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Impact and Publications

  • Recommendation 1974
    A team from CSE (Dr James Nelson, Prof Joanne Hughes and Prof Tony Gallagher) was appointed the expert advisor to UNESCO UK Delegation on the revision of UNESCO 1974 Recommendation concerning education for international understanding, co-operation and peace and education relating to human rights and fundamental freedoms. As UK expert advisor, CSE led the review of the document and proposed amendments from the UK that were subsequently negotiated at an intergovernmental conference at UNESCO HQ in May 2023. Many of the recommendations were accepted and are included in the text of the international document adopted at the 42nd General Conference of UNESCO in November 2023. See here for details: Revision of the 1974 Recommendation concerning education for international understanding, co-operation and peace and education relating to human rights and fundamental freedoms | UNESCO


  • Shared education is included as one of 19 Signature Projects within Queen’s University’s Social Charter. The Social Charter affirms the University’s commitment to engaging with society and highlights its positive impact, locally and internationally.
  • Staff from the Centre have had substantial engagement with government, locally and internationally. Colleagues have provided written and oral evidence to the Northern Ireland Assembly’s Committee for Education, most recently to inform the Shared Education Bill (2015). In Israel, Professor Tony Gallagher has presented on shared education to the Israeli Minister of Education and senior advisers; while in Cyprus, Professor Joanne Hughes has met the Minister of Education to discuss the shared education model.
  • The Centre’s work has also been profiled in national and international media, including The Telegraph newspaper in the UK, the Haaretz newspaper in Israel (link), and The Forward, a leading magazine for the Jewish community in the USA (link). 
  • The Queen’s Anniversary Prize 

    In February 2020, the Centre for Shared Education was awarded the Queen’s Anniversary Prize- a UK-wide award recognising the excellence, innovation and public benefit of various UK colleges and universities and their work.  The Centre was honoured to receive this award for having made a considerable impact on Northern Ireland’s education system and beyond in the field of Shared Education.  The Queen’s Anniversary Prize is regarded as one of the most prestigious awards in the education sector.  

    For further information click here
  • Queen’s University Social Charter Podcast- Chapter One: Shared Education 

    The Charter Podcast is a serialised podcast from the Queen’s University Social Charter, which delves into the impact that Queen’s University Belfast, its staff and students have on communities here in Northern Ireland and others around the world. In Chapter One of the podcast, Maurice Macartney talks with Prof Tony Gallagher, Prof Joanne Hughes and Dr Gavin Duffy about how Shared Education was developed in Northern Ireland and how it has grown to influence other post-conflict societies in other countries. 

    To listen to the podcast click here



Recent Publications


Cantley, I. (2024). The philosophical limitations of educational assessment: implications for academic selection. London: Palgrave MacMillan.

Donnelly, C., Loader, R., McLaughlin, A. and Emerson, L. (2024). Adolescents’ and teachers’ experience of shared education: a small-scale qualitative study in Northern Ireland. Cambridge Journal of Education, 1–19.

Duffy, G., Robinson, G. and Templeton, M. (2024). An analysis of the policy drivers and legal frameworks associated with school exclusion in Northern Ireland. Policy Futures in Education. 

Gallagher, T. (2024). Religion and diversity in schools in Northern Ireland. Belfast: Queen’s University Belfast.



Fitzpatrick, C., Loader, R., McCartney, S., McConnell, B., McMullen, J., Murray, C., Orr, K., Purdy, N. and Simms, V. (2023). The consequences of the cuts to education for children and young people in Northern Ireland.

Hughes, J. and Loader, R. (2023). Shared education: a case study in social cohesion. Research Papers in Education, 38 (3), 305-327.

Loader, R., Jimenez, E., O'Boyle, A. and Hughes, J. (2023). Experiences of education among minority ethnic groups in Northern Ireland. Belfast: Queen’s University Belfast.

Loader, R. and Hughes, J. (2023). Evaluation of the Controversial and Sensitive Issues teacher professional learning programme. Report for the Education Authority.

Loader, R., Hughes, J., Jimenez, E. & O'Boyle, A. (2023). Who knows? (De)Valuing migrant parents’ knowledge in Northern Ireland’s schools. Research Intelligence, 157.

McManus, C. (2023). Political interventions to ‘ripen’ peace initiatives: An analysis of the Northern Ireland and Israeli/Palestinian conflicts. Ethnopolitics, 22 (3), 335-352.

Nelson, J. and Yang, Y. (2023). The role of teachers’ religious beliefs in their classroom practice – a personal or public concern? Journal of Beliefs & Values, 44 (3), 316–333.

O’Boyle, A. 2023. A Welcome Dictionary: refugee families using dictionary resources to support English Language Learning: A Report on A S Hornby Dictionary Research Award Project.



Donnelly, C. and Burns, S. (2022). The experience of intergroup contact in primary-school ‘Shared Education’ classrooms: evidence from Northern Ireland. Research Papers in Education. 37(4), 520–541.

Duffy, G., Gallagher, T. and Robinson, G. (2022). Teaching history and citizenship in schools in Northern Ireland. In T. Gallagher, D. Yitzhaki, N. Aloni and Z. Gross (Eds.), Activist Pedagogy and Shared Education in Divided Societies. International Perspectives and Next Practices (1 ed). Leiden: Bril, pp. 253-270l.

Gallagher, T., Duffy, G. and Robinson, G. (2022). Turning research into policy: The experience of shared education in Northern Ireland. In T. Gallagher, D. Yitzhaki, N. Aloni and Z. Gross (Eds.), Activist Pedagogy and Shared Education in Divided Societies. International Perspectives and Next Practices (1 ed). Leiden: Brill, pp. 93-105.

Gallagher, T., Duffy, G. and Robinson, G. (2022). School collaboration in a divided society: shared education in Northern Ireland. In Armstrong, P. and Brown, C. (eds.) School to school collaboration: learning across international contexts. Leeds: Emerald Publishing, pp. 157-168. 

Hughes, J. and Loader, R. (2022). Is academic selection in Northern Ireland a barrier to social cohesion? Research Papers in Education

Jerome, L., Britton, A., Emerson, L., James, S., Milliken, M. and Sant, E. (2022). Citizenship education in the United Kingdom: Comparing England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. JSSE - Journal of Social Science Education, 21 (4).

Loader, R. (2022). Shared spaces, separate places: desegregation and boundary change in Northern Ireland’s schools. Research Papers in Education, 37 (6), 1097-1118.

Muff, A. and Donnelly, C. (2022). Three-faced: The conflicting roles of citizenship education in conflict-affected societies – A comparison of Northern Ireland and Israel. Research in Comparative and international Education17(3), 460-485.

Nelson, J. and Yang, Y. (2022). World religions in Religious Education in Northern Ireland: a policy implementation analysis using strategic action field theory. Religion & Education, 49 (1), 61–81.

Robinson, B., O'Boyle, A. and Chong, S. W. (2022). A protocol for a systematic review of community and volunteer-led initiatives for social integration and language education of asylum seekers and refugees. International Database of Education Systematic Reviews.



Donnelly, C., McAuley, C., Blaylock, D. and Hughes, J. (2021). Teaching about the Past in Northern Ireland: Avoidance, Neutrality, and Criticality. Irish Educational Studies40(1), 3-18.

Duffy, G., Robinson, G., Gallagher, T. and Templeton, M. (2021). School exclusion disparities in the UK: a view from Northern Ireland. Emotional & Behavioural Difficulties26(1), 3-18.

Flanagan, D. and O'Boyle, A. (2021). Evaluation of a bespoke work-related English language course for newcomers in Northern Ireland. Professional and Academic English, 28 (2), 71.

Gallagher, T. (2021). Governance and leadership in education policy making and school development in a divided society. School Leadership & Management, 41(1-2), 132-151.

Gallagher, T., Robinson, G. and Duffy, G. (2021). Paper 1: Shared Education: lessons from an education initiative in Northern Ireland. (EDUCATION IN DIVIDED SOCIETIES NETWORK (EDS-N+) BRIEFING PAPERS). Belfast: Queen’s University Belfast.

Hayward, K. and McManus, C. (2021). Northern Ireland: Society and Culture. In M. Garnett (Ed.), The Routledge Handbook of British Politics and SocietyAbingdon: Routledge.

Hughes, J. and Loader, R. (2021). Building bridges: Dialogue and interaction between teachers from divided communities involved in a shared education project. In L. Caronia (Ed.), Language and Social Interaction at Home and School. Amsterdam: John Benjamins, pp. 295-316.

Jost, D. and Hughes, J. (2021). Teacher relationships in a Shared Learning Programme in Israel: Intergroup contact theory and the importance of friendships. Psychology: Science and Practice, V (9-10), 9-26.

Nelson, J. and Stapleton, C. (2019). Non-religious Teachers in Schools with a Religious Ethos in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland: Experiences of Recruitment and Promotion Processes.

Reimer, N. K., Hughes, J., Blaylock, D., Donnelly, C., Wölfer, R. and Hewstone, M. (2021). Shared education as a contact-based intervention to improve intergroup relations among adolescents in post-conflict Northern Ireland. Developmental Psychology, 58 (1), 193–208.

Tomovska Misoska, A. and Loader, R. (2021). The role of school-based contact in reducing social distance: qualitative insights from Northern Ireland and the Republic of North Macedonia. Journal of Peace Education, 18 (2), 182-208.

Woods, P. A., Torrance, D., Donnelly, C., Hamilton, T., Jones, K. and Potter, I. (2021). Constructions and purposes of school leadership in the UK. School Leadership and Management, 40 (1-2), 152-170.



Donnelly, C., McAuley, C. and Lundy, L. (2020). Managerialism and human rights in a post-conflict society: Challenges for educational leaders in Northern Ireland. School Leadership and Management, 41 (1-2), 117-131.

Duffy, G. and Gallagher, T. (2020). Schools, communities and the police – shared education as a mechanism for social cohesion and community safety. Education and Society, 38 (2), 37-61.

Gallagher, T., Duffy, G. and Robinson, G. (2020). School improvement in the Shared Education Signature Project: The views of teachers and principals. Belfast: Queen’s University Belfast.

Gallagher, T., Duffy, G., Robinson, G. and Hadfield, M. (2020). Attitudes towards, and experiences of, the Network for Shared School Improvement: A survey of teachers and school leaders. Belfast: Queen’s University Belfast.

Hughes, J., Jost, D., Loader, R. and Turner, R. (2020). The experience and impact of shared education among current teachers in Northern Ireland. Belfast: Queen’s University Belfast.

Loader, R., Hughes, J., Blaylock, D. and Turner, R. (2020). Collaboration in Sharing Education: Year 1 qualitative report. Belfast: Queen’s University Belfast.

McManus, C. (2020). Reimagining Belfast: Obstacles and opportunities since the Good Friday Agreement. In S. Mabon and J. Nagle (Eds.), Urban Spaces and Sectarian Contestation. Sepad, Richardson Institute, Lancaster University. pp. 11-15

McManus, C. (2020). Conceptualising Islamic "radicalisation" in Europe through “othering”: Lessons from the conflict in Northern Ireland. Terrorism and Political Violence, 32 (2), 325-344.

Reimer, N., Hughes, J., Blaylock, D. and Hewstone, M. (2020). Can shared education improve intergroup relations in Northern Ireland? Evidence from a large-scale longitudinal study. Oxford: University of Oxford and Queen’s University Belfast.

Robinson, G., Gallagher, A., Duffy, G. and McAneney, H. (2020). At the boundaries: School networks in divided societies. Journal of Professional Capital and Community, 5 (2), 183-197.



Connolly, P., Hanratty, J., Hughes, J., Chapman, C. & Blaylock, D. (2019). PROTOCOL: Protocol for a systematic review: Inter‐school collaborations for improving educational and social outcomes for children and young people.  In : Campbell Systematic Reviews. 15 (1-2), e1011. 

Gallagher, A., Robinson, G., Hughes, J. and Connolly, D. (2019). Education in conflict-affected areas: Final report. British Council. 

Loader, R., Hughes, J. and Turner, R. (2019). Mainstreaming Shared Education: Practitioners' Perspectives: Report for the Shared Education Learning Forum. 

Loader, R. and Hughes, J. (2019). Mainstreaming Shared Education: Stakeholders' perspectives: Report for the Social Change Initiative. 

Nelson, J. (2019). The Nature of nurture in inclusive Religious Education. Religious Education, 114 (5), 624–639.

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