Northern Ireland is a deeply divided society and the education system reflects the level of separation between Protestant and Catholic communities. More than 90 per cent of children attend religiously segregated schools. A declining school-aged population, however, has required administrators to find new ways of collaborating. The shared education programme involves two or more schools from different community backgrounds working together to share expertise, classes, facilities and teachers.
In Londonderry/Derry, two Catholic secondary schools, St. Cecilia’s College and St. Mary’s College, are sharing academic expertise and weekly citizenship classes with a Protestant school, Lisneal College. Recently, Lisneal faced pressure to improve standards in its science courses.
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