Carrickfergus primary school to move to integrated status from September 2021

Carrickfergus Central Primary School will transform to integrated status from September 2021 after 86 percent of parents voted in favour of the move.

Monday, 19th April 2021, 3:49 pm
Updated Tuesday, 20th April 2021, 11:12 am

The news comes as Education Minister, Peter Weir approved a development proposal for the change today (April 19).

Carrickfergus Central will become the second integrated primary school in Carrickfergus, alongside Acorn Integrated PS which was established in 1992.

Families in the town will now be able to avail of over 60 admission places in integrated primary schools each year, with post-primary provision at Ulidia Integrated College.

Pupils at Carrickfergus Central Primary School celebrate the results of the parental ballot which took place in June 2019.

Tina Merron, Chief Executive of IEF, said: “The IEF welcomes the decision that Carrickfergus Central Primary School has been approved to transform to integrated status. The school has been working towards this for a number of years and the whole school community have been involved throughout the process.

“The vote at Carrickfergus Central echoes the evidence from successive opinion polls showing growing support for integrated education throughout Northern Ireland. We are pleased that the Minister has acknowledged and fulfilled his statutory duty to ‘encourage and facilitate’ integrated education in reaching this decision.”

Nuala Hall, principal of Carrickfergus Central Primary School, added: “We are delighted with the Minister’s decision. We can now continue to build on our already inclusive ethos and our commitment to welcoming pupils from all backgrounds. Children are at the heart of the school and the school has been at the heart of the local community for the past 68 years. We look forward to providing a quality, inclusive education for the children of this area for the next 68 years and beyond.”

Thanking everyone who supported the transformation process was Ian Baxter, governor of Carrickfergus Central. “I am delighted that Carrickfergus Central Primary School has had a positive decision on the Development Proposal for transition to Controlled Integrated status," he said.

Tina Merron, Chief Executive of IEF.

"Congratulations to everyone who worked so hard to ensure this success, in particular all the school staff, parents, governors and colleagues within the Integrated Education Fund and Northern Ireland Council for Integrated Education."

Mid and East Antrim Deputy Mayor, Cllr Andrew Wilson, serves as a governor at the school. “Congratulations to all the team at Central for having the vision and determination to push forward with the integration proposal," he said.

"The green light as provided by the Department of Education is the culmination of years of hard work by Mrs Hall and her team. As a governor, I am delighted with the news."

NICIE also welcomed the announcement that Carrickfergus Central has been successful in their proposal to transform to integrated status.

Chief Executive Officer of NICIE, Roisin Marshall said: “We are delighted for Carrickfergus Central PS. The whole school community has put significant work into the transformation

process and the positive decision by the Education Minister validates all their efforts. We look forward to working with them to develop their Integrated ethos and to offering more integrated places for children and their families in the Carrick area.”

The IEF’s Integrate My School Campaign has contributed to a surge in interest in integrated schooling in Northern Ireland and has attracted the support of thousands of parents. Carrickfergus Central is just one of eight schools where parental ballots have been held in support of the formal integration move, with the results ranging from 71 percent to 100 percent.

Among the other schools which have undergone the process are Glengormley High School; Bangor Central Nursery School; Brefne Nursery School in Belfast; Harding Memorial Primary School in Belfast, St Mary’s High School in Brollagh, Fermanagh; and two small rural Catholic Maintained primaries, Ballyhackett near Coleraine and Seaview in Glenarm.

While DUP Education Minister, Peter Weir recently rejected the development proposal from St Mary’s High School in Brollagh, he has however approved the move at Seaview Primary School, who will be transforming to integrated status in September 2021.

Parents in Northern Ireland can express support for their child’s school to become officially integrated on the Integrate My School platform: www.integratemyschool.com--

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