Welcome packs for ethnic minorities
The diversity within Catholic Maintained schools has been highlighted with the launch of a new 'Welcome Pack' for ethnic minorities from the Council for Catholic Maintained Schools (CCMS).
A shared future
In March 2005, the then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland presented the Government's Policy and Strategic Framework for Good Relations in Northern Ireland.
This "Shared Future" document set out;
"to establish over time, a shared society defined by a culture of tolerance: a normal, civic society, in which all individuals are considered as equals, where differences are resolved through dialogue in the public sphere and where all individuals are treated impartially. A society where there is equity, respect for diversity and recognition of our interdependence." (A Shared Future. March 2005)
A Shared Future with and through Catholic Schools
Respect for diversity and recognition of our interdependence is not new to Catholic schools. The Catholic Bishops of Northern Ireland in "Building Peace Shaping the Future" November 2001, clearly articulated the position which already existed in Catholic schools prior to the publication of "A Shared Future" and the vision that continues to pertain within Catholic Education.
- The Catholic school is at the service of society and has a public role to play.
- Our schools are ideally placed to assist society to move beyond its deeply ingrained divisions into a new coherence of openness to the world at large.
- Catholic schools foster a healthy social awareness that will naturally want to reach out to the wider community.
- Catholic schools seek to promote mutual respect, peace and reconciliation.
- The presence of children from other denominations is seen as an enrichment of the education experience offered by the Catholic school.
The Council continues to promote the philosophy and vision articulated in "Building Peace Shaping the Future" and is committed to ensuring that through a process of managing through influence, there is a healthy respect for diversity throughout the Catholic maintained school system.
Further information on diversity matters can be obtained from:
Senior Education Adviser
160 High St
Tel: 028 90 426972