Duplication and division are endemic at every level of the education system in Northern Ireland. Ninety-three percent of pupils in mainstream education attend schools that have either a British/Protestant or a Catholic/Irish heritage and identity. These school sectors are overseen by separate administrative authorities. Boards of Governors are comprised of members that have been appointed to maintain and safeguard the ethos of the school; they are likely to be drawn from only one side of the community and may be heavily influenced by clerics.
Teachers are required to be in possession of an additional, faith-specific, RE certificate in order to teach in Catholic primary schools, and they are not protected by the hard-fought-for fair employment laws that workers in other professions can take for granted. Primary school teachers are prepared to teach in Catholic Maintained schools in one teaching college, whilst another college provides teachers mainly for the state Controlled primary sector. The enduring, historical, community divide is even apparent in the configuration of unions that represent the interests of teachers.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationColeraine
PublisherUlster University
Number of pages113
ISBN (Print)13 978-1-85923-286-6
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - Apr 2021


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