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AGENCY eBULLETIN July 2018

In the past few months, the Agency has organised and participated in major events. Two key events are featured in this issue of the eBulletin:

  • The ‘Towards a European Education Area – Promoting Common Values and Inclusive Education’ event of the Bulgarian Presidency of the Council of the European Union, co-organised by the Agency, and
  • The Financing Policies for Inclusive Education Systems project event, where the draft Policy Guidance Framework was introduced and validated.

Several new publications have been published recently on the Agency website, including outcomes from the Raising the Achievement of All Learners in Inclusive Education and other projects.

Read more about these events and publications below.

Contents

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Cor J.W. Meijer and other panelists
Cor J.W. Meijer moderating the second panel of the Promoting Common Values and Inclusive Education conference

Promoting Common Values and Inclusive Education – Messages from the Conference


The last event under the aegis of the Bulgarian Presidency of the Council of the European Union (the Council) took place on 21 June 2018 in the Council. The conference entitled ‘Towards a European Education Area – Promoting Common Values and Inclusive Education’ was co-organised by the Agency.

The event built upon crucial initiatives adopted by the Council on 22 May 2018, described in the Council Recommendation on promoting common values, inclusive education and the European dimension of teaching and the Council conclusions on moving towards a vision of a European Education Area.

On behalf of the Bulgarian Presidency, Ms Denitsa Sacheva, Bulgarian Deputy Minister of Education and Science, opened the conference. She stated that high quality inclusive education – from early childhood education to higher education and lifelong learning – is a priority of the Bulgarian Presidency. In her view, education is the most sustainable solution to ‘save the world’. However, this will only work if concepts ‘turn into action’, and therefore she urged Member States to unite efforts to implement the Council Recommendations.

In his video intervention, Tibor Navracsics, European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport, emphasised how important it is to promote common values, to create a sense of belonging and give a fair chance to all learners, whatever their educational needs and irrespective of their social background.

The discussions in the first session concentrated on the main concepts present in the Council Recommendation, such as common values, sense of belonging, participation, inclusive education and the European dimension of teaching. A young Italian learner shared his own personal experience about inclusion in his school, and concluded that schools should be the first place of inclusion.

The panellists in the second session, moderated by Cor J.W Meijer, Agency Director, examined practical examples of implementing common values and inclusive education. This session began with the input of a young learner originally from Kosovo, who spoke about her and her friends’ experience as foreign students in Belgium.

A specific example of successful policy co-operation and exchange work between countries was shared by Alen Kofol, representative of the Slovenian Ministry of Education and Sport. He spoke about the Agency’s Financing Policies for Inclusive Education Systems (FPIES) project, in which he has been involved as Country Partner representative, along with colleagues from the Ministries of Education in Italy, Lithuania, Netherlands, Norway and Portugal. (Read more about the FPIES project in the next article below.)

Ana Magraner, Agency Chair, closed the meeting, concluding that the event provided a great opportunity to discuss what the implementation of values within inclusive education means at both policy and practical levels.
Video intervention from Tibor Navracsics, European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport

Financing policies for inclusive education systems Validation meeting


The main output of the Financing Policies for Inclusive Education Systems (FPIES) project, the draft Policy Guidance Framework, was introduced at a Validation meeting held in Athens, Greece, on 7 June.

The FPIES project, running from 2016 to 2018, builds on a previous Agency project, Financing of Inclusive Education – Mapping Country Systems for Inclusive Education (2014–2015). FPIES is co-funded by the Agency and the European Commission’s Erasmus+ Key Action 3 ‘Forward-Looking Cooperation Projects’ framework.

The project is based on direct co-operation between eight partners: the Ministries of Education in Italy, Lithuania, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal and Slovenia, Universitat Ramon Llull (Barcelona), and the Agency. The partners from Universitat Ramon Llull are external project evaluators with a focus on project activities and outcomes.

The FPIES project’s goal is to systematically examine different approaches to educational financing and identify an effective funding policy framework that works towards reducing disparity in education. It aims to work with policy-makers for policy-makers and the peer learning methodology has been used to support that aim.

The Validation meeting was a whole-day event involving Agency Representative Board members or their representatives, the FPIES country partners and the partner Ministerial representatives, who are responsible for inclusive education in their countries, and participants from the Greek Ministry of Education. The meeting served to get feedback on the relevance of the project main outputs for this key group of policy-makers, as well as information on how the project materials may potentially be used to inform their future work in relation to financing inclusive education systems.

The Validation meeting focused on launching the project synthesis report, Resourcing Levers to Reduce Disparity in Education which analyses the project findings, and on discussing and collecting feedback on the draft Policy Guidance Framework. This feedback will be used for re-working and editing the framework. The Policy Guidance Framework will be finalised at the end of 2018. The final version will be translated into all member languages and presented in an open-access format online.

More information about FPIES is available on the project web area.
participants at the FPIES Validation Meeting in Athens

More events

At the links below you can read more about international events the Agency participated in:

Recent Publications Online


The following publications have been recently published on the Agency website: This final summary report outlines the main findings of a previous in-depth literature review’s and presents the key policy messages and considerations. Read more about this project in an article. This report provides an analysis and findings relating to inclusive education systems emerging from the Financing Policies for Inclusive Education Systems (FPIES) project (2016–2018).

Four new publications from the Raising the Achievement of All Learners in Inclusive Education (RA) project are available now online. The following outputs reflect the different dimensions and activities of the RA project:
  • Raising the Achievement of All Learners in Inclusive Education – Literature Review
The RA literature review draws on research from 2006–2015 to examine effective ways to raise the achievement of all learners in inclusive settings. The review presents inclusion as an organising principle to raise the achievement of all learners. More specific school improvement strategies are discussed in the areas of teaching approaches, curriculum, assessment, learner voice, leadership and collaboration. The review is available online in English.
  • A project synopsis: Raising the Achievement of All Learners in Inclusive Education: Final Summary Report
This short report provides policy-makers with a summary of the RA project background, findings, recommendations and project outputs, in all Agency languages. This report provides a detailed overview of the RA project. It includes information about country policies for raising achievement and a discussion of the key challenges raised. It uses current literature and project findings to suggest potential solutions. The report also includes project recommendations for school leaders and teachers and system leaders and policy-makers, and a detailed account of the project methodology.
This document includes the self-review materials developed and used by learning communities during the RA project. These materials are available as an open educational resource to allow schools to add to or amend items as needed to suit their own situation. This document also discusses wider policy support for raising achievement and includes an eco-system of support for inclusive education that might be used for wider policy review.
The European Agency for Special Needs and Inclusive Education is committed to creating and disseminating Agency information which is accessible for all users. We are unable to guarantee the same level of accessibility of externally produced materials and websites referred to.

For questions and feedback on the eBulletin contact us at ebulletin@european-agency.org

Co-funded by the Erasmus + Programme of the European Union

The European Commission support for the production of this publication does not constitute an endorsement of the contents which reflects the views only of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

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