Inclusive education policy in Europe: Symposium on School Inclusion

The Agency has taken part in the first Symposium on School Inclusion held by the National Observatory of Children, Youth and School Quality (Observatoire national de l'enfance, de la jeunesse et de la qualité scolaire – OEJQS) in Walferdange, Luxembourg.

The symposium, which took place on 20 June 2024, aimed to promote inclusion in Luxembourg and beyond. It also provided an opportunity to disseminate information on inclusive education and foster collaboration and networking. Over 200 participants attended, including education practitioners, school leaders, parent representatives, university researchers and policy-makers.

Agency representative Annet De Vroey provided a keynote presentation on inclusive education policy in Europe. She presented the Agency’s work and described a variety of terminology, policy and practice agendas for inclusive education. She explained the Agency’s ecosystem model of inclusive education, which describes the different system levels from the micro, or individual, level to the macro, or government, level. At each of the system levels, she highlighted what is needed to foster inclusive school development. She also introduced some key Agency publications related to her presentation, including the European Agency Statistics on Inclusive Education Cross-Country Reports and the Profile for Inclusive Teacher Professional Learning.

Other speakers included Martine Frising and Anne-Marie Muller from OEJQS, who discussed the inclusion of learners with special needs in Luxembourg. Professor Philippe Tremblay from Laval University (Quebec, Canada) presented the advantages of inclusive co-teaching, and Amandine Bernal of Louvain Catholic University outlined a study on the division of labour in inclusive schools in Belgium (French community).

In addition to the keynote speakers, participants took part in six thematic ‘World Café’ workshops. Topics included inclusive education challenges, potential solutions and examples of practice, and key messages and questions for political decision-makers.

The OEJQS plan to publish a summary of the main findings and conclusions from the day’s exchanges. For more information, visit the OEJQS website.

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