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Sion Mills Primary School Celebrates Becoming an Integrated School

The school community of Sion Mills Primary School in Strabane is celebrating after hearing the news that the Department of Education has approved their Development Proposal to Transform to Integrated status. 

Sion Mills Primary School is a well-established primary school, offering an excellent standard of education to around 240 pupils in the Strabane area.

No school can become Integrated without the consent of a majority of parents.  Due to the evident parental demand in the Sion Mills Primary School community, a democratic ballot was held in Spring 2022.  The outcome of the ballot was that 98.7% of the parents voted yes to the school Transforming to Integrated status.

The next step in the journey to Integration was the school submitting a Development Proposal to the Department of Education, including a Transformation Action Plan.  The school’s proposal to Transform to Integrated status said that the school “had a long history and proud tradition of welcoming children from both communities and from all faiths and none.

The school is already considered Integrated by many in the community, but formal and legal status offers parents reassurance about the school’s commitment to diversity and provides a mechanism for accountability that the school welcomes.”

Louise Kingh, Principal of Sion Mills Primary School, said:

“In everything we do as a school, we put the children and families first. We’d like to thank the parents for pointing the way forward.  We know through experience that learning together in an inclusive environment, even from this young age, is what is best for all children. 

We are delighted to hear the great news that the Department of Education has approved our Development Proposal and that we can now be officially called an Integrated primary school.”

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

“We congratulate the Board of Governors, staff and parents of Sion Mills Primary School on their successful Transformation to Integrated status.  It has taken a lot of time, dedication and commitment from the entire school community to complete this process and become an Integrated school.  We look forward to welcoming Sion Mills Primary School to the growing community of Integrated schools across Northern Ireland.”

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

“Having worked alongside the Sion Mills Primary School community, NICIE is thrilled that the Development Proposal to Transform to Integrated status has been approved.  We look forward to continuing to work with the school and supporting them on their Transformation journey.”

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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