The Agency is currently providing technical support for five activities funded within the framework of the European Commission’s Structural Reform Support Programme (SRSP). The Ministries of Education in Cyprus, Czech Republic, Greece, Poland and Portugal have requested these activities, which are fully funded by the Directorate General for Structural Reform Support (DG Reform). The Agency is supporting the ministries of education to plan, design or implement reforms that make their education policy and provisions more equitable and inclusive.
Since March 2020, due to the impact of the COVID‑19 pandemic, timelines and activities have been rescheduled and re-organised. However, the content work has continued through the provision and exchange of documents between all partners involved in the activities. Face-to-face meetings have been replaced by online meetings, and the teams have been very busy preparing alternative plans. They continue to work together with experts and the relevant ministries of education.
The latest activity, in Portugal, was approved in June 2020. Several online activities with representatives from DG Reform and the Portuguese Ministry of Education have taken place so far to launch and prepare the activities.
In Cyprus, three online Working Group meetings took place in September. Participants included education professionals, parents’ groups and key policy‑makers from the Ministry. Each Working Group was dedicated to a specific thematic area of inclusive education. Stakeholders provided feedback on key issues that will inform the development of the draft regulations for the new legislation.
In Greece, a series of working group meetings took place in October to discuss the outcomes of feedback forms completed by stakeholders earlier this year. The discussions focused on five themes identified for the SRSP work in Greece. These themes include assessment protocols, transition procedures for learners and the development of an inclusive education guide for all schools. The results of these discussions will feed into the work to promote inclusive education across Greece.
In Phase 2 of the activities in Poland, the Agency team has proposed assumptions which are directly linked and cross-referenced with the Ministry’s Education for All model. The model and assumptions will be discussed in a series of online regional consultation meetings to take place between 27 October and 30 November. At each meeting, feedback will be collected on the proposed areas of assumptions, alongside stakeholders’ views on the possible social impact of the implementation of the assumptions.
In the Czech Republic, all analysis activities aim to identify strengths and challenges within the Czech education system that impact on the recognised regional disparities in education for some learners in two targeted regions. The team has completed a documentary analysis of the educational situation that results in these disparities. DG Reform has approved this analysis, which has now been submitted to the Ministry for approval. The analysis will feed into the background materials that will be used for later activities.
For more updates on the Agency’s work within the SRSP, visit the news pages on the Agency website.