‘Momentous day’ as Glenarm school reopens with integrated status

History was made in east Antrim today (Wednesday) as the first Catholic primary school in Northern Ireland to change to integrated status welcomed pupils back after the summer break.

Wednesday, 1st September 2021, 5:47 pm

Seaview Primary School had faced the possibility of closure before its switch to integrated status was approved by the Department of Education in March.

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The Glenarm-based school, now operating as Seaview Integrated Primary School, welcomed staff and students back today.

Celebrations as Seaview Primary School in Glenarm transfers to controlled integrated status. Photograph by Declan Roughan

Speaking to the Larne Times, the principal of the New Road school, Barry Corr, said: “This is a momentous day for Seaview Integrated Primary School, a historic day for integrated education and a day full of hope for the future of education in Northern Ireland.

“This journey has been the culmination of hard work by the staff, governors, parents and wider community. We all shared the same vision to make Seaview Integrated PS a reality so pupils from the local area in and around Glenarm could come to their local school and grow together with a better understanding of what makes them unique, similar and different.

“When parents voted by 95 per cent to support our transformation we knew we were on the right track.

“Seaview Integrated PS will continue to excel and we are confident of using all the available space in and around the school to grow and become a thriving, successful centre of educational excellence now and in the future.”

Seaview Primary School in Glenarm transfers to controlled integrated status. Cutting the ribbon on day one is (left) Baroness May Blood of the Integrated Education Fund (IEF) and Joanne Mathews, chair of the board of governors. Primary 7 pupils Hayden Rhodes and Michaela McAllister help with the ceremony. Photograph by Declan Roughan/Press Eye.

Schools are supported in their transformation journey by the Northern Ireland Council for Integrated Education (NICIE) and the Integrated Education Fund (IEF), who also provide financial support to help schools explore the process and work with its local school community.

Tina Merron, chief executive of the IEF, said: “The IEF has been raising awareness of transformation through our ‘Integrate My School’ campaign and it is encouraging to see it being embraced so positively by parents and schools.

“The IEF and NICIE are working with more schools than ever before who desire formal integrated status and who see the added value that quality inclusive education brings for their children.”

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