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Religion and Diversity in schools in Northern Ireland

Prof Tony Gallagher head and shoulders

In March 2024 Professor Tony Gallagher presented his recent analysis of religion and diversity in NI schools. The main finding is that there has been little change in school composition since the signing of the Belfast/Good Friday Agreement, with the least level of change in Catholic schools. Against the stated aspiration by the Churches that schools should become more diverse, the presentation considered a number of ways schools might achieve that goal.

Prof Gallagher’s research interests focus on the role of education in divided societies and the civic and  democratic role of higher education. Since the early 2000s an important focus for his work has been on the development of collaborative school networks. This work led to the development of the Northern Ireland Model of Shared Education, a model that is now adopted as a statutory duty of the Department of Education, and adapted for use in a range of other divided societies around the world.