§ Mr. Harry Barnes
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what progress has been made towards the integration of teacher training in Northern Ireland; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Needham
The Government are committed to the principle of integrated education in Northern Ireland and560W our policy is to support the provision of such education where it clearly reflects the wishes of those directly involved. No such consensus has emerged in support of the integration of Northern Ireland's two teacher training colleges. There has, however, developed between the colleges an enhanced level of co-operation, including a joint programme for education for mutual understanding and arrangements within which every student will spend part of his or her time in joint study with contemporaries from the other college and undertake teaching practice in schools of both major traditions. The Government have sought to give every possible encouragement to those developments.
In the two university departments of education, teacher training provision has always been fully integrated.