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Schools told `integration works' as department issues new guide

Permanent secretary Derek Baker with Jason Milligan, principal Killyleagh IPS. Picture by Declan Roughan

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SCHOOLS considering becoming integrated are to be given help and insight into the process with a new Department of Education guide.

Principal of Killyleagh Integrated PS Jason Milligan, joined department permanent secretary Derek Baker and representatives of the sector to announce that help is available for schools exploring the move.

A booklet - Integration Works - will be distributed to principals and governors. It explains that any school except special or hospital schools, can apply to go through the `transformation' process. There are 65 integrated schools in the north and 25 of those have transformed, all from the state sector.

Killyleagh became officially integrated in September 2016.

"It has been well worth it. We have seen the school flourish in the year since transformation and the latest step was opening our new 26-place nursery, so that children can experience integrated education from an early age," Mr Milligan said.

Mr Baker said as children prepared to live and work in a global, multicultural and pluralistic society, "the benefits of educating them together are becoming increasingly recognised".

"As we aim to become a shared society that respects diversity, integrated education has much to offer the school system and society as a whole," he said.

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