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Parents at Larne & Inver Primary School Vote Yes for Integrated Education

Parents have voted in favour of Larne and Inver Primary School transforming to Integrated status.

Larne and Inver Primary School is a historic school, founded in 1842 and situated in Larne on the east coast of Northern Ireland.  Larne and Inver Primary School’s motto is ‘A bridge to the future’ and the school remains known to older generations of past pupils and locals as the ‘Bridge’ School.

Kirk Patterson, Principal of Larne and Inver Primary School, commented: “Larne and Inver Primary has now started the next stage of our journey to becoming a Controlled Integrated Primary School.  We already have a diverse school family and we are proud that this vote will enable us to further develop our inclusive approach to all that we do.  Our school motto is ‘a Bridge to the Future’ which is very relevant to this process and we look forward to continuing to provide high quality opportunities for our children and to adding more in the coming years.

“We are very pleased with the result of our ballot and will continue to keep everyone involved and informed every step of the way.  Lots of people have already asked really important questions regarding Integration and it’s important that these discussions keep happening.  The whole school community can look forward to working together and building upon the high-quality teaching and learning, pastoral care and inclusivity that already exists.  Our school really is ‘a bridge to the future’.”

No school can become Integrated without the consent of a majority of parents.  In order to begin the process to become an Integrated school, a democratic ballot must be held and the majority of parents must vote in favour of the change in status. The ballot was carried out by Civica Election Services, and every adult registered as a parent or guardian was eligible to vote.  Over 60% of voting parents supported the school’s move to Integrated status.

Tina Merron, Chief Executive of the Integrated Education Fund (IEF), said: “We applaud the result of this parental ballot at Larne and Inver Primary School.  We commend the Board of Governors for giving their parents this opportunity.  The IEF supports schools who wish to undertake the exploration and journey to Integrated status. This result demonstrates that a majority of parents support Larne and Inver Primary School becoming an Integrated school and we look forward to supporting the school in the months and years ahead.”

Roisin Marshall, Chief Executive Officer of the Council for Integrated Education (NICIE), said:“NICIE is pleased to see parents voting yes for Integrated status at Larne and Inver Primary School and we look forward to working with the school on their Transformation journey.”

The next step for the school will be compiling a Development Proposal, which will be submitted to the Department of Education including a Transformation Action Plan.  The Minister for Education will then make the final decision.

Almost every school in the country, apart from hospital and special schools, can apply to transform to Integrated status and the parental ballot is a major step in this journey.  The IEF and Council for Integrated Education provide support and advice for parents, staff and Governors considering taking the first steps to Integrated Education.

If you would like further information on Integrated Education and the process of Transformation, please visit our website at