The VIA event took place as part of the Agency’s bi-annual meeting in Belgrade, Serbia. Around 80 participants from 31 different countries took part in the event, including several learners and young people, who shared their own experiences within their schools and communities.
Following opening remarks from the Agency Director and Chair, Anamarija Viček, State Secretary of Serbia’s Ministry of Education, spoke of the need to listen actively to learners and their families when making educational decisions.
Michael Teutsch, from the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Education, Youth, Sport and Culture, highlighted the importance of child-centred education and the Pathways to School Success initiative. See Michael Teutsch’s presentation.
In a keynote presentation, Professor Laura Lundy of Queen’s University, Belfast, United Kingdom (Northern Ireland) spoke about her model of child participation, which formed the basis for the VIA Framework for Meaningful Participation in Inclusive Education. See Professor Laura Lundy’s presentation.
The day continued with two workshop sessions. The first session was in stakeholder-level groups. It began with case study presentations from three Agency member countries that participated directly in the VIA activity: Malta, Norway and Iceland.
The second session was held in mixed groups, where all participants (learners, families and policy-makers) were encouraged to work together in a voice-related activity. See the full structure of the workshops and the questions used.
Dr Simoni Symeonidou summarised the outcomes of the discussions during the closing session.
The full list of presentations is as follows:
- Presentation by Michael Teutsch, Directorate-General for Education, Youth, Sport and Culture, European Commission
- Presentation by Professor Laura Lundy, Queen’s University, Belfast, United Kingdom (Northern Ireland)
- Presentation of the VIA activity by the Agency team
- Case study presentation by Anna Magnea Hreinsdóttir, Iceland country representative
- Case study presentation by Bodil Hafsås and Kari Myrbakken, Norway country representatives
- Case study presentation by Josanne Ghirxi and Jonathan Camenzuli, Malta country representatives
- Structure of the VIA workshops
- VIA event reflections: presentation by Dr Simoni Symeonidou, University of Cyprus.