Exiles Forum

Lisburn, Co. Antrim, Northern Ireland


Hilden IPS Chairman 'deeply disappointed' by NICIE
THE chairman of the Board of Governors at Hilden Primary School has expressed his 'deep disappointment' at comments made by the Northern Ireland Council for Integrated Education after it was revealed last week that the South Eastern

Education and Library Board wants to close the school. NICIE's chief executive Michael Wardlow said that since the school had transformed to integrated status in 1996 it had 'embraced the integrated ethos and contributed greatly to its local community by welcoming children from all religious and cultural backgrounds'.

But Mr Terry Conway said this completely ignored the school's record of providing integrated education for 95 years on its present site. "Many families would challenge Mr Wardlow's assertion that the NICIE method is the only way of achieving integrated schooling" he said.

"The Board of Governors at Hilden is aware that NICIE has been pursuing a strategy to transform Fort Hill Primary to integrated status.

"This leaves us wondering if that has encouraged the South Eastern Board to try to close us this August, despite assurances just last year that it would be three years before they reviewed the situation.

"Surely when there is already a school offering integrated education every effort should be made to support and help it rather than encouraging mother school nearby to transform.

"We are now in the position where our parents who want their children to go to an integrated school are forced to find places elsewhere yet neither the South Eastern Board nor NICIE can offer those integrated places in the Lisburn area."

Ulster Star