The Shared Education Learning Forum (SELF) was first established in 2010, and its original focus was on building broad support for the shared education concept.
However, SELF’s early work was very successful and accordingly a lot of things have changed since 2010. The Department of Education (DE) now has a formal shared education policy; the Shared Education Act 2016 now places a duty on statutory bodies to “encourage, facilitate and promote” shared education and the government and the Atlantic Philanthropies are co-funding a Shared Education Signature Project (SESP). More recently the Collaboration and Sharing in Education (CASE) project was launched for schools with no or limited previous experience of providing shared education opportunities.
In light of these shifts, SELF’s role and remit has also shifted. In 2016 SELF was renewed and reformed by teachers and Principals to bring practitioner voice into the shared education debate in Northern Ireland. Barbara Ward (former Principal of Cross and Passion College, Ballycastle) is the current convenor of SELF.
The new SELF brings together those who are already delivering shared education on the ground and those who want to become involved, to consider what works and what doesn’t work in the real world, and where shared education policy and practice should be heading if the concept is to deliver the greatest value to our society.
SELF’s Vision, Mission and current objectives are set out in the diagram below (hover over the image to zoom)