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Cross-community school project launched

A major cross-community project partnering schools from Northern Ireland’s two main traditions has been launched.

The Partnership, Inclusion, Reconciliation, Citizenship and History Project (PIRCH) aims to develop collaborative partnerships within schools and improve community relations.

The project, which will run in the North Eastern Education and Library Board area, was launched yesterday by Dr Denis Rooney CBE, chairman of the International Fund for Ireland, which has provided financial assistance of up to £1,153,000.

The three-year project, which will be implemented across 12 schools, will provide support to teachers and young people to promote community relations in six pairs of neighbouring post primary schools in nationalist and unionist areas.

It will encourage up to 7,000 students to share all aspects of school life and to work together to shape a better and shared future for them all.

“Over its lifetime, the project will be delivered to approximately 7,000 students. As well as bringing about educational changes, we hope it will go some way to build trust and break down barriers in communities — objectives that are integral to the International Fund for Ireland’s strategy and our Sharing in Education Programme,” said Dr Rooney.

“The project will support teachers to educate pupils together in community relations, citizenship and history and to encourage them to share their beliefs, values and cultures in all aspects of school life.”

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