Northern Ireland news

Secretary of State launches Good Friday Agreement education resources

Secretary of State Chris Heaton-Harris with pupils from Ulidia Integrated College
Suzanne McGonagle

NEW educational resources to mark the 25th anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement have been unveiled.

Students at Ulidia Integrated College in Carrickfergus became the first in the UK to use the new materials on Thursday.

Secretary of State for Northern Ireland Chris Heaton-Harris attended an assembly in the school where the materials were used to tell the story of the journey to the peace deal and its continuing role today.

The free resources support secondary school and college teachers in Northern Ireland, England, Scotland and Wales to give an assembly on the agreement using a short animated video, and to lead a follow-up classroom discussion. 

They have been developed by The National Archives and in collaboration with academics, teachers and other experts, with consultation from curriculum and school bodies across the UK. 

This first group of resources launched will be followed later this year by classroom materials.

During the visit to Carrickfergus, Mr Heaton-Harris viewed the new Assembly video resource alongside pupils and teachers, before discussing with the young people what the agreement anniversary means to them.

He then met with pupils using the new materials for classroom discussion.

“Thanks to the Belfast (Good Friday) Agreement, Northern Ireland’s young people have grown up in peace and safety, looking forward to a future of hope and opportunity," he said.

“That’s why I’m incredibly proud to launch this new education package, which will give young people in Northern Ireland and across the UK the chance to deepen their appreciation and understanding of the Agreement’s benefits and encourage them to engage with this historic anniversary.

“It’s particularly relevant that I’m launching this initiative in an integrated school, a symbol of reconciliation, which the Agreement promoted.”

Chris Heaton-Harris attended an assembly in the school 


Jeff James from the National Archives said: ‘This important resource gives young people the opportunity to study and discuss the Belfast (Good Friday) Agreement using material from the original documents.

"It allows students to consider topics that affect them and their communities, at a level which is meaningful to them and to gain an understanding of how important the Agreement is."