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Inequality, segregation and poor performance: the education system in Northern Ireland

Borooah, Vani and Knox, Colin (2015): Inequality, segregation and poor performance: the education system in Northern Ireland. Published in: Educational Review No. 10.1080/00131911.2016.1213225 (15 August 2016): pp. 1-19.

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Abstract

Northern Ireland is now a post-conflict society but one of the legacies of the ‘troubles’ is an education system which is defined by religion. A parallel system of schools continues to exist where Catholics largely attend ‘maintained’ schools and Protestants ‘controlled’ or state schools. While segregation along religious grounds is the most obvious fault line in Northern Ireland schools, more insidious problems of access and performance inequalities exist which has been overshadowed by efforts to improve community relations between children and promote integrated education. This paper uses school leavers’ data to examine the nature of inequality in schools and consider an alternative policy option for tackling inequality and segregation, respectively.

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