Community Relations In Schools (CRIS)

Community Relations In Schools (CRIS)

Unit 6, North City Business Centre
BT15 2GG
United Kingdom

Contact Details

Lisa Dietrich

CRIS' vision is a vibrant society built on compassion, mutual understanding and hope.

Our mission is to be a leading agent of change in shaping an inclusive, peaceful and safe society where everyone has hope and the opportunity to learn and grow.

CRIS was formally established in 1982 to support the delivery of interschool pupil programmes across Northern Ireland. Since then the organisation has grown from strength to strength, expanding its work to include whole school systems, statutory and community services and aspects of wider society.

CRIS’s work is – and always has been – firmly rooted in the belief that schools can and should be at the heart of creating a society that is optimistic, inclusive and peaceful.  We recognise the unique place of schools to change both the micro and the macro climate of Northern Ireland.  Through our partner schools, we reach out to children, young people, parents, carers, school staff and other community stakeholders.  Through our advocacy and lobbying we draw on the wisdom and experience of our school partners to share lessons, approaches and models with wider society. 

CRIS is driven by strong organisational values. We seek to create environments where our values are lived out and felt by everyone who interacts with us.  CRIS invests in relationships because strong, respectful relationships, positive regard and wellbeing are at the core of who and how we are and what we do.  The success of this Strategic Plan will ultimately lie in the strength of the relationships that we all hold with ourselves and others. 

CRIS’ work expands beyond the classroom to include the wider education community and a whole school approach. Our portfolio of work includes:

  • Advocacy for the role of education in building cohesive communities
  • Inter-school and area based relationship and partnership development
  • Development of collaborative education approaches to community relations
  • Grass roots community development and family community relations programmes
  • Unity Project (anti-hate and resilience development in post primaries)
  • Models of practice and programmes for 'Whole School Community Approaches'
  • The development and dissemination of 'Buddy Up! - An Interschool Buddying System'
  • The delivery of Foundation to Key Stage 4 curriculum linked Community Relations syllabuses, resources and programmes for pupils
  • Continuing Professional Development and Initial Teacher Training for Foundation to Key Stage 4 curriculum linked Community Relations approaches
  • Teacher training programmes and resources on “Flags, Emblems and Contentious Issues”.
  • Accredited training programmes in 'Participation and Community Relations', 'Leadership and Challenging Offensive Behaviour' and 'Relationship Building and Group Work Skills'
  • Community and Good Relations Policy Development.
  • Student teacher training and placement programme.
  • Bespoke Community Relations and Personal Development programmes for schools, youth clubs and the wider community.

CRIS is managed through a constituted Board consisting of experts and activists from the Education and Community sectors. We currently employ four staff and a range of consultants, associates and facilitators.


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