Liam Neeson praises Seaview Primary School over move to integrated status during video message
Hollywood star Liam Neeson has welcomed the news that Seaview Primary School is to become integrated as a ‘positive step’.
It follows the announcement earlier this month that the Glenarm school was granted approval by the Department of Education to transfer to integrated status.
Seaview is believed to be the first Catholic primary school in Northern Ireland to make such a transformation.
The Ballymena-born actor was speaking in a special video message to the parents, staff and governors of schools around Northern Ireland who want to transform to integrated status.
Mr Neeson has been an advocate of integrated education in Northern Ireland for many years, and has worked with the Integrated Education Fund (IEF) as an ambassador to champion the process of conversion.
More recently he fronted the charity’s ‘Integrate My School’ campaign, which was launched four years ago in a bid to make Northern Ireland’s education environment a more inclusive one.
Addressing the parents and schools across Northern Ireland, Mr Neeson said: “I am delighted that so many parents across Northern Ireland are choosing an integrated future for their children.
“The recent news that Seaview Primary School in Glenarm is set to become the first Catholic school to become integrated is a positive step forward on the journey to an inclusive society.
“I’m delighted to say that Seaview is just one of a number of schools that has conducted a democratic ballot of its parents since the ‘Integrate My School Campaign’ was launched just a few years ago.
“I want to congratulate all of the parents, staff and governors in schools right across Northern Ireland, who are taking courageous steps to ensure children from different traditions will get to learn and play together, every day, in the same school. You are actively helping to build inclusive communities. Well done. I am so proud of you all.”
The IEF’s Integrate My School Campaign has contributed to a surge in interest in integrated schooling in Northern Ireland and has attracted the support of thousands of parents, with Seaview Primary being just one of eight schools here where parental ballots have been held in support of the formal integration move.
Commenting on the move, a statement from the school read: “We are absolutely ecstatic to announce that the Education Minister has approved the development proposal to transform Seaview Primary School to integrated status.
“We would like to thank our staff, Board of Governors, parents, local community and our amazing pupils for all your support and help in making this dream a reality.
“We are delighted to continue to provide an excellent education for all children in Glenarm and the wider area as an official integrated school from September 2021 or as soon as possible thereafter.”
Click here to read: Seaview says ‘yes’ to integration in Glenarm
Message from the Editor
Thank you for reading this article. We’re more reliant on your support than ever as the shift in consumer habits brought about by coronavirus impacts our advertisers.
Please consider purchasing a copy of the paper. You can also support trusted, fact-checked journalism by taking out a digital subscription of the News Letter.