DUP to use petition of concern to block the integrated education bill…

From the BBC:

The DUP currently has 25 MLAs who hold the party whip, while Jim Wells, independent Alex Easton and TUV leader Jim Allister are also in favour of the petition.

That means at least two UUP MLAs would need to sign it.

Ms Armstrong’s bill would increase the number of integrated school places and set targets for the number of children being educated in such schools.

About 7% of pupils in Northern Ireland are educated currently in just under 70 formally integrated schools, which aim to mix pupils from Protestant, Catholic and other backgrounds.

However, some non-integrated schools also have a mix of pupils from different religious backgrounds as well as those who are not religious.

The head of Northern Ireland’s oldest integrated school, Lagan College, has said Ms Armstrong’s bill would “provide genuine and much-needed choice” for parents.

However, some other schools have written to parents claiming it would “elevate integrated schools” above other types of school.

Those concerns have been echoed in an open letter by five bodies that represent many schools and the four main churches.

On Monday, DUP leader Sir Jeffrey Donaldson insisted his party would try to use the petition of concern to stop the bill from passing.

Discover more from Slugger O'Toole

Subscribe to get the latest posts to your email.

We are reader supported. Donate to keep Slugger lit!

For over 20 years, Slugger has been an independent place for debate and new ideas. We have published over 40,000 posts and over one and a half million comments on the site. Each month we have over 70,000 readers. All this we have accomplished with only volunteers we have never had any paid staff.

Slugger does not receive any funding, and we respect our readers, so we will never run intrusive ads or sponsored posts. Instead, we are reader-supported. Help us keep Slugger independent by becoming a friend of Slugger. While we run a tight ship and no one gets paid to write, we need money to help us cover our costs.

If you like what we do, we are asking you to consider giving a monthly donation of any amount, or you can give a one-off donation. Any amount is appreciated.