A former Carrickfergus student has been extolling the merits of integrated education at an event hosted by the USA Ambassador in London.
Christopher Madden, a past pupil of Ulidia Integrated College, told Ambassador Matthew Barzun that integrated education is a proven way to produce results, noting the success of his alma mater.
Addressing an audience which included Baroness Blood, Integrated Education Fund Campaign chair, Christopher said: “The arguments in favour of integrated education used to revolve solely around the societal advantage, that educating together students in an atmosphere of inclusion and mutual respect would engender a more inclusive and mutually respectful population. While there is no doubt that this argument is still as true as ever, a perhaps even stronger argument for it, is that it works – it produces results.
“My own school, Ulidia Integrated College in Carrickfergus, has previously topped the league table for A-Level results in Northern Ireland, scoring above every other selective and non-selective school in the province.”
Christopher went on to explain that he spent three years at St Albans School in Washington DC through a scholarship organised by the integrated education movement.
“In addition, I am privileged to be a part of the Ambassador’s Young Leader’s Programme – an initiative set up by the Ambassador to foster the spirit of the special relationship between our two countries through engaging young people in the UK.”
As part of the Integrated Education Alumni Association’s Back to School’ programme. Christopher returned to Ulidia towards the end of last year to take part in workshops at the school.
In his concluding remarks before the Ambassador, he added: “ I think I speak for our Alumni Association when I say that we the alumni of integrated education are determined to expound its benefits as often as we can and fight to ensure that as many children as possible can receive the outstanding education that we were all so fortunate to receive. It remains a great source of strength to us that we do this in the knowledge that we have the support of our close friends in the United States and are extremely grateful to them for that.”