Integrated education in NI to receive £66m boost

The chancellor has announced that Northern Irish schools are to benefit from an immediate cash injection of £66m for integrated schools

According to an announcement by the chancellor, Philip Hammond, last Friday, pupils at shared and integrated schools across Northern Ireland will benefit from £66m of immediate funding for capital projects at 23 schools.

Additionally, a further £160m of projects at 13 previously-announced shared and integrated schools will progress through to design and construction phases, once they have passed a final value-for-money assessment.

Some £76m of other school projects have also been identified as suitable for funding and will now begin developing proposals.

The funding aims to help these schools expand and take on more pupils. The chancellor announced in the Budget that shared and integrated schools would benefit from over £300 million in funding, which could boost the number in these schools by 2,200.

He plans to visit one of the schools benefitting from the funding where he will meet pupils and teachers.

Hammond said: “The UK government is backing these vitally important schools so they can offer a shared education to more children across Northern Ireland.

“Northern Ireland’s economy is powering ahead and the UK government is committed to supporting a bright, shared future, helping more young people here to achieve their full potential.”

Today’s announcement builds on the UK government’s support for Northern Ireland’s education system, infrastructure and economy; the nation has seen the fastest productivity growth since 2010 in the UK.

The secretary of state for Northern Ireland, Karen Bradley, said: “I am delighted that the Chancellor has delivered £300m for shared and integrated education in Northern Ireland. This is a huge boost for young people and will help break down barriers and overcome divisions in society.

“The UK government is delivering on our commitment in the Stormont House and Fresh Start agreements to help build a shared, inclusive future for Northern Ireland.”

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