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Education in Northern Ireland since the Good Friday Agreement: Kabuki theatre meets danse macabre

Gardner J (2016) Education in Northern Ireland since the Good Friday Agreement: Kabuki theatre meets danse macabre, Oxford Review of Education, 42 (3), pp. 346-361.

The Good Friday Agreement (1998) between the UK and Irish governments, and most of the political parties in Northern Ireland, heralded a significant step forward in securing peace and stability for this troubled region of the British Isles. From the new-found stability, the previous fits and starts of education reform were replaced by a determination for modernization and innovation, infused with a new energy and momentum. This sense of purpose embraced a complex weave of ideas and ideals; all designed variously to smooth, celebrate and harness community differences for the collective good. Much progress has been made in the intervening years since 1998, particularly in political structures and relationships. However, the euphoria of the new dawn of the Agreement had barely begun to shape the future before entrenched ‘tribal’ tensions reproduced the same political and legislative impasses of former years and visited their all-too-familiar blight on the economic, cultural and educational landscapes. This paper focuses on two signature dimensions of education that have been sustained by this partisanship: segregation by religion and segregation by academic selection.

AuthorsGardner John
Publication date2016
Publication date online19/05/2016
Date accepted by journal11/02/2016
PublisherTaylor and Francis
ISSN 0305-4985

Oxford Review of Education: Volume 42, Issue 3

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