Clegg backs integrated education in NI

Clegg backs integrated education in NI

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has said he is in support of integrated education in Northern Ireland during visit to Londonderry.

He was in Northern Ireland for a meeting of the British Irish Council at the University of Ulster's Magee Campus.

The talks were chaired by First Minister Peter Robinson and deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness, with Taoiseach Enda Kenny also in attendance.

The 20th British Irish Council Summit focused on the economy, bringing down energy prices tackling youth unemployment.

The Lib Dem leader has already announced a start-up loan scheme for young entrepreneurs to be extended to Northern Ireland.

He later visited Oakgrove Integrated Primary School along with Alliance leader David Ford.

"I'm a huge supporter of integrated schools for the simple reason that they teach positive values to little children," Mr Clegg commented.

"They're taught to treat everyone with the same degree of respect, to treat people fairly wherever they come from, whatever faith, whatever community they come from and I think that is something that has to be a good thing at a time when all communities want to, by and large, live side by side in a peaceful and prosperous Northern Ireland."

"I was very pleased that Nick took time to visit Oakgrove Integrated School," Mr Ford said.

"He was keen to see the good work that is being done to improve community relations between children from different traditions. I hope that the visit of the Deputy Prime Minister will give a further boost to the great work that this sector is doing.

"Nick's support for the integrated sector follows that of President Barack Obama who visited Enniskillen Integrated Primary School on Monday.

He said the visits highlight the importance of integrated schools in a strategy for a shared future.


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