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International Fund for Ireland welcomes new policy for shared education

on .

The International Fund for Ireland today (16th September 2015) welcomed the publication of the Department of Education’s Sharing Works: A Policy for Shared Education. Dr Adrian Johnston, Chairman of the International Fund for Ireland said:

“I welcome the publication of this policy as a significant step towards making shared education a reality for all schools, pupils and communities. Shared Education must be embedded within our education system and the Minister and the Department deserve credit for defining and setting out the vision and objectives for the way ahead.

“Our programme for Shared Education has demonstrated that working together can help sustain schools, improve academic performance and build a shared future. Over the past decade, the International Fund for Ireland and the Atlantic Philanthropies have made a huge commitment, in money and effort, to advancing shared education and developed projects and partnerships that demonstrate how cross-sectoral collaboration can be an integral part of school life. These proven shared education models have helped pave the way for this policy and can support the Department in the implementation of ‘Sharing Works’.

“Establishing meaningful collaboration between schools must now be a priority for everyone. We cannot delay in giving pupils the chance to take part in high quality educational experiences that promote positive academic, economic and reconciliation outcomes. The case for schools working together has been made, now is the time to deliver.”

Between 2008 and 2013, the International Fund for Ireland invested more than £18m in its Sharing in Education Programme (SiEP). The Programme engaged more than 500 schools across 22 projects that promote sharing and reconciliation and span all levels of formal education from early years through to teacher training and development. More than 65,500 children and young people took part in the 22 projects, three of which were also supported by the Atlantic Philanthropies which invested £5m.