§ Sir Nigel Fisher
asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will make a statement on whether his proposals for comprehensive education in Northern Ireland mean separate Catholic and Protestant comprehensive schools in the light of the recent ministerial statement that reorganisation will not create new barriers between the communities.
§ Mr. Carter
The arrangements for the reorganisation of individual schools will386W be a matter for discussion at local level in the first place. However, as indicated in the statement made by my noble Friend Lord Melchett on 15th June the Government fully support the view that such reorganisation should not be implemented in a way that creates new barriers to integrated education, or reduces the amount of integration which exists at present. The Government's policy is to encourage integrated education where there is a local wish for it. As my noble Friend announced in another place on 23rd June, the Government intend to refer this aspect of reorganisation to the working party studying school management structures in Northern Ireland.