On 23 March, the Agency participated in a seminar organised by the Portuguese Ministry of Education and the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation entitled ‘Educação Inclusiva 2018–2022. Strength through diversity: review of inclusive education in Portugal’. The seminar presented the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) ‘Review of Inclusive Education in Portugal’. This review of the promotion and implementation of inclusive education in Portugal analyses policies and practices in the areas of governance, resourcing, capacity building, school-level intervention, and monitoring and evaluation.
Speakers at the seminar included João Costa, now Portuguese Minister for Education, Paulo Santiago, Head of the Policy Advice and Implementation Division at OECD, Suzanne Gonze from the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Education, Youth, Sport and Culture, and Pedro Cunha, Director of the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation’s Program for Knowledge.
Agency representative Victoria Soriano moderated and commented during a panel discussion on the report’s results, which were presented by Lucie Cerna from the OECD. The report provides an overview of the advances that have been made in Portugal in recent years and identifies next steps in the process towards a more inclusive education system.
The OECD report highlights the key role school clusters play in implementing inclusive education. This finding reflects the initial results of the Agency’s activity with the Portuguese Ministry and the Commission’s Technical Support Instrument to monitor the implementation of Law 54/2018 on inclusive education. As such, during the final panel discussion, learners from António Arroio school in Lisbon and from the Ordem de Santiago school cluster in Setúbal were invited to share their experiences of inclusion in education. The learners outlined their wishes and concrete proposals for improving inclusive frameworks and practices in Portugal.