New strategy will embed Shared Education in Northern Ireland: McIlveen

Date published: 21 September 2022

Education Minister Michelle McIlveen has launched the Mainstreaming Shared Education Strategy during Good Relations Week 2022.

Minister with pupils and principals from Ballynahinch Primary School and St Patrick's Primary School

The Strategy sets out the vision and plans for embedding Shared Education throughout the Northern Ireland education system.

Launching the strategy during a visit to a shared education partnership between St Patrick’s and Ballynahinch Primary Schools, Minister McIlveen said:

“The benefits of Shared Education are clear.  Shared learning experiences contribute to improved educational outcomes, and meaningful engagement between pupils from different backgrounds helps to promote good relations between communities. Minister pictured with pupils launching the Mainstreaming Shared Education Strategy

“This strategy aims to create the conditions to enable partnership working across religious and socio-economic divides. It also seeks to establish Shared Education as a core feature of educational provision in Northern Ireland that is affordable, sustainable and accessible to all. Extending the reach of Shared Education will help to provide opportunities for all children and young people to benefit from shared learning experiences.”

The Strategy will be implemented in a phased approach through a series of delivery plans, which will involve the setting of strategic priorities, with associated actions to deliver over the short, medium and long term.

The Minister continued:

“The Mainstreaming Shared Education Strategy has been co-designed by key educational stakeholders and is informed by expert practitioners. It is clear that it can contribute to changing attitudes, and over time, as part of a wider co-ordinated approach, it can help to create a more prosperous and harmonious society for future generations.

Minister with pupils at the launch of the Shared Education Strategy “Launching the strategy during Good Relations Week is an acknowledgement of the importance of Shared Education in promoting better community relations and making Northern Ireland a better place for all.”

A copy of the report is available at: https://www.education-ni.gov.uk/publications/mainstreaming-shared-education-strategy

Notes to editors: 

  1. The Mainstreaming Shared Education Strategy makes a number of Statements of Intent across six key areas: Participation and Collaboration, Capacity Building, Support and Resources, Communication, Monitoring and Evaluation and Governance and Accountability.
  2. Follow us on Twitter @Education_NI
  3. Media enquiries to the Department of Education Press Office Tel: 028 9127 9207 or email: Press.Office@education-ni.gov.uk.
  4. The Executive Information Service operates an out-of-hours service for media enquiries only between 1800hrs and 0800hrs Monday to Friday and at weekends and public holidays. The duty press officer can be contacted on 028 9037 8110.

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