Integrated Education Alumni Association visits Carrick

Pupils and staff with members of the Integrated Education Alumni Association during their visit to Ulidia College. INCT 48-202-AM
Pupils and staff with members of the Integrated Education Alumni Association during their visit to Ulidia College. INCT 48-202-AM

A young advocate of integrated education has returned to his Carrick alma mater to speak of an “exceptional school experience”.

Christopher Madden was at Ulidia Integrated College as part of the Integrated Education Alumni Association’s ‘Back to School’ programme.

Christopher, who led a workshop for sixth-form students, was accompanied by other members of the association which unites former pupils who are keen to raise their voices in support of integrated education in Northern Ireland.

There are now IEAA groups in Belfast, London, Liverpool and Edinburgh, creating a support network for anyone from the integrated sector moving to those cities after leaving school.

Speaking beforehand, Christopher said: “Positive engagement with past pupils can really raise aspirations for current students. This programme is a great way of showing young people what possibilities lie ahead, and reassuring them that mentoring and support are available.

“We also hope to raise awareness of the campaigning work we do – sometimes it’s not until you leave school and go out into the world that you realise what an exceptional school experience you were given through integrated education.”

The ‘Back to School’ programme takes in seven integrated colleges around the province.