The Department for Education has published a report on the outcome of mixing/merging schools in Oldham and what impact this had on ethnic group relationships etc. Although these are not the same as Northern Ireland, there are some interesting parallels for integrated education in Northern Ireland.
Some of the key findings below:
• “Both Asian-British and White-British pupils in mixed schools expressed more positive attitudes and higher levels of trust (proxies for tolerance) towards outgroup pupils than those in segregated schools.”
• “There was consistent evidence that attitudes relating to trust and tolerance of other groups differ amongst White-British pupils in mixed vs segregated schools. Attitudes were more positive and, as would be expected, mixing was more frequent in mixed than segregated schools.”
• “Mixed schools do result in more social mixing between ethnic groups over time, and mixing is reliably associated with more positive views of the outgroup.”
• “There was consistent evidence of mixing in the classroom. Our research did not set out to compare mixing in different settings, but we found evidence across studies that the school was the most important context for mixing. This report did, however, find evidence of segregation within school during lunchtimes (see Section 5).”
• “There was evidence of a significant role played by how pupils perceived their parents’ views. Neither White-British nor Asian-British perceived strong support for mixing from their friends and families, but mixed schools appeared to help in promoting more positive perceptions of norms. Even when norms were perceived to be negative, contact still promoted more positive outgroup attitudes, and to greater effect.”
You can read the report in full on the Department for Education website here.
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