Schools are being encouraged to apply for support to build on existing sharing arrangements as part of the Shared Education Campuses programme.
The Shared Education Campuses (SEC) programme was launched in January 2014 under the Executive’s ‘Together: Building a United Community’ initiative. Capital funding has been secured under the Fresh Start to the Stormont House Agreement.
To date five projects have been announced to proceed in planning and the Executive has committed to starting 10 new shared education campuses by 2018.
Speaking about the initiative, the Minister said “I am very pleased to open the third call to the Shared Education Campuses Programme. Shared Education is now well established across Northern Ireland and the shared education campuses programme seeks to build on these strong foundations. This Programme will enhance the quality and extent of shared education provision, thus ensuring that sharing in education becomes a central part of every child’s educational experience.
“In addition, the Shared Education Act, which came into effect in May 2016, places a duty on my Department and other relevant bodies to encourage, facilitate and promote shared education. These measures taken together will help further embed sharing at school level among our local communities and, in turn, will contribute to the vision of a shared, reconciled society. I would encourage all schools that have a strong history of sharing to consider applying to this programme and look forward to giving full consideration to the shared education campus proposals that come forward.”
Lauri McCusker, Director of the Fermanagh Trust which administers the Rural Centre for Shared Education added “As we have seen in County Fermanagh, there is huge potential for schools working together in terms of joint planning, joint classes, training, teacher exchange etc. This shared campus programme provides schools with the opportunity to build on existing sharing arrangements and to access funding to help improve or provide shared educational facilities. We would strongly recommend people across the community to explore this opportunity”
The deadline for the submission of proposals under this third call is 27 January 2017. The next set of projects approved to proceed in planning is expected to be announced in May 2017.
All schools will receive details of how to apply for the programme, including the full range of criteria that proposals must meet before they can be considered.
Further details on the Shared Education Campuses Programme and the application process are available on the DE website.