GRACE Conference – Thursday 22nd March – Girdwood Community Hub


I had a fantastically beneficial day and gained much  through networking  and the delivery of the workshops. Thank you for inviting us!

Excellent conference-lots of great networking.  Thank you for the facilitators realistic and down to earth advice.


Felt both workshops were very informative and will be brought back to school to be used effectively. Found it particularly useful talking to parents involved in the Buddy Up! programme.

Fantastic event- I really enjoyed it. Thanks.


Over the last ten years CRIS (Community Relations in Schools) has been at the forefront of inter-school collaboration through its efforts to encourage the promotion of Good Relations- a model increasingly viewed as pertinent in the current education climate. The desire to develop effective, sustainable and meaningful sharing between schools is a prominent discourse within education with the arrival of Shared Education Signature Project and the Network for Shared School Improvement initiatives. It is now recognised that intentional, collaborative work within and between schools can bring about improvements in educational provision and paves the way for the development of a shared society. However, the map for collaboration can, at times, be difficult to navigate and is often full of many challenging crossroads and unexpected twists and turns.

This conference will introduce and launch the GRACE model (Good Relations and Collaborative Education) which rather uniquely engages all school stakeholders in the joint processes of promoting collaboration between schools and in building better community relations within the wider community.

Successful collaborative practices will be showcased at the conference including the ‘Buddy Up’ methodology which has been internationally recognised by the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC) and BMW Group for its intercultural innovation and impact.  Additionally, the flagship model Moving Forward Together (MFT) a locality based partnership that joins up education, community, and statutory services in the Antrim and Randalstown area will be featured as a best practice case study.

Targeted at leaders within the education sector, the aim of the conference is to launch the GRACE model and demonstrate the practical ways that collaboration can enhance Good Relations and support improved educational provision.

  • The launch of the model of practice GRACE

    A newly developed digital media resource showcasing the GRACE model profiling it’s five stepping stones

    towards a whole school approach to collaboration profiling one key case study at each step.

  • Hands-on practical workshop topics

    Leadership in the Context of Change

    The Buddy Up! Model: Growing and Sustaining Community Connections

    Moving Forward Together: Improving Outcomes Through Joined Up Collaboration

    The Index for Inclusion : Using the ‘Index for Inclusion’ to Prompt Values-led Dialogue

    Working Creatively and Collaboratively with Conflict

  • Keynote Address

    Values of the future-present: Leading systemic, inclusive community development from the schools up.”

    Dr. Rupert Higham, Lecturer in Educational Leadership, University College London

    Institute of Education, Programme Manager, Applied Educational

    Leadership and Management MA