Simon Barrow, co-director of the religion and society think-tank Ekklesia, one of the founders of the Accord coalition for inclusive schooling, said: “The story of the continuing development of integrated schooling in Northern Ireland is inspiring and challenging. Though the situation in the province is very different to other parts of the UK, there is much to learn from the experience of encouraging cross-community participation rather than segregation in schooling.”
He added: “The present UK government policy drift towards more single faith schools, the lack of a national curriculum for RE, and the granting of the ability to discriminate in admissions and employment on grounds of religion or belief – all this is unhelpful to the development of a healthy, mixed society. Publicly funded schools should be open to all and run for all, whether they are sponsored by religious, civic and business groups or not.”
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