12th March 2020
Parents vote “Yes” for Integrated Education at Glengormley High School
Glengormley High School is celebrating the fantastic outcome of their recent parental ballot which has resulted in a resounding “Yes” from parents for the school to begin the journey of working towards achieving integrated status.
Principal Ricky Massey is thrilled with the result and thanked parents for their support and engagement in the process. Commenting on the next steps, he said, ‘The Board of Governors, leadership and staff are delighted with the overwhelmingly positive outcome from our parental ballot and a very strong message of ‘Yes’ for integration.
‘Over the past two years the school has put some remarkable changes in place. Together with staff, the support of the Northern Ireland Council for Integrated Education (NICIE), the Integrated Fund (IEF) and the Education Authority (EA), we aim to drive improvements even further. The future is looking very promising for our school and the surrounding community as we prepare for educating all pupils together where they can learn, play and grow as one.
‘I would like to express my sincere thanks to our parents for their part in supporting us to plan for the direction of travel for Glengormley High and furthering the development of our school improvement journey. My staff and I will continue to work hard to further strengthen our school and build on the great results that we have all achieved to date. We have a diverse school community and this is a natural step for us to take. Working closely with our staff and partners, we will now begin the process of developing our Case for Change and Transformation Action Plan for putting forward to the Minister for approval.’
Carl Frampton MBE visited the school last week to show his support for the move towards becoming integrated. As a past pupil and patron of NICIE he expressed his absolute delight with the ballot result, “Integrated Education is something I have talked about for a long time, I believe it is the way forward for kids here. In some ways, Northern Ireland has moved ahead and in others it has stood still, that’s why I’m so passionate about supporting the development of Integrated Education in any way I can.”
For further information or to arrange an interview with a spokesperson please contact Denise Morgan, Senior Development Officer at NICIE at (028) 9097 2910 or via email to email@example.com
Notes to the Editor
- In Northern Ireland, around 93% of children attend schools which are either exclusively or predominantly Catholic or Protestant. The first integrated school, Lagan College, opened in 1981 with 28 pupils. There are currently 65 integrated schools in Northern Ireland, 20 second level colleges and 45 integrated primaries, altogether educating almost 24,000 pupils.
- Integrated Education is the biggest, most sustainable cross-community project in Northern Ireland. It offers opportunities for building peace and reconciliation through the education of Protestants, Catholics, young people from other beliefs, cultures and communities to learn together on a daily basis in one school.
- Integrated schools are co-educational, accept children from all levels of ability and social backgrounds and practice a child-centred approach to teaching methods. Integrated Education:
- encourages young people to recognise what they share in common as well as understanding and respecting differences;
- Self-confidence and independence is developed as a priority;
- Develops open-minded attitudes among pupils as well as the confidence and ability to question, observe, listen and make informed decisions while learning with, from and about one another; and
- Recognises the value of parents – parental involvement is actively encouraged.
- The Northern Ireland Council for Integrated Education (NICIE) is a non-departmental public body that develops, supports and promotes integrated education in Northern Ireland. The underpinning principle of integrated education is that by bringing together Catholic, Protestant and children of other faith and cultural backgrounds in a shared environment, they can learn to understand, respect and appreciate difference. Integrated schools are also co-educational, accept children of all levels of ability and social background and practice a child-centred approach via their teaching methods. There are 65 integrated schools educating almost 24,000 pupils. For more information please visit nicie.org
- The Integrated Education Fund (IEF) financially support integrated schools and schools that wish to transform to integrated status. They set up an online platform for parents to register their interest in their child’s school becoming integrated integratemyschool.com. For more information contact www.ief.org.uk
- Glengormley High School is a controlled post-primary school. The Principal is Mr Ricky Massey.
- Glengormley High School currently held a parental ballot which offered parents the opportunity to vote on whether or not they would like the school to transform to become an integrated school.
- Transformation is the legal process in which a non-integrated school becomes integrated. The process can be started in two ways:
- by the Board of Governors of the school; or
- by a written request supported by at least 20% of parents to the Board of Governors.
In either case, a vote of the parents (conducted through secret ballot) is required. The ballot of parents is the opportunity for parents to vote on whether they want the school to transform. For the result to be considered at least 50 percent of parents must vote. If there is a turnout of less than 50 percent, then a second ballot will automatically take place. If 51 percent or more of those who have voted, vote in favour of Transformation, then a Development Proposal for Transformation must be submitted to the Department of Education (DE) through the Education Authority (EA). The DE will make the final decision regarding the transformation proposal. If it is approved, then the school must work towards meeting the conditions set out by DE for effective transformation to controlled integrated status.