Brownlow Integrated College Response to Education Authority’s Providing Pathways Strategic Area Plan
Brownlow Integrated College is one of many schools mentioned in the Education Authority’s Providing Pathways Strategic Area Planning document.
It is vital that integrated post primary provision is available in the Craigavon area and the publication of the Providing Pathways document provides a great opportunity to ensure the future sustainability of Brownlow.
In March the Independent Review of Integrated Education Report was published which very clearly stated the need for the Department of Education and the Education Authority to take steps to develop and support integrated education. This has not been happening in a proactive way to date. In addition for the Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon Area the Education Authority states that they will encourage and facilitate the development of sustainable integrated schools. They also state an increase in the school age population by 2024 of 9.6%. This is by far the largest increase across Northern Ireland.
The needs of the young people of the area are key. In the Craigavon area there very clearly is not equality of opportunity for all. To quote Liam Neeson’s recent comments on integrated education “We look to our children for the future, so why do we continue to educate them apart: different religions, different backgrounds, different schools? There is another way. Most people agree that educating children together is a better way forward for our society. It’s time to turn our aspiration into reality, to believe in your children and believe in their future”.
Brownlow Integrated College provides that opportunity in the Craigavon area.
Let’s now use the opportunity provided by the Providing Pathways Consultation to further develop and strengthen the provision Brownlow Integrated College provides!
As Principal I would like to make it clear that Brownlow Integrated College will be providing high quality education in an integrated school setting for many years to come.
S J Creber