Centre for the Study of Conflict
School of History, Philosophy and Politics,
Faculty of Humanities, University of Ulster
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IN THE FRAME
University of Ulster
ISBN 1 85923 133 0
1999 Centre for the Study of Conflict
Main Aims of Project
2. To gain a clearer understanding of the relationship between integrated schools and aspects of the traditional educational structures in Northern Ireland, i.e. other types of schools, administrative bodies, government departments and agencies, and the churches.
This is the second project of this kind. The first, on the roles of parents and teachers in the planned integrated schools in Northern Ireland, was published as Breaking the Mould by the Centre for the Study of Conflict, UUC. When the fieldwork for it began in January 1989, there were 8 planned integrated schools, two a secondary level and six primaries. In September 1996, at the beginning of the school year, the total had risen to 33, i.e. 11 colleges and 22 primaries, including both 'new' and ‘transformed’ schools. Clearly, integrated education could not be regarded as an isolated and perhaps short-lived phenomenon touching only the few. We wanted to know about the impact it was having on Northern Ireland society, especially those constituents which by tradition had a close involvement with the provision of education.
Interviews with Principals of Integrated Schools
FORMAT FOR INTERVIEW WITH PRINCIPALS OF INTEGRATED SCHOOLS
1. Background - Motivation, career, etc.
2. Staff - Numbers, recruitment, mobility.
3. Students - Roll, catchment area, religion/gender/class balance.
4. Relationships with other schools - primary/secondary.
5. Relationship with churches.
6. Relationship with DENI.
7. Relationship with ELB.
8. Board of Governors I parents.
9. Relationship with community as a whole.
10. Relationship with other integrated principals and schools.
11. Obstacles to growth.
FORMAT FOR INTERVIEW WITH PRINCIPALS OF CONTROLLED AND MAINTAINED SCHOOLS
1. Roll, staffing.
2. First year intake.
3. Catchment area.
4. Current competition for recruitment.
5. Relevance of transformation to integrated status.
6. Opening of integrated secondary college.
Knowledge of new school.
Ability of ‘market’ to sustain new school.
Concerns over possible effect on recruitment, funding, other.
Relationship with new school.
FORMAT FOR INTERVIEW WITH OFFICIALS OF DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION FOR NORTHERN IRELAND
1. Role of DENI in relation to integrated schools - statutory requirements, funding, equity, accommodation, administration.
2. Parental choice as determinant of policy.
3. Transformation process - reasons for, criteria adopted for schools wishing to transform, legislative framework, cost, role of ELB ‘s, perceptions of.
4. DENI policy on integrated education - reactive / pro-active?
FORMAT FOR INTERVIEW WITH OFFICIALS OF EDUCATION AND LIBRARY BOARDS
1. Interviewee - professional details.
2. Board integrated schools - factual information.
3. Board policy/strategy on integrated education.
4. Relationship of ELB with integrated schools - comparison with relationship with other schools in ELB area. Board provision for integrated schools.
5. Relationship with NICIE.
6. The transformation option.
7. Possible concerns - funding, accommodation, equity, other.
FORMAT FOR INTERVIEW WITH OFFICIAL/S OF COUNCIL FOR CATHOLIC MAINTAINED SCHOOLS
1. Interviewee - professional details.
2. Role of CCMS.
3. Role of integrated education in Northern Ireland society.
4. Possible concerns over integrated education - legislation, funding, parental choice, effect on Catholic schools, other.
FORMAT FOR INTERVIEW WITH REPRESENTATIVES OF TEACHING UNIONS / ORGANISATIONS
1. The union / organisation - membership details.
2. Role of integrated education in Northern Ireland society.
3. Perception of government policy on integrated education motivation, structures involved, funding, criteria, equity.
4. Perception of integrated schools.
5. Future for integrated education.
FORMAT FOR INTERVIEW WITH REPRESENTATIVES OF POLITICAL PARTIES
1. Role of integrated education in Northern Ireland society.
2. Perception of government policy on integrated education.
3. Possible concerns - funding, parental choice, effect on education system, other.
INTEGRATED EDUCATION IN NORTHERN IRELAND
NEELB POLICY DOCUMENT
AND LIBRARY BOARD
Section 1 Background page 3
Section 2 General Policy page 4
Section 3 Policy Implementation page 5
In recent years, the growth of integrated education in Northern Ireland was the result of groups of people seeking ways to educate children together, with respect for valuing their religious affiliations and cultural traditions.
In the beginning, schools established specifically to offer "integrated" education were first given recognition as independent schools but when they demonstrated their viability they sought and obtained recognition as voluntary maintained schools. Lagan College was the first to open as an independent school in the 1981/82 school year with an enrolment of 31 pupils. It had an enrolment of 917 in October 1994. In September 1995 there were 28 schools officially recognised as integrated (14 grant maintained integrated primary schools, 8 grant maintained integrated secondary schools, 4 controlled integrated primary schools and 1 controlled integrated secondary school) with a total enrolment of approximately 5,100 pupils.
Controlled Integrated Status
Grant Maintained Integrated (GNU) Status
The total enrolment of independent and voluntary maintained integrated schools in 1989 was 1190 pupils. In October 1994 the total enrolment figure in GMI schools was 4123, an almost fourfold increase.
The Education Reform (Northern Ireland) Order 1989 introduced, with the Northern Ireland Curriculum, the cross curricular themes "Education for Mutual Understanding" and "Cultural Heritage". These initiated much good innovative practice and the Cross Community Contact Scheme has been useful in supporting a proportion of that work.
The Board, as a responsible body administering the public education service, would wish to play its part in promoting reconciliation in Northern Ireland, by supporting peace and community harmony, so that cultural diversity may be seen as a strength in society. As part of its strategy the Board has adopted the theme "Broadening Horizons" which seeks to ensure that young people can participate in educational experiences and opportunities on a cross community basis, develop mutual understanding, and so build a future for the benefit of all.
The Board therefore, in consultation with its partners, intends to promote integration in its education service at all levels formally and informally.
The following objectives aim to build on these principles and the Board’s general policy by extending further the range of options and opportunities available to parents, children and young people as well as making effective use of the resources within the Board’s control.
In implementing its general policy the Board will work at local level supporting schools, colleges and youth units in the delivery of formal and informal experiences and at Board level, the Board will encourage and provide opportunities across its area for young people to work, learn, play and live together in harmony, tolerance and mutual respect.
At Local Level
The Board will seek to play a proactive role in integrating education at local level by:
The NEELB is an acknowledged leader in the field of international education and already has well established links with France, Spain and Germany. Exchanges of pupils, teachers and principals between these countries take place on a regular basis.
The Board will seek to use the European and International dimension of its activities and its links with other jurisdictions in an innovative manner to promote integration by:
At Board Level
Controlled integrated education seeks to provide young people of different religious affiliations and/or cultural traditions with an opportunity to attend schools where they can learn together and play together in an atmosphere which respects difference and promotes tolerance and mutual respect.
In promoting controlled integrated status the Board will:
1. procedural steps to be followed in a change of status;
2. ethos and management of a controlled integrated school;
3. the management structure;
4. issues in the appointment process; and
5. the role of RE;
1. seeking changes which would encourage schools to acquire controlled integrated status; and
2. addressing the financial implications for schools and the Board by the provision of a one-off grant to schools balloting parents on transformation to controlled integrated status on the following basis:
- up to 200 pupils £500.00
- 200-400 pupils £1000.00
- 400+ pupils £1500.00
1. ensuring that resources are effectively and efficiently used for the benefit of all children in the NEELB;
2. strategically planning school provision within the Board’s area;
3. extending the range of parental choice, where appropriate; and
4. sharing expertise between the respective organisations.
The Board accepts that NICIE has particular expertise in promoting Integrated Education and would seek to utilise this expertise in a spirit of partnership.
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