78% in Derry/Strabane say they back integrated, according to LucidTalk poll conducted for Integrated Education Fund

Seventy-eight per cent of Derry & Strabane respondents to a new LucidTalk poll published this morning said integrated schools should be the main model of the education system.

Tuesday, 3rd August 2021, 9:26 am
Jill Caskey, Parental Engagement Campaign Manager, right, with Annie, Lorenzo and Isla from Brefne Nursery, and principal Victoria McGimpsey.

People were asked if they believed ‘integrated schools, which intentionally educate children every day in the same classroom, inclusive of different faiths, cultures and backgrounds, should be the main model for our education system.’ Seventy-eight per cent agreed.

They were further asked if ‘all schools, regardless of type, should aim to have a religious and cultural mix of pupils, teachers and governors.’ Eighty-two per cent of those from Derry/Strabane who took part said they should.

And 80 per cent of participants locally said they would support a proposal for their child’s own school to become an integrated school. 

The survey was collated by LucidTalk on behalf of the Integrated Education Fund (IEF). More than 2,000 people across the north took part.

Jill Caskey, Parental Engagement Campaign Manager, IEF said: “The findings in this survey highlight the demand for integrated education in NI and they should prompt our Executive to actively promote a fully integrated education system for the benefit of our entire society. It should also help inform the new Independent Review of the NI Education system in terms of public opinion on this crucial aspect of our society.

“Although the level of integrated education has continued to grow since the Good Friday Agreement, it is nowhere near the rate it needs to be in order to reflect the demand.  

“There is no government plan for developing more integrated schooling with growth solely dependent on parents, schools and campaigners. 

“We are going into an era in NI needs an education system fit for the 21st Century which is fully inclusive. We need to see a dedicated governmental plan to accommodate the demands of our parents and children.”