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Wilton Park dialogue: A More Confident and Inclusive Northern Ireland

Professor Joanne Hughes was a guest speaker at the Wilton Park dialogue from 22nd until 24th June 2022. This event was organised by the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office and the Northern Ireland Office, and sought to address the following questions:

  • What are the conditions needed for Northern Ireland to really thrive and shape a prosperous and vibrant future, as well as work through the remaining challenges affecting Northern Ireland’s success and post conflict transformation?
  • What needs to change in Northern Ireland over the coming quarter century in order to fully realise the hopes and ambitions of Northern Ireland’s young people?
  • What links can Northern Ireland forge to drive social, cultural, political and economic success for the next generation?
  • How can education and skills support the young people of Northern Ireland to reach their full potential? And how to work together to build a confident and inclusive Northern Ireland for all?

Participants included NI Ministers, a range of stakeholder organisations representing youth and education in NI, academics and policymakers. Professor Hughes’ presentation addressed barriers to inclusion and integration in education, focusing specifically on the role of academic selection and the grammar school system as inhibitors.

The report from the event can be found here: