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Integrated education in Northern Ireland is urgent – why can’t our leaders see that? | Abby Wallace

Thursday 2nd December 2021

In my school, young people were not segregated by obsolete criteria. Everyone should get this chance

  • This article has won the Guardian Foundation’s 2021 Hugo Young award, which champions political opinion writing among 18- to 25-year-olds

I went to a mixed school filled with students of different genders, religious beliefs and identities. The way I was educated may seem typical to some, but in Northern Ireland it is far from the norm. My education is what all young people in Northern Ireland should be entitled to. But our political leaders haven’t taken enough action.

More than 90% of schools in Northern Ireland are segregated, meaning most young people are educated in either a state-funded school that predominantly attracts Protestant families or a school funded by the state but maintained by the Roman Catholic church.

Abby Wallace, a student at Queen’s University Belfast, won the Guardian Foundation’s Hugo Young award for political opinion writing 2021 for this piece

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