Alliance representatives delighted decision to progress new Mid Down Integrated College confirmed

Alliance representatives have said they are delighted the Permanent Secretary for Education has taken the decision to allow a new integrated college to progress in Mid Down.

Kellie Armstrong Nick Mathison Integrated Education Patrick Brown

Strangford MLA Kellie Armstrong, author of the Integrated Education Act, has said: “The outworking of the Integrated Education Act is the requirement to meet the parental demand for integrated education. For years integrated schools across my area have been heavily oversubscribed. Lagan College and Strangford College, for example, are so oversubscribed they turn away the equivalent of a full year group of students every year.

“The last Good Relations Report confirmed that the increasing number of children unable to access their first preference place at an integrated school has risen to 24%.

“This decision by the Permanent Secretary will enable a new integrated school to be placed in Mid Down, an institution that will provide an integrated education for those of all different abilities, from all faiths and non-religious alike, including children from differing socio-economic backgrounds.

“I want to thank the Permanent Secretary Mark Brown, the amazing campaign team of Mid Down Integrated College Steering Group, and my Alliance colleagues Nick Mathison MLA and Patrick Brown MLA, who have lobbied hard for this development proposal. We’re all immensely glad to see the hard work put in here by all pay off.”

South Down MLA Patrick Brown added: “'I was incredibly proud to support the early stages of this proposal as a Rowallane Councillor before becoming an MLA, and know this excellent proposal will meet a significant gap in the Rowallane and Downpatrick areas in terms of integrated education provision up to sixth form. Huge credit must go to the Mid Down IC Steering Group who have persevered for several years in getting this proposal over the line, as well as the NICIE for all their intrinsic work on this.”


Strangford MLA and Alliance Education spokesperson Nick Mathison commented: "It is difficult to overstate how hard the Mid Down Steering Group has worked to effectively bring forward this proposal for a new integrated post-primary school. This is a group of parents who have come together to champion the demand for integrated education in the Mid Down area, and have overcome all the challenges and hurdles to successfully make their case to the department.


"I hope that parents do not have to wait too long for the capital resource to be found to deliver this project, and I wish the Mid Down Steering Group every success with the development of this new school in the years to come."