A new Reference Group for inclusive education has been formed in Sweden by the Swedish Agency for Special Needs Education and Schools (SPSM). Stakeholders include representatives from:
- the National Agency for Education;
- the Swedish School Inspectorate;
- the Agency for Participation;
- the Swedish Association of Local Authorities and Regions;
- the Independent School Association;
- school research associations, such as iFOUS and the Swedish Institute of Educational Research;
The Agency and the SPSM are regular collaborators and Lars-Åke Larsson and Elisabeth Högberg from the SPSM are the Swedish country representatives for the Agency. This new Reference Group will allow a wide range of stakeholders to share and acquire knowledge and updates on inclusive education policy and practice.
The first meeting of the Reference Group took part on Friday 6 December in Stockholm, Sweden. In the meeting, the group confirmed its purpose and working processes. Together with Mr Larsson and Ms Högberg from the SPSM, Agency Assistant Director Amanda Watkins introduced the Agency. She provided information on the Country Policy Review and Analysis activities, along with other Agency projects. There were opportunities for all participants to discuss their roles and network with other stakeholders in education.
It is hoped that the group will extend the collaboration and reach of both the Agency and the SPSM. It aims to reflect on Swedish needs in inclusive education and to help influence future Agency activities.