University Researchers Turn a Spotlight on NI’s Divided Education System


A project launched by Ulster University turns a spotlight on aspects of school education in NI which might stand in the way of developing an integrated, equitable system.

The UU School of Education has received funding from The Integrated Education Fund (IEF), the UNESCO Centre and the Community Foundation to enable the team to share the findings of academic research through a series of accessible briefing papers illustrated by infographics. The project – called transforming education – aims to examine and illuminate issues which reinforce the segregated nature of the education system.

The first publication looks at employment mobility of teachers and the papers can be downloaded here:

Download the briefing paper

Download the infographic

University Researchers turn a Spotlight on NI’s Divided Education SystemMost people know that it is illegal for employers to discriminate on the basis of religion – the Fair Employment and Treatment order means employers must not discriminate on the grounds of religious or cultural background, and their employment practices must be monitored and reported to the Equality Commission. However, around 17000 employees are not recorded in this way, because there is an exception to the order when it comes to teaching staff.

At a very basic level, this means that not only are teachers denied the protections given to other professions, but also the figures on fair employment in NI over the past 40 years are not accurate.

Dr Matt Milliken has investigated the impact of this and his research forms the basis of the first briefing paper.

In the coming months more papers will be produced including:
• Religious education and the Catholic Certificate in Education
• Parental choice: myth or reality? travel to primary and post-primary schools
• Teaching unions
• Mapping: pairs of small schools and the prospect for sustainability
• Teacher education
• School governance
• Mapping: pre-school segregation

Each publication in the series will provide communities and stakeholders with the evidence needed if they wish to work towards reform, with the potential for developing a more efficient and less divided education system.