Letter to the Editor: Sectarianism never played a part in the Catholic schools’ focus on holistic education

There is presently a debate in the NI Assembly regarding integrated education.

Debate is always welcome and healthy. However, there are many of us who will object to Catholic Schools are being blamed for sectarianism in our society.

In recent days we have heard from senior political figures on the Island of Ireland using terms such as “shamefully segregated.”

Teachers and school boards are very worried and angered by the language used as they work conscientiously and tirelessly to promote a shared educational landscape.

Former Derry MLA Pat Ramsey. (File picture)

Teachers who worked in these schools (and those who have taken their place) have no need to feel guilty about sectarianism – because they have played no part in any form of sectarianism.

Sectarianism has never played a part in the Catholic schools’ focus on holistic education of the whole child – socially, emotionally, spiritually, physically, and culturally.

All important is preparation for life, and a life of worth, – not merely a life of work. Every school’s vision is to enable all young people to meet their full potential, through access to a high-quality education irrespective of location, socio-economic background, ability, or gender. Parents want their children to receive the best education possible, and many want that education to have a religious focus.

For Catholic parents, enrolment in a Catholic school is an important decision that impacts their children’s education, but also for some, it will be through integrated education, or controlled sector, but for many others it will be faith-based, that is how it should be.


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Pat Ramsey

Former SDLP Assembly Member,


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