Promoting good relations
The role of schools in Northern Ireland
in Everyday life after the Irish conflict
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This chapter tracks community relations initiatives in education over the last three decades and considers the potential for school-based encounters to deliver peace-building objectives. The chapter provides an overview of the contact theory. The policy imperative for school-based contact dates back to the early 1980s, when the Northern Ireland Department of Education made the first public statement of commitment to the development of a community relations policy. In 2007, against the backdrop of a statutory community relations programme with limited impact, two international philanthropic organisations (International Fund for Ireland and Atlantic Philanthropies) offered funding for the large-scale Sharing Education Programme (SEP) in Northern Ireland. Although SEP is still in relatively early stages of delivery, a body of evidence is beginning to accumulate that is consistent in finding that the model offers an effective means of promoting good relations.

Everyday life after the Irish conflict

The impact of devolution and cross-border cooperation

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