The Agency’s bi-annual meeting of country representatives took place at the end of May 2023. The Serbian Ministry of Education hosted the event, which was held in Belgrade.
Bi-annual meetings allow the Agency team and country representatives to discuss European and international developments around inclusive education. Participants also exchange on on-going and future Agency activities and country priorities. In the recent meeting, the Agency team presented details of the most recent data collection in the European Agency Statistics on Inclusive Education (EASIE) which is currently underway. They also provided updates on the Building Resilience through Inclusive Education Systems (BRIES) activity, which aims to use the lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic to improve inclusive education systems and their ability to withstand unexpected events and crises.
The country representatives also took part in experience exchange sessions on areas of interest for the countries, such as:
- Developing needs identification/formal assessment procedures
- Developing specialist provision as a resource for mainstream schools
- Implementing universal design in mainstream schools
- Monitoring and evaluation of inclusive education.
An event to discuss the Agency’s Voices into Action (VIA) activity also took place as part of the meeting. VIA examines ways to include the voices of learners and their families in educational decision-making. Details of the VIA event are available in a separate news item.
In both the bi-annual meeting and the VIA event, participants had the pleasure of welcoming Michael Teutsch, head of the schools and multiculturalism unit at the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Education, Youth, Sport and Culture. He informed them about the Commission’s work, including giving a presentation on the Pathways to School Success initiative.
In addition to presentations and updates on activities, bi-annual meetings are also essential for the Agency’s working methods and organisation. The Representative Board members approved the 2022 annual report and accounts.
Participants were also treated to some musical interludes from Branko Pešić School’s Percussions Orchestra and the ISON inclusive choir.
The next bi-annual meeting will take place in the autumn.