top of page

Liam Neeson congratulates parents of Ballymena Nursery School after voting Yes!

Principal Mrs Coulter, Andrew Norrie Senior Outreach Officer at the IEF, and pupils from Ballymena Nursery celebrate parents voting yes to Integrated Education.
Principal Mrs Coulter, Andrew Norrie Senior Outreach Officer at the IEF, and pupils from Ballymena Nursery celebrate parents voting yes to Integrated Education.

Parents at Ballymena Nursery School have voted overwhelmingly in favour of beginning the process of Transformation to Integrated status, with 95% of parents voting to say yes to becoming an Integrated school.


Movie star Liam Neeson was excited to hear about this school from his home town moving towards Integrated Status:


“I pass on my heartiest congratulations to everyone at Ballymena Nursery School.  In particular, I want to wholeheartedly commend the parents who have bravely voted to show their support for Integrated Education for their children.  I wish the entire school community the very best as they undertake the journey towards integration.”  



Teacher Mrs McGall enjoying outside play with nursery school pupils.
Teacher Mrs McGall enjoying outside play with nursery school pupils.
Pupil at Ballymena Nursery School celebrating their successful parental ballot.
Pupil at Ballymena Nursery School celebrating their successful parental ballot.

Since Ballymena Nursery School was established in 1967, over 4,000 children have been provided with high quality learning opportunities within a happy, caring and secure environment. Each year over 100 children are enrolled to learn through play together.  


In order to begin the process to become an Integrated nursery school, a parental ballot is held and the majority of parents must vote in favour of the change in status.



Mrs Coulter, Principal of Ballymena Nursery School, commented:


"We are delighted with the positive result of the parental ballot. As a school which values and strives to be inclusive, this result reflects the desire to create an exciting, sharedfuture together at Ballymena Nursery School (BNS): Belonging, Nurturing and Safe.


Parents and pupils at Ballymena Nursery School.
Parents and pupils at Ballymena Nursery School.

"The entire school community, teachers and Board of Governors are looking forward toworking closely with The Council for Integrated Education and the Integrated Education Fund (IEF) to ensure that the already inclusive ethos of Ballymena Nursery School is further strengthened, as we proceed through the process to become fully integrated.”


Tina Merron, Chief Executive of the Integrated Education Fund, said:


“We applaud the result of the parental ballot held in Ballymena Nursery School which underlines just how much parents want an Integrated Education for their children. I commend the Board of Governors for giving their parents this opportunity. The results from other parental ballots held in recent years suggest that when parents are informed and engaged on the issue of Integrated status for their child’s school, then an overwhelming majority tend to vote in favour. This is most encouraging and reflects the results of many public attitude surveys held on this important issue.”  



Teacher Mrs McMullan with pupil in Ballymena Nursery School.
Teacher Mrs McMullan with pupil in Ballymena Nursery School.

Roisin Marshall, Chief Executive Officer of the Council for Integrated Education, said:


“This is a significant and exciting moment for Ballymena Nursery School.  The result of the vote shows the swell of parental support for Integrated Education. I congratulate the parents on being the change they want to see within our education system.  The Council for Integrated Education looks forward to hearing the stories of how the children, parents and governors have benefitted from their Integratedexperience learning together, in one school, for a shared society.”


The ballots were carried out by Civica Election Services, and every adult registered as a parent or guardian was eligible to vote in confidence on the school’s future. The turnout was 62.8%.



The next step will be compiling a Development Proposal, which will be submitted to the Department of Education including a Transformation Action Plan. The Minister for Education will then make the final decision.


Almost every school in the country, apart from hospital and special schools, can apply to Transform to Integrated status and the parental ballot is a major step in this journey. The IEF and Council for Integrated Education provide support and advice for parents, staff and Governors considering taking the first steps to Integrated education.  


If you would like further information on Integrated Education and the process of Transformation, please visit our website at ief.org.uk

Comments


bottom of page