News Archive 2014

Dr Gavin Duffy shortlisted for Vice Chancellor’s Impact Prize for research on sharing and collaboration between schools in contested spaces

Gavin Duffy, from the Centre for Shared Education at the School of Education has been shortlisted for the Vice Chancellor’s Impact Prize 2014 under the category of Early Career Researcher.

Gavin’s research in conjunction with Professor Tony Gallagher and the SEP implementation team (Mark Baker, Alistair Stewart and Niki Moat) focused on a partnership of 8 schools in the Foyle Area which established an educational programme exploring a series of social themes including:  anti-social behaviour, community relations, internet safety, health issues and substance misuse. The partnership involved over 1000 pupils aged between 8 and 15 and a network of 35 teachers and 8 school leaders was established.

The research reveals significant social and educational impact to have emerged from shared learning and broader collaboration between schools, including: 

  • Encouraging the movement of pupils, parents and educators across a contested space setting into each other’s communities
  • The formation of relationships and meaningful contact between participants from different cultural backgrounds
  • Building stronger links between schools and statutory/voluntary agencies
  • The formation of a sustainable cross-sectoral school partnership supported by teacher and leader networks
  • Capacity building and professional development opportunities for teachers
  • A unique shared social needs themed educational programme located within the Key Stage 2 PDMU and Key Stage 3 LLW curriculum
  • School improvement

The winner will be announced at the Chief Executive’s Gala Dinner on Friday 21st November 2014

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Research Impact: Centre for Shared Education with Qendra për të drejtat e njeriut dhe zgjidhje të konflikteve

Professor Joanne Hughes and Professor Ruth recently visited the Republic of Macedonia where the Centre for Shared Education has an ongoing collaboration with the  Centre for Human Rights and Conflict Resolution and UNICEF.   
A previous visit, supported by UNICEF, shared with policymakers and practitioners our research findings on principles and cultures of contact and effective interventions to ensure respect for diversity and multiculturalism in the early years.  Since then, over a 100 teachers across10 kindergartens have been trained in pedagogical activities, using educational materials inspired by research on SesameTree to help young children understand and accept differences of any sort. 

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Professor Joanne Hughes presented a paper at the European Conference on Educational Research held in Porto, Portugal on 4th September 2014

Professor Joanne Hughes presented a paper at the European Conference on Educational Research held in Porto, Portugal on 4th September 2014. The presentation focused on ‘Interpretations of National Identity in Post-Conflict Northern Ireland:  A Comparison of Different School Settings’ authored by Joanne Hughes (QUB), Andrea Furey (University of Ulster), Caitlin Donnelly (QUB) & Danielle Blaylock (QUB).

For more details click here

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PhD student Rebecca Loader presented a paper on shared education at the Fourteenth International Conference on Diversity

PhD student Rebecca Loader presented a paper on shared education at the Fourteenth International Conference on Diversity in Organisations, Communities and Nations on 11th July in Vienna, Austria. The paper, entitled "Sharing Education Across Religious Boundaries: A Case Study from Northern Ireland", discussed the advantages and challenges of shared education, drawing on research undertaken within the Centre, including findings from Rebecca's doctoral research." 

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Student teachers from the David Yellin Academic College of Education visit the Centre for Shared Education

This week the Centre for Shared Education hosted a group of trainee teachers from the David Yellin Academic College of Education. The teachers are particularly interested in the role of shared and integrated education in Northern Ireland and to identify any potential crossovers to their own context.

The 12 student teachers attended a seminar on Monday morning given by Mark Baker, Dr Danielle Blaylock and Dr Gavin Duffy covering the context, sharing education programme application and research into contact and collaboration. The following day they visited Limavady to see the shared education partnership between St Mary’s and Limavady High School first hand. After a presentation from the school Principals and senior management the students tasted a school dinner and then went on to attend shared classes.

This visit continues the positive relationship between the Centre and the David  Yellin College and its academic staff.

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Centre for Shared Education visit to Macedonia

Joanne Hughes and Ruth Leitch visit Macedonia from 30th March – 4th April to deliver a workshop on promoting diversity at primary level. Workshop participants  include senior officials and practitioners involved in curriculum planning and delivery. 

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Centre for Shared Education visits Elizabethtown University, Pensylvania

Mark Baker and Dani Blaylock have been invited to deliver a series of presentations on shared education at Elizabethtown University, Pennsylvania  in April. The Centre will then host student teachers from Elizabethtown in May for a series of visits to shared education sites in NI

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Centre for Shared Education welcomes British Association for International and Comparative Education - Student Conference 2014 to Queen's

PhD students and members of the Centre for Shared Education, Helen Hanna and Gareth Robinson, are involved in organising a postgraduate student conference in conjunction with the British Association for International and Comparative Education and the Postgraduate Office at Queen's, to be held on Friday 7th March. The theme of the conference is 'Education in Plural Societies: Conflict and Comparison' and will bring together postgraduate research students from across the UK in order to discuss current issues relating to the role of education in plural or divided societies such as Northern Ireland, Lebanon, Macedonia, Greece, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and others. This is an important opportunity for a new generation of researchers in this field to share their work, receive constructive feedback, and build networks. For further information, email:

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Shared Education - Views of Children and Young People' report launch

The NI Commissioner for Children and Young People’s (NICCY) report ‘Shared Education – Views of Children and Young People’ was launched today at an event at the Ulster Museum in Belfast.

Click here to view the main report which presents findings from NICCY’s consultation of children and young people’s views and experiences of shared education to the Ministerial Advisory Group on Advancing Shared Education. Click here to view an additional report which provides a brief overview of the views of children and young people on shared education.

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On 20th January 2014, staff from the Centre for Shared Education presented the interim findings of a research study

On 20th January 2014, staff from the Centre for Shared Education presented the interim findings of a research study which is currently being undertaken on behalf of the Equality Commission Northern Ireland (ECNI). The study is investigating current educational inequalities in Northern Ireland across the nine equality grounds listed in Section 75 of the Northern Ireland Act 1998 (gender, disability, age, dependant status, sexual orientation, racial group, marital status, religious belief and political opinion) with consideration to levels of access, attainment, progression and destination. During the morning, Dr Stephanie Burns outlined the emerging key inequalities that have been identified from a secondary analysis of significant datasets to a group of key stakeholders, as well as the barriers and enablers to education that have been identified for each equality ground from a review of the literature and qualitative interviews. Prof Joanne Hughes and Prof Ruth Leitch facilitated roundtable discussions with the key stakeholders present, and Dan Sweeney (Senior Policy Officer from ECNI) gave feedback on the discussions for the plenary. These discussions served to highlight the factors that might explain the key inequalities for each ground, as well as any further barriers and enablers to educational access, attainment, progression and destinations, and the key issues that should be brought forward to policymakers upon completion of the research. The final report of the research will be published by the Equality Commission later in 2014.


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A new book Integrated Education in Conflicted Societies

A new book Integrated Education in Conflicted Societies edited by Dr Claire McGlynn (School of Education, QUB), Dr Michalinos Zembylas (Open University of Cyprus) and Dr Zvi Bekerman (Hebrew University Jerusalem) has been published by Palgrave Macmillan. This collection focuses on the developing field of integrated education in conflicted societies and analyses accounts from different geographical and socio-political sites such as Northern Ireland, Israel, Cyprus, Macedonia, Bosnia and Croatia. In each context integrated education has been difficult to initiate, complex to sustain and has aroused the suspicion of historically divided societies: nonetheless, those involved believe it to be essential in contributing to the healing of the wounds afflicting their societies.

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