11 Jun '14

News Northern Ireland's lesson on integration | @guardianletters

It is not just state education that is in chaos (The Lesson of Birmingham? State education is in chaos, 10 June), but educational values. What has happened to the concept of learning as a lived experience or part of democratic society? John Harris is right that the Birmingham Muslim schools spat suggests a deep flaw in the idea of education as a commodity dispensed by "providers". Integrated education in Northern Ireland is a relevant example of exactly the opposite: giving a realistic democratic choice to all parents to promote diversity.During the Troubles many parents wanted their children to learn together "with the other side". Last week, a Northern Ireland judicial review confirmed that parents have an equal right to choose either segregated, faith or integrated schools. This clarifies what integrated education means and requires the Northern Ireland department of education to encourage and facilitate it as an integral part of education policy. Continue reading...

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