The Agency took part in a meeting for the Organisation for Economic Co‑operation and Development (OECD)’s Strength through Diversity – Education for Inclusive Societies project.
The project, which is about to enter its second phase, explores how supporting the learning of diverse populations can create equitable and inclusive education systems. It aims ‘to ensure that all education systems are more accessible, acceptable, adaptable and affordable to the needs of all learners’.
The six major themes included in the project are:
- Migration-induced diversity
- Ethnic groups, national minorities and indigenous people
- Gender identity and sexual orientation
- Special educational needs
The project explores these themes in the context of key policy issues, such as governance, capacity building, supporting schools and monitoring. It will deliver a number of outputs, including reports, meetings and policy forums.
The recent meeting, which took place at the beginning of March, brought together representatives from a range of countries and international organisations connected to education, diversity and policy research. Assistant Director of the Agency, Ms Victoria Soriano, presented the Agency’s work as part of a session on the inclusion of learners with special educational needs. She shared the Agency’s position on inclusive education systems and data from the European Agency Statistics on Inclusive Education. She highlighted the importance of teacher professional development for inclusion and other key issues discussed in the Agency concerning inclusive education. Representatives from several European countries were already aware of and positive about the Agency’s work.
The session also included presentations of two of the project’s draft papers on policy approaches for the inclusion of learners with special educational needs. Throughout the meeting, participants were encouraged to exchange ideas and information about diversity and inclusion in education. They also considered future areas for the project to explore, the need to avoid duplication of efforts and information to be provided by the Ministries.