Shared Education

The Department’s vision for Shared Education is ‘An education system where Shared Education is embedded in partnership working across religious and socio-economic divides, that delivers educational benefits, and promotes a culture of inclusivity, respect and mutual understanding, contributing to community cohesion and good relations’.

Shared Education involves two or more schools, or pre-schools or youth organisations, working together to provide opportunities for children and young people from different religious and socio-economic backgrounds to be educated together.  The schools and settings involved in Shared Education retain their individual ethos and identity and work together in partnership for the benefit of all their students and young people.

The main purposes of Shared Education include delivering educational benefits to children and young people, promoting good relations and promoting respect for identity, diversity and community cohesion. 

The building of strong, supportive and interdependent connections between schools and other educational settings through Shared Education enables children and young people, teachers and practitioners, and families and communities to develop long lasting relationships and friendships, helping to improve relations and reconciliation outcomes between communities. 

Shared Education centres around regular and purposeful curriculum-based contact which delivers educational benefits and contributes to the raising of standards.  It provides opportunities for children and young people, who may not otherwise or ordinarily have the chance to do so, to mix, interact, socialise and, fundamentally, to learn with and about their peers from different backgrounds.    

Information on Shared Education legislation, policy, delivery, reports and evaluations can be accessed through the links below.

For further information on Shared Education please contact the Department’s Shared Education & Community Relations Team at


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