Updates on Agency work at bi-annual meeting of country representatives

The autumn 2022 bi-annual meeting of Agency country representatives took place in Sofia, Bulgaria, on 8–10 November. Bi-annual meetings provide an opportunity for Agency staff and country representatives to meet and discuss priorities and up-coming work, as well as sharing news and updates from member countries’ education systems.

The bi-annual meeting was opened by the Bulgarian Minister for Education and Science, Professor Sasho Penov. He was joined by children from a local school in Sofia, who sang songs to welcome the participants. Agency Chair, Don Mahon, and Agency Director, Cor Meijer, also welcomed the country representatives and gave an overview of recent Agency news.

Agency staff presented updates on on-going activities. These included information on the Building Resilience through Inclusive Education Systems (BRIES), Voices into Action (VIA) and Legislative Definitions around Learners Vulnerable to Exclusion activities. Staff also provided information on on-going work with the European Commission’s Technical Support Instrument, and on progress in an information gathering activity to map countries’ education systems.

Experience exchange sessions allowed country representatives to share information from their countries and discuss topics such as:

  • Considering the needs of all learners vulnerable to exclusion
  • Strategic planning for inclusive education systems
  • Support systems in and around classrooms and schools
  • Developing inclusive curricula
  • Implications of the pandemic for learners with SEN
  • Regional disparities in special needs and inclusive education provision.

The Representative Board members also approved the Agency’s Work Programme and Budget for 2023.

The next bi-annual meeting will take place in spring 2023.

Six adults in front of a window
L-R: Petra Dimitrova, Regional Center in Support of Inclusive Education, Sofia City; Don Mahon, Chair of the Agency; Professor Sasho Penov, Bulgarian Minister for Education and Science; Cor J.W. Meijer, Agency Director; Greta Gancheva, Bulgarian Ministry of Education and Science and Agency Representative Board member; Kaloyan Damyanov, Regional Center in Support of Inclusive Education, Sofia City, and Agency National Co-ordinator
international co-operation

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