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ERIC Number: EJ1133118
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017
Pages: 16
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1361 7672
Schooling, the Protestant Churches and the State in Northern Ireland: A Tension Resolved
Armstrong, David
Journal of Beliefs & Values, v38 n1 p89-104 2017
In 1998, Byrne and McKeown examined the churches' roles in Northern Ireland's (NI) schooling system. NI was then governed by direct-rule from the UK's Westminster Parliament. The authors concluded that the desire of the Protestant churches to re-establish their influence in schools was "unlikely to succeed." This was contrasted with the "success-story" of Catholic influence in schooling. This article tracks the fortunes of the Protestant churches in NI's educational policy developments in the last 18 years. Of particular interest are the government's proposals to establish an Education and Skills Authority (ESA) under a new Education Bill. A careful reading of the Protestant churches' annual education reports indicates the alarm with which these proposals were met. In the early years of the new millennium it seemed that the conclusions of the 1998 paper were prescient. However, extensive lobbying by the Protestant churches in a changed (devolved) political context secured almost all their demands. This article concludes that the "tension" (claimed in the 1998 paper) between the Protestant churches and the state has largely been resolved. The article evaluates the significance of recent developments for the Protestant churches and their involvement in schooling. More critically, the propriety of these developments is questioned asking if they mark an advance for the Protestant churches and/or schooling in NI.
Routledge. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 530 Walnut Street Suite 850, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Tel: 215-625-8900; Fax: 215-207-0050; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom (Northern Ireland)
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A