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Muir raises St Anne's Integration Bid with Education Minister

North Down Alliance MLA Andrew Muir raised St Anne’s Primary Schools’ bid for transformation to integrated status with the Education Minister this week during Question Time at The Assembly. 

Parents of children at St Anne’s recently voted overwhelmingly in favour of transformation to integration in a parental ballot. A timeline for the next steps of the process is now being put together by the Education Authority and Northern Ireland Council for Integrated Education (NICIE). 

Andrew Muir MLA at St Anne’s
Primary School Donaghadee

Commenting on the issue Mr Muir said “I warmly welcome the proposals for the transformation of St Anne’s Primary School to integrated status and will be supporting the school in any way I can as it goes on the journey through this process.” 

“I was keen to ascertain from the Minister what she was doing to assess both pupil and parental preference in the area in the context of the recent vote. Given the overwhelming vote of confidence from existing parents and the demand for further provision of integrated school places in general in Northern Ireland, it is important that the Department take into consideration the real likelihood that demand for places will increase substantially in the years ahead.” 

“It is currently a small school but with many more families choosing Donaghadee as a place to live I am confident the years ahead would see a marked increase in enrolment especially if the school is successful in its bid for transformation to integration.” 

“It is still early days but I was delighted the Minister accepted my invitation to visit the school to meet with parents and the school leadership to discuss the its future in the years ahead.”

Official Report: Tuesday 25 January 2022 

St Anne’s Primary School, Donaghadee: Integrated Status 

T2. Mr Muir asked the Minister of Education, in the context of the decision by parents to recently overwhelmingly support a proposal for St Anne’s Primary School, Donaghadee to transform to integrated status, which he warmly welcomes, what she is doing to assess parental and pupil preference in the area. (AQT 1972/17-22) 

Miss McIlveen: I thank the Member for his question. I was very privileged to be able to visit St Anne's Primary School before Christmas, and I got a very warm welcome, I have to say. The Member will understand that there is also a development proposal for St Anne's that makes it very difficult for me to comment, as I may be the ultimate decision maker for it. However, I am very mindful that a ballot for transformation was supported by the parents. I understand that the Northern Ireland Council for Integrated Education (NICIE) and the Education Authority are working together closely on a timeline for the work that will need to take place post the ballot. 

Mr Muir: I thank the Minister for her response. Donaghadee is a growing town with many new houses, and families are choosing it as a place to live. An integrated primary school in the town would be a great development. Will the Minister accept my invitation to meet parents and the school leadership in order to discuss the school and the future for it in Donaghadee? 

Miss McIlveen: I am more than happy to do that.