Integrated Education Fund

The Integrated Education Fund’s Trust Programme, supported by Pears Foundation, promotes reconciliation, fosters mutual respect and maximises inclusion in our society. These are sensitive and hugely important issues, and without funders like Pears that understand the value of this work, we would simply not be able to facilitate this important programme.
Ronan McCay, Campaign Fundraiser
Establishing shared spaces is an essential component of peace-building. Integrated Education Fund is creating spaces for children from diverse backgrounds to meet and learn together. The benefits can be transformative, not only for the children themselves, but also for their teachers, parents and wider communities.
Sir Trevor Pears CMG

Integrated education brings children and staff from Catholic and Protestant traditions, as well as those of other faiths, or none, together in one school. In a divided society, integrated schools have provided an important alternative to an educational system in which most children attend religiously separated schools.

The IEF believes that educating children from diverse backgrounds together every day in the same classroom is an essential part of the reconciliation process and of building a society that celebrates respect, understanding and friendships across traditional divides.

Pears Foundation supports IEF’s Trust Programme, a grant-making programme for schools that aims to help young people and teachers to strengthen local connections, forge links inside and outside their familiar sphere and develop further understanding of different backgrounds and cultures. There are three strands to the programme; each involving a lead integrated school to allow all children participating to experience the inclusive ethos of integrated education, and each offering support for projects aiming to increase understanding of cultural diversity and respect for difference.

Examples include training for staff and governors, workshops for parents, and local projects that bring children and their communities together through art, sport and culture.

The Trust Programme builds on Pears Foundation’s long history of creating spaces to foster mutual respect and shared understanding within communities, particularly through our schools work with The Linking Network and Three Faiths Forum and through our community grants programme run by the Community Foundation in Wales.