education
1st Floor, James House
2-4 Cromac Avenue

T: 02896 944 200


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