Shared Education

The Department of Education has a statutory duty to “encourage, facilitate and promote the development of Shared education. The Education Authority embraces every opportunity to support DE in fulfilling this duty.

What is Shared Education?

Shared Education is described as the organisation and delivery of education so that it provides for the education together of learners of different religious beliefs, including reasonable numbers of both Protestant and Roman Catholic pupil, and those of different socio-economic status.  

 Shared Education delivers opportunities for children and young people from different communities, as well as social and economic backgrounds, to learn together on a regular and sustained basis, for both social and educational benefits. 


The Shared Education Act (Northern Ireland) 2016 means there is legislative provision in relation to Shared Education and the Department of Education and the Education Authority have a duty under the Act to encourage, facilitate and promote Shared Education.

The Act further defines the purpose of shared education as to -

  • deliver educational benefits to children and young persons;

  • promote the efficient and effective use of resources;

  • promote equality of opportunity;

  • promote good relations; and

  • promote respect for identity, diversity and community cohesion

Number of schools involved in shared education

Steps into Sharing 229 schools (19%)

CASE 285 schools (25%)

Mainstream shared education 371 schools (33%)


Aspects of shared education

Many of our schools are involved in shared education here are some highlights.


The CASE project was supported by the PEACE IV programme, managed by the Special EU Programmes Body with a budget of €24million. The lead partner was the Education Authority, with project partner Léargas. The funding was also supported by the Department of Education in Northern Ireland and the Department of Education in Ireland.

Over six years the CASE project has supported 386 schools, both primary and post-primary, with over 140,000 pupils taking part in Shared Education lessons through local partnerships on a cross-sectoral and cross-border basis.  Over 2000 teachers were involved in delivering Shared Education lessons and engaged in training to support collaboration both in person and online.

Case Celebration event

The CASE Celebration Event took place in the Whitla Hall, Queens University on 27th February 2023.

More information can be found at the Shared Education website.

Pupil Voice

A crucial aspect of shared education is the pupil voice and child centred approaches to learning.

For further information please contact :

Last updated: 22/05/2023