Research suggests that the extended contact provided by integrated schools can create the conditions for generating mutual respect and understanding, fostering cross-community friendships, reducing prejudicial attitudes and promoting a sense of security in religious, racial or ethnically diverse environments.
In a society coming out of conflict, this is particularly important for creating a truly shared society. Integrated schools can play an important role in that process.
In integrated schools, children of all backgrounds learn side by side in the same classrooms every day. Since the first school opened in the 1980s, integrated education has demonstrated that it can:
“As children and young people prepare to live and work in a global, multicultural and pluralistic society, the benefits of educating them together are becoming increasingly recognised. As we aim to become a shared society that respects diversity, integrated education has much to offer the school system and society as a whole.”
(Department of Education, 2017)