Young Person's Survey
My name is Kellie Armstrong, I am an MLA at Stormont and a passionate about integrated education. My daughter attended an integrated primary school and is now at an integrated college.
I decided that if I was elected to the Assembly I would bring forward proposals to change the current legislative framework to make it easier for integrated schools across Northern Ireland.
The Speaker of the House in the Assembly
accepted my proposal for a private members
bill on integrated education. The Integrated
Education Bill seeks to expand and reform the
current legislation framework, which allows for
the provision of integrated education.
The Department of Education (DE) has a
statutory duty to encourage and facilitate
integrated education but this current legislative
framework is insufficient for delivering the
significant increase I and others would like to
see. The Bill would provide a more robust
framework, ensuring the DE is fulfilling its
obligation and making integrated education the norm, not the exception.
Integrated education has been acknowledged as a crucial part of improving good relations among and for our young people ever since the 'All Children Together' movement was established in 1974. It saw a number of parents come together, in a response to the violence of the Troubles, to provide something different for their children. They lobbied the churches and Government to take the initiative in educating Protestant and Catholic children, as well as those of other faiths and none, together in one school.
They hoped that bringing children together in the class room every day would ensure future generations would not be growing up in a deeply divided society, providing a vision for the future we are still helping to realise.