The staff and management at Inver College say they are proud to be one of only 11 schools in the country, and the first in Monaghan to take part in a unique diversity and inclusion programme. As the Carrickmacross secondary school advances to the second level in the Yellow Flag Programme, Principal at Inver College, Sinéad McColgan said the programme has helped staff and pupils to become "more inclusive and challenge racism".
Latest census results for Monaghan indicated that non-Irish citizens accounted for 10 per cent of the county's population. The Yellow Flag programme was developed in 2009 by the Irish Traveller Movement after members experienced bullying and felt excluded from school life. They realised that other students from ethnic minority backgrounds might feel the same way, and the programme was born.
Like the Green Schools Programme being rolled out in many schools across Ireland, the Yellow Flag Programme is based on an award scheme. The programme supports schools to become more inclusive of all cultures and ethnicities, celebrates diversity and challenge racism and discrimination. On successfully completing the eight steps of the programme and being evaluated externally, the school is awarded its Yellow Flag in recognition of its work in promoting diversity and inclusion.
The programme is being run with the continued support from Monaghan County Council and the LCDC Equality Subgroup.
Barry Eaton, Social Inclusion Officer at Monaghan County Council, congratulated Inver College on advancing to the second level of the Yellow Flag Programme and praised staff and students for their "commitment to a truly inclusive education and society".