Reforming education in post-partition Northern Ireland
State control and churches’ interference
After the partition of Ireland, the newly established parliament in Belfast was given control over education. The unionist government, mainly representing the majoritarian Protestant population, embarked on a reform of the pre-existing denominational education system and tried to persuade all the churches to transfer their schools to state control in exchange for public funding. Despite the sincere efforts of the first Minister of Education, the Catholic Church rejected interference in education from a government that its followers perceived as hostile, while the Protestant churches became increasingly intransigent in their demands for more control over state schools. In order to ensure their support, the government met their requests, ignoring the instances of teachers and principals who called for independence from clerical managers. The result was a segregated education system that contributed to maintain the deep divisions of the Northern Irish society.
|Keywords||Education reforms, denominational education, Catholic Church, Protestant churches, Northern Ireland|
|Persistent URL||dx.doi.org/10.1080/0046760X.2020.1738563, hdl.handle.net/1765/127564|
|Journal||History of Education : Journal of the History of Education Society|
Biaggi, C. (2020). Reforming education in post-partition Northern Ireland. History of Education : Journal of the History of Education Society, 49 (2020)(3), 379–397. doi:10.1080/0046760X.2020.1738563