The European Agency for Special Needs and Inclusive Education is closely monitoring developments surrounding the global Coronavirus (COVID‑19) pandemic. National governments are implementing new precautionary and responsive measures on a daily basis to address this crisis. Actions include temporary school closures, closing of borders to non-essential travel and social distancing advice. The outbreak and its consequences could have wide-reaching impacts for the foreseeable future. At the Agency, we are committed to doing our part to mitigate negative effects.
The health and safety of our community is our highest priority during this challenging time. Within the Agency, we have implemented a series of internal measures consistent with official guidelines. The immediate steps we have taken are outlined below:
- An Agency-wide work-from-home directive was established beginning 11 March 2020. This was due to last until the end of April 2020 but has now been extended to summer 2021. Several Agency staff and consultants already work remotely, so this action primarily affects those at the Brussels Office and Secretariat in Odense, Denmark. Some Agency staff have been able to return to our offices, and appropriate procedures are in place to ensure it is safe to do so. However, all Agency staff continue to have the option to work from home. Agency member country contacts, staff members and consultants share a common set of values and objectives, and we encourage a team‑oriented and compassionate environment. In addition, clear operational procedures and robust ICT infrastructure ensure we can proceed and support staff as needed, both professionally and personally.
- To adhere to travel and social distancing recommendations, all internal and external meetings originally scheduled from March 2020–summer 2021 have been cancelled or replaced with online alternatives. This includes all Agency bi-annual meetings scheduled during this period, starting with the 2020 Spring Bi‑annual Meeting. Further cancellations and adjustments may follow.
- Additional support for staff is being co‑ordinated on a case‑by‑case basis.
This is a time for solidarity, unity and decisive action. The Agency will continue to act in the best interests of its community.
We urge everyone to follow official recommendations aiming to slow the spread of COVID‑19. We will provide necessary updates as the situation evolves; in the meantime, on behalf of the entire Agency, we wish you and your families safety, health and strength.
For any questions, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Updated 9 February 2021