The recent publication of the IEF commissioned Oxford Economics scoping paper “Developing the case for Shared Education” has come at a timely period in education. The Sharing Education Programme (SEP) welcomes the report and encourages the Executive to look at its work in shared education.
For the last 4 years the SEP has been supporting schools in the development of models of collaboration: importantly these partnerships have been formed on a cross-sectoral basis. SEP research and development work has highlighted the education and cohesion gains that can be achieved, in addition to the economic gains.
The Sharing Education Programme supports extraordinary work in over 60 schools as a result of which over 4,000 pupils have enjoyed the opportunity to take shared education classes with their peers in collaborating schools.
Comparative experience in other countries is important, but teachers, schools, pupils and parents across Northern Ireland have demonstrated innovative and compelling examples of shared education in practice. They should be encouraged to develop these innovative models as a positive contribution to a shared and better future.
For further information on the Sharing Education Projects follow the links above to SEPI and SEPII.
Meeting these challenges will require, in the words of the Chief Inspector Marion Matchett, '… much higher levels of collaboration, joined-up thinking and action, and integrated working …'
- Chief Inspector's Report, 2007