At an online meeting of the Changing Role of Specialist Provision in Supporting Inclusive Education (CROSP) Project Advisory Group (PAG) in early June, members explored the impact of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic on the role of specialist provision.
As well as discussing the upcoming project activities, the team discussed emerging country-level responses during and after the COVID-19 lockdown. This included an exchange of steps already taken or planned in the PAG members’ countries (Finland, France, Germany, Portugal and Serbia).
Members discussed their countries’ short-term and longer-term plans to reach all learners, including the most disadvantaged ones. Short-term plans include the provision of temporary remote, alternative or distance learning programmes. They also include the development of guidelines, support programmes, materials and tools for parents, teachers and leaders. These plans aim to:
- maintain access to learning;
- ensure that learners retain knowledge and skills;
- support learners who have fallen behind;
- support education professionals and parents with online teaching and learning.
In the longer term, countries’ plans include actions for improving capacity building and the readiness of education systems to mitigate and manage risks in the future.
This meeting was a starting point for further reflection on how such countries’ responses and general lessons learnt could inform the role of specialist provision to support mainstream schools and to address further educational inequalities.
More information is available in the CROSP project web area.