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Parents and schools present a letter to the Alliance Party expressing their concern with regard to the many children denied places in integrated pre school settings

Wednesday 22nd May

Parents and children visit Stormont to highlight the lack of integrated preschool places

On Wednesday 22nd May representatives of the 342 families who were unable to secure a place in an integrated preschool setting travelled to Stormont to meet with David Forde. Leader of the Alliance Party and other Alliance Party members.

The deputation expressed their disappointment that so many families had been denied an integrated start to their school career. They noted that these parents had made a positive choice for integrated pre-school. These families  did not want their three year old to start his/her school career in a single identity school. Yet, unsuccessful in their first choice, they are now expected to accept a single identity alternative.

The parents were welcomed by the Alliance Party and handed over a letter expressing their concerns.

Noreen Campbell, CEO of NICIE said,

“This situation illustrates the urgent need for increased places in preschool education for those seeking an integrated option. There can be no justification in separating children of the age of three on the basis of religion. No three year old child should be deprived of a place in an integrated setting. Indeed all pre-school is supposed to be non sectoral. Instead only 3% of all funded preschool education is integrated.

NICIE calls on DE to guarantee an integrated school place for any family making this choice. NICIE further calls for DE to desegregate pre -school education by seeking guarantees that all state funded places are offered in environments which are genuinely open and welcome to all. This simple step will make a major contribution to meeting parental demand for Integrated Education, especially if carried through into a similar guarantee to parents seeking places in primary and post primary schools.”

 

ENDS

 

For further information or to arrange an interview with a spokesperson please contact Noreen Campbell, Chief Executive Officer at (028) 9097 2910 or at 90972835 or mobile 07878721327or via email to ncampbell@nicie.org.uk  or to Denise Morgan, Development Officer, at dmorgan@nicie.org.uk

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