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Assessment in inclusive classrooms - Belgium (Flemish speaking community)

In the following part we will try to describe and explain some obstacles for inclusive education that we have seen in the educational field.

First of all it should be mentioned that assessment practice in inclusive settings in Flanders is rather small. To begin with, with the structure of education as it is today, it is hard to find ways to encourage inclusive education. For several years some parents are gathering and striving for inclusive education (f.e. http://www.oudersvoorinclusie.be/). They make, together with the school team, inclusion possible. Without their help there would not be (enough) support for children with special educational needs in mainstream education. Nowadays policymakers are working very hard to change this system so that education gives all children the opportunity to develop in an optimal way, whilst still retaining the quality of our education.

A second difficulty is the main vision on education. There is a long history in Flanders of separated mainstream education and special needs education. It takes therefore a lot of effort (both top down as bottom up) to make school teams aware that inclusion is an option. The fact that not all pupils have to reach the attainment targets makes this possible. This of course brings up the whole question of capability of the individual teacher.  Professional support (knowledge and skills) from special needs education is necessary in this discussion.

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