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Last Updated: Wednesday, 20 December 2006, 17:48 GMT
Integrated school funding refused
Bain Review "acknowledged contribution of integrated schools"
The Department of Education has approved the closure of a primary school and refused to grant integrated status or funding to five schools.

The integrated movement is angry at what it considers the latest snub to its plans to expand the integrated schools movement.

Three new integrated schools have been turned down for funding.

They are a secondary in Antrim and primaries in Ballymoney, County Antrim, and Strabane in County Tyrone.

Two more existing primaries which wanted to transform into integrated have been turned down.

They are Knockbreda in Belfast and Collone in Armagh.

However, Education Minister Maria Eagles has agreed to a new primary school in Moira, the transformation of Tyrella primary, the expansion of Omagh primary and the move of Ballycastle nursery into the integrated primary.

'Acknowledged contribution'

In a separate announcement, Ballyduff primary in Newtownabbey is to close in August 2007.

Ms Eagle said: "Government is fully committed to increasing the levels of integration within the education sector, which is why we asked Sir George Bain to examine the issue as a core element of his strategic review of education.

"The Bain Review acknowledged the contribution of integrated schools in educating young people together.

"It also recommended that government should take a more inclusive approach to integrating education throughout the school system."

Michael Wardlow of the NI Council for Integrated Education said the government "has denied integrated choice to parents in seven areas during 2006 alone".

"Not only do these refusals appear to be at odds with the government's commitment to shared future, which is predicated on sharing over separation, but also appear to contradict the core recommendations of Sir George Bain in his recent report."

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