Both Omagh Integrated Primary School and Drumragh Integrated College were launched by groups of determined, pioneering parents. The story of integrated education in Northern Ireland is an inspiring one, and it’s not over yet.

Omagh Integrated Primary School opened in 1990, under the leadership of Mrs Maureen Butler, with 32 pupils in years 1 to 7 and 24 in nursery. The school has grown impressively in both strength and numbers, reaching an enrolment of 200 in 1999 and 300 in 2007.It has endured its challenging mobile accommodation brilliantly, offering a clear reminder that the heart of a great school is its people, not its buildings. OIPS celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2015 and is looking forward – at last – to moving into its new site in 2018!

Drumragh Integrated College opened in 1995, gradually taking over more and more of a Victorian psychiatric hospital building – many stories can be told about the school’s time there, some of them hair-raising. From its beginning with less than 100 students, under the leadership of Dr Kathleen Hinds, the college exceeded an enrolment of 500 within 12 years and has often been over-subscribed during the last decade. Staff and students enjoyed moving into their new purpose-built site in 2009 and are looking forward to the arrival of OIPS in 2018.

The Omagh Integrated Campus offers a model and a vision of how education should be delivered across Northern Ireland. Here’s to the as-yet-unwritten chapters of this exciting story.

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