Towards a culture of tolerance: Integrating Education

Year published: 2017

A constant issue in the Group's discussion was the importance of inclusiveness ie recognising that all schools could and should contribute to the objective of promoting a culture of tolerance and that many schools of all management types were already doing so. Some members felt that this contrasted with the "special" status afforded by legislation to the integrated education sector in comparison with the controlled, Catholic-maintained and other sectors. Legislation, however, recognises the need for an education system that responds to a variety of demands. It was noted that in addition to the statutory duty on the Department "to encourage and facilitate" integrated education, there was a general duty to have regard to the general principle that, "so far as is compatible with the provision of efficient instruction and training and the avoidance of unreasonable public expenditure, pupils shall be educated inaccordance with the wishes of their parents" and a general duty on each Board to "secure that there are available in its area sufficient schools for providing primary and secondary education and the schools available for an area shall not be deemed to be sufficient unless they are sufficient in number, character and equipment to afford for all pupils opportunity for education offering such variety of instruction and training as may be desirable in view of their different ages abilities and attitudes."