On 28–30 October, the Agency contributed to a series of working meetings to support the Polish Ministry of National Education (MEN) in its work to improve the quality of inclusive education. Other participants included MEN staff and key stakeholders – representatives from other ministries and the MEN experts’ group.
These events formed part of the Supporting the Improvement of Quality in Inclusive Education in Poland project. The project is funded by the European Union’s Structural Reform Support Programme and implemented in co-operation with the European Commission.
The project aims to support the on-going reform process to implement inclusive education in Poland. In phase II of the project, the Agency is supporting MEN’s efforts to develop more inclusive legislation in a participatory way with national stakeholders. The meetings launched the work on the assumptions that will underpin the proposal for new legislation on inclusive education in Poland.
The meeting with the wider project reference group on 28 October brought together 40 participants from six different ministries: MEN; Ministry of Family, Labour and Social Policy; Ministry of Health; Ministry of Science and Higher Education; Ministry of Investment and Development, Ministry of Justice. Participants also included representatives from other key institutions, such as the Office of the Ombudsman for the Rights of the Child, the Office of the Government Plenipotentiary for Disabled People, the Centre for Education Development, the Central Examination Board and the Educational Research Institute. The various representatives expressed their support for MEN’s efforts in developing a new model of ‘Education for All’. Participants from other ministries also indicated their interest in introducing proposed changes to enhance cross-sectoral co‑operation.
As a basis for the overall project work, the Agency has analysed the new model of inclusive education developed by the MEN expert group. On 29 October, representatives of the expert group discussed the findings of the Agency’s analysis and then agreed on the main areas proposed for the assumptions.
During the third day of working meetings (30 October), Agency representatives gave a presentation on ‘Changing concepts: trends in policy and practise’ at the national conference on Inclusive education – from assumption to practice. The conference was organised by MEN and the Foundation for the Development of the Polish Education System. It was opened by Secretary of State of the Ministry of National Education, Ms Marzena Machałek, who underlined inclusive education as a priority direction for work in Poland.
The conference aimed to raise awareness of the assumptions for the new legislation for inclusive education in Poland. It was also an opportunity for exchanging knowledge and experiences on the practical implementation of inclusive education. The conference brought together around 200 participants from Polish academia, as well as practitioners from educational establishments including mainstream and special schools, higher education representatives, psychological and pedagogical counselling centres, teacher training institutions and many others.
More information on the conference can be found on the MEN website.