During the whole of the week 25–29 April, a team of Agency staff and consultants has been conducting fieldwork in Iceland as part of the External Audit of the Icelandic system for Inclusive Education (Úttekt á framkvæmd stefnu um menntun án aðgreiningar á Íslandi).
The Audit work is taking a standards-based approach. This follows a model that involves the definition of desired standards for the inclusive education system by stakeholders in Iceland and external data collection by the Agency audit team to examine current policy and practice against the identified standards.
The fieldwork week was one of the data collection activities within the Audit. The team conducted school visits, focus groups and one to one interviews in 5 regions of Iceland – Árborg, Akureyri, Borgarbyggð, Fljótsdalshérað and Reykjavik.
In total nearly 300 stakeholders were involved in the work. The team had discussions with learners and their parents, teachers, support staff, school leaders, representatives of specialist provision and services, teacher trainers, representatives of NGOs and policy makers from different sectors – including the Minister for Education, Mr Illugi Gunnarsson.
The fieldwork will be complemented by an on-line web based survey – in Icelandic and English – that will be circulated to all parents, teachers, school leaders and school based support staff in pre schools, compulsory schools and upper secondary schools.
In the summer and autumn, the Audit work will be focussed upon data analysis and producing a full report. The final report with recommendations will be presented to the Icelandic Ministry of Education, Science and Culture and all other stakeholders in early December.