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CCMS Launches Welcome Pack for Ethnic Families

Friday, June 15, 2007

The diversity within Catholic Maintained schools has been highlighted today with the launch of a new ‘Welcome Pack’ for ethnic minorities from the Council for Catholic Maintained Schools (CCMS).The Council has produced the ‘Welcome Pack’ to help the growing ethnic population to access current information on educational opportunities available to their children within the Catholic Maintained schools sector.

The new ‘Welcome Pack’ is recognition by the Council of richness of diversity, culture and language that ethnic communities bring to Catholic Schools and the significant contribution which they make in enriching the fabric of our pluralist society in Northern Ireland.

The publication was formally launched at the Lagan Island Centre in Lisburn. In attendance were representatives from the education sector, ethnic community groups, and representatives from the American, Lithuanian, Portuguese, and Filipino consulates.

They were addressed by the Archbishop of Ireland, Most Reverend Sean Brady and the Minister for Education, Ms Caitriona Ruane MLA and Chief Executive of CCMS, Mr Donal Flanagan.

Speaking after the launch, Mr Donal Flanagan, said;

"Today’s launch is a recognition that society in Northern Ireland is becoming more culturally diverse with an increasing number of people from other countries and cultures coming to live here.This enriches the cultural context in which people are living but also presents a challenge for schools and society in general, to be aware of diversity and to have the structures, policies and practices in place to ensure that the needs of all children and adults are met. This is the challenge of inclusiveness. It is a challenge which Catholic schools will continue to meet.

Archbishop Sean Brady, Primate of all Ireland said:  

"The challenge for all of us who have witnessed decades of conflict and social unrest must be to create a more inclusive society where the promotion of reconciliation and respect for diversity becomes a priority for all particularly within our schools."  

CCMS new publication is available from or upon request.  

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