Study reveals that integrated schools are less sectarian

A report released by Queens University today, has revealed that people who attend integrated schools in Northern Ireland could create a new "political common ground."

The article entitled 'In search of the middle ground: Integrated education and Northern Ireland politics,' is the result of six-years of research into the political attitudes and identities of the younger generation.

The study found that people attending integrated schools are more likely to reject traditional identities and allegiances.

Professor Bernadette Hayes, Professor Ian McAllister and Lizanne Dowds conducted a number of various surveys to study the attitudes of students attending both integrated and segregated schools.

Professor Hayes said: "These results, tentative as they are, add weight to the studies which have shown that integrated schools can and do have an impact on the outlooks of the pupils who attend them.

"Moreover, our study - based on a large sample of the adult population - suggests that the positive effects of integrated schooling extend into later life.

"As the numbers experiencing integrated schooling grows, these individuals have the potential to create a new common ground in Northern Ireland politics."

The report suggested that Protestants who attended an integrated school were less likely to say that they were British or unionist; however, they were not willing to adopt an Irish or nationalist identity.

Catholics who attended an integrated school were less likely to endorse an Irish identity, but were more likely to say they were neither unionist nor nationalist.

The study found that 80% of Protestants who attended a fairly mixed or segregated school favoured the union with Britain, compared to 65% of those who went to an integrated school. Just over 50% of Catholics who attended a segregated school supported Irish re-unification, copared to 35% of those who had experienced integrated education.

Integrated education has been promoted as a way to break down Northern Ireland's sectarian divisions.


Related Northern Ireland News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

19 March 2020
Head Teachers Union Welcomes School Closures
The National Association of Head Teachers has welcomed the news that all schools in Northern Ireland will close from Friday.
10 March 2020
Coronavirus Closes Schools & Belfast Call Centre
The coronavirus outbreak has caused the temporary closure of two schools and a Halifax call centre. The business in the Belfast Gasworks area closed for deep cleaning today, Tuesday 10 March, after a colleague was diagnosed with Covid-19. It's understood employees have been told not to attend work at the south Belfast site.
18 October 2006
NI unemployment rate remains low
Northern Ireland's unemployment rate remains below the UK average, and output levels for both production and service sector industries have increased according to the latest Labour Market Statistics published by the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment. The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in Northern Ireland was 4.
12 March 2020
Budget: Extra £210m For NI Public Services
Business and political leaders have been giving their reactions to the Budget, with an extra £210 million allocated for public services in Northern Ireland. The Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, yesterday pledged a £12 billion package of measures aimed at tackling the spread of coronavirus across the UK.
20 November 2003
Alliance unveil plan for expanding integrated education
The Alliance party has unveiled a nine-point plan aimed at expanding integrated education in Northern Ireland. Education spokesperson, Eileen Bell said that while integrated education wasn't the total solution to problems locally, it was vital for the future of Northern Ireland if divisions between the two communities were to be overcome.