Assessment policies and practice to support inclusive education: European Commission Working Group on schools

Following on from its focus on blended learning in 2022, the European Commission Working Group on Schools has begun a series of activities on the topic of assessment to support inclusive education. Assessment plays a key role in enabling teaching and learning processes to adapt to learners’ needs.

The Working Group, which consists of representatives from European Union member states and bodies and international stakeholder organisations like the Agency, met in Brussels in January. The focus of the meeting was on assessment policies and practices to support inclusive education.

The meeting began with several presentations. Among them was the Director of the European Institute of Education and Social Policy, Janet Looney, who gave an overview of different types of learner assessment and stressed the importance of teachers’ ability to assess learners effectively. Dylan Wiliam, emeritus professor at University College London, also gave a presentation on formative assessment and how it should be used to provide daily updates on learner progress and to influence teaching methods. He highlighted the crucial role of learners in the assessment process.

Case studies provided examples of approaches to assessment. Representatives from education ministries in Sweden, Norway and Lithuania presented their countries’ assessment policy. Representatives from schools in Belgium, France, Norway and Germany provided an overview of the assessment practices used in their schools. Finally, Working Group participants were divided into smaller groups to discuss aspects of assessment in more depth and identify aspects of assessment for further discussion in the next meetings.

Several online seminars will continue the work on assessment throughout the spring, and it will culminate in a peer learning activity in Portugal in May.

The Agency is involved in three of the European Commission’s Working Groups which are contributing to the development of the European Education Area. For more information on the Working Groups, visit the Commission website.

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