Question Time at Crumlin Integrated College

In light of the forthcoming elections on the 5th May, representatives of the five main political parties were invited to the College to discuss education matters and, in particular, their views, and support of, Integrated and Shared Education. We were delighted that representatives from Alliance, SDLP and DUP were able to attend. Apologies were received from Mr Declan Kearney (Sinn Fein) and Mr Paul Michael (UUP) although both endorsed their support of the College and looked forward to working with the staff and pupils in the future.

The library was packed as Mrs McGarry welcomed Lynn Frazer (Alliance Party), Roisin Lynch (SDLP) and Trevor Clarke (DUP) to the College. The event, organised by our Crumlin Supports Integrated Education committee, provided pupils with the opportunity to meet face to face with our local political representatives and ask questions about their policies including Integrated Education; job prospects for young people and bus passes.

The Alliance party left us in no doubt of their support for Integrated Education stating that it involves a whole ethos and is not just about sharing, although, this too, is extremely valuable. Roisin Lynch confirmed her party’s view that all young people deserve an excellent education and is supportive of Integrated Education which helps to broaden choices for parents and brings young people together so that they have a deeper understanding of each other’s cultures. Roisin also stated that a 11-19 school in Crumlin should be considered in the future, however, more financial support is needed in order to drive this initiative forward. Trevor Clarke, when asked for his views, commented that he is 100% behind Crumlin Integrated College and that it has a very important role to play in the village. He went on to say that it would be a travesty if the school did not survive.

The pupils commented on a very profitable, worthwhile and informative morning. Reece O’Hara reflected that it gave him an insight into the parties’ thoughts on education and how the three politicians all agreed on the importance of a good education. “I was particularly impressed by the support that they showed for the school,” he said.

A buffet lunch was provided following the formal meeting which gave everyone a chance to chat informally with Lynn, Roisin and Trevor and we wish them well in the up-coming election.