Response from the NI Commission for Catholic Education to statement from the Alliance Party
The Northern Ireland Commission for Catholic Education (NICCE) supports any call to promote the role of education in promoting peace and reconciliation in Northern Ireland.
For decades, Catholic schools, staff and communities have consistently shown themselves very eager to participate in cross-community work. In 2001, the NI Catholic Bishops issued Building Peace, Shaping the Future, committing Catholic schools to be open and welcoming to all. In 2006 CCMS published Inclusion and Diversity in Catholic Education. Our review of post-primary schooling, Catholic Education for All has shown an openness to new models of provision. On the basis of these policies, many Catholic schools are leaders in celebrating difference among pupils, whether on the basis of religious affiliation or because of cultural and linguistic background.
Thus, in seeking to overcome historic divisions, NICCE believe that our schools have both the duty and the capacity to be architects of a new future. As Sir George Bain said in his report over six years ago: “We believe … that all schools, and all educational interests, need to, and wish to, play their part in the journey towards the goal of a ‘Shared Future’.”
Catholic schools, which offer access to high quality education across Northern Ireland, are as capable of promoting a healed society as any other group of schools. We look forward with confidence to continuing our co-operation work with all our educational partners and to making our distinctive contribution in a developing diverse and self-confident society.
Notes to Editors
- The Northern Ireland Commission for Catholic Education was set up in 2005 to co-ordinate the work of all Catholic School Trustees in Northern Ireland. The six Northern dioceses and all the religious congregations with schools in the North have each nominated three members. The responsibilities of NICCE include:
– Working to maintain a cohesive Catholic education system
– Liaising with Government and other statutory bodies in regards to Catholic education
– Developing the new Trustee Support Body
– Co-ordinating Trustee interests
- The publication Building Peace, Shaping the Future can be accessed on: http://www.catholicbishops.ie/2001/11/21/catholic-bishops-publish-building-peace-shaping-future/
For media contact: Catholic Communications Office Maynooth: Martin Long 00353 (0) 86 172 7678