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Submission to the Commission on Integration and Cohesion

Citizenship Foundation, January 2007

This submission from the Citizenship Foundation focuses on young people and on the role of schools in integration and cohesion. It is widely acknowledged that young people are key to promoting successful community cohesion, both now and in the future. Schools provide a key space for promoting understanding and respect.

There are now many excellent projects taking place with young people at a local level or within individual schools. However, too little is currently being done at a national level to promote and replicate good practice.

The Citizenship Foundation, informed particularly by its work on the Diversity and Dialogue project, therefore has two key recommendations:

  • Good practice in promoting positive youth interfaith and intercultural relations should be centrally and proactively promoted through network building, information sharing, action research and training.
  • Schools should be given a positive duty to promote community cohesion. Schools should be provided with more support to take on this key role, given the lack of experience in these areas on the part of most teachers.

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