Ulidia Integrated College

Ulidia Integrated College is situated in Carrickfergus, Northern Ireland. It was opened in 1997 with an initial 63 students. It is the 44th integrated school to be created in the province and provides education for over 530 Catholic and Protestant children.Catchment area backgroundEast Antrim is considered the only area in Northern Ireland in which the separate communities of that area have become more polarised since The Troubles began. The School prides itself in educating pupils from any religious background.An integrated schoolUnder the Education Reform Order, 1989 a school wishing to obtain Grant Maintained Integrated status must convince the Department of Education that it can draw a minimum of 30% of its population from the minority tradition of the area it wishes to serve.HistoryBeginningsThe history of the college begins with the failed attempt to open an integrated college in Carrickfergus in 1995. Castle Integrated College failed because of massive opposition from interested parties in the East Antrim area. However, the steering group behind Castle Integrated College refused to give up and started planning again for an integrated college in East Antrim.A proposal for a new college was lodged again with the Department of Education in early 1997. This proposal was for the opening of a brand new integrated college in Whitehead, a few miles north of Carrickfergus. The Department of Education refused the request and financial assistance. Under the guidance of Tom Pennycook, a parent, the steering committee steadfastly refused to give up hope and decided to open the proposed new integrated college, independently, without financial assistance from the Department of Education.

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