The eBulletin presents updates and news on projects from the European Agency for Special Needs and Inclusive Education and its member countries.
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AGENCY eBULLETIN December 2019

This eBulletin brings you news about the Cali Commitment to equity and inclusion in education, formalised at the UNESCO International Forum on Inclusion and Equity in Education. There are updates on a workshop for the European Agency Statistics on Inclusive Education (EASIE) project. There is information about the Agency’s participation in ET 2020 working groups and the European Commission’s Feasibility Study for a Child Guarantee. You can find out about the Agency’s continuing support to member countries through the European Commission’s Structural Reform Support Programme. Additionally, you can find information about the Agency's involvement in a national conference in Kiev, Ukraine.

The Agency has also published a new document summarising recent legislation updates in eight member countries. Learn more about the Legislation Updates 2019 report below.

Finally, you can learn about the Agency's latest Bi-Annual Meeting in Budapest, Hungary, as well as a new online autism training programme and an inclusive education project in Germany.

For more news from the Agency, visit the News section

Cali Commitment to equity and inclusion in education

Following the International Forum on Inclusion and Equity in Education held in Cali, Colombia in September 2019, participants have re-affirmed their commitment to equity and inclusion in education in a new statement of intent. The Cali Commitment recognises the steps made towards inclusion since the Salamanca Statement in 1994 and calls on governments and stakeholders to ‘accelerate efforts to build on achievements since the Salamanca Conference’ through a variety of actions.

The Agency actively participated in the Forum, with Agency Director Cor J. W. Meijer taking part in an introductory panel on ‘Inclusion and Equity in and for Sustainable Development Goal 4’. Read more about the statement and the forum or watch the video of Mr Meijer’s presentation on the Agency website.

Frame from video of Cor J.W. Meijer at UNESCO’s Forum on Inclusion and Equity in Education
Agency Director Cor J.W. Meijer speaking at UNESCO’s Forum on Inclusion and Equity in Education

EASIE data experts’ workshop in Frankfurt

The annual workshop for nominated European Agency Statistics on Inclusive Education (EASIE) data experts took place in Frankfurt am Main, Germany, in November.

EASIE focuses on collecting data that informs learners’ rights issues and policy-makers’ work in relation to European Union objectives for Education and Training, policy goals for inclusive education, and the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

A number of key messages have been identified after three cycles of EASIE data collection and analysis. Data is often limited or missing on the situation of learners who are out of any form of education for different reasons. Therefore, the main discussion topic at the workshop was around collecting data on out-of-education learners.

Read about EASIE and the workshop.

ET 2020 Working Group on Promoting Common Values and Inclusive Education: Peer learning activity

As part of its continuing active participation in the European Commission’s Education and Training (ET 2020) Working Groups, the Agency recently attended a Peer Learning Activity (PLA) held by the Working Group on Promoting Common Values and Inclusive Education. Participants at this event in Istanbul, Turkey, explored the challenges around access, transitions and values of young migrant learners and how to combat them.

Find out more about the PLA.

Feasibility Study for a Child Guarantee: Workshop on Children with Disabilities

In 2015, the European Parliament called for a child guarantee to allow every child access to free healthcare, education, housing and nutrition. The European Commission launched a Feasibility Study in 2018, to begin to explore the possible scope of the child guarantee. A thematic workshop focusing on children with disabilities was held in Riga, Latvia, in September 2019 to discuss and provide feedback on the first draft of the Feasibility Study.

Find out more about the Agency’s involvement.

Agency co-operation with the European Commission’s Structural Reform Support Service

The Agency continues to work in co-operation with the European Commission’s Structural Reform Support Service (SRSS) and the ministries of education in Cyprus, Czech Republic, Greece and Poland. The initiatives, which are funded by the European Union’s Structural Reform Support Programme (SRSP), aim to promote and improve the countries’ inclusive education systems.

The second phase of Agency support in the legislative reform of special education in Cyprus

The SRSS and the Agency are assisting the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sport and Youth in Cyprus to prepare a new bill for inclusive education. This is part of the planned legislative reform to make the education system more inclusive.

The first phase of the project was completed in summer 2019 and resulted in the development of a draft bill on inclusive education. The second phase involves finalising the bill and preparing its regulations.

The second phase officially started with a two-day visit of the Agency team and a representative from the European Commission to the Ministry in September 2019. Read about the meeting on the Agency website.

This kick-off meeting was followed by a four-day study visit to Lisbon, Portugal in November. Representatives from the Cypriot Ministry visited examples of inclusive schools and had the opportunity to discuss the Portuguese inclusive education system and legislation. Find out more.

Workshop in Greece in the framework of the SRSS project on inclusive education

A workshop for the Agency support to the Greek Ministry of Education and Religious Affairs (MERA) took place in Athens on 23–24 September 2019. The workshop aimed to identify the priorities on inclusive education in Greece, and a large number of stakeholders participated. Find out more about the workshop.

The Agency’s continued support for improving quality in inclusive education in Poland 

On 28–30 October, the Agency contributed to a series of working meetings to support the Polish Ministry of National Education in its work to improve the quality of inclusive education. These events formed part of the SRSP-funded ‘Supporting the Improvement of Quality in Inclusive Education in Poland’ project and involved stakeholders from a wide range of Polish ministries and institutions. Read more about the meetings on the Agency website.

Members of the Cypriot and Portuguese delegations posing for a photo
Members of the Cypriot and Portuguese delegations at the Embassy of the Republic of Cyprus in Lisbon
Agency staff posing with Ms Machalek of the Polish Ministry of National Education
Agency representatives with Ms Marzena Machałek, Secretary of State of the Polish Ministry of National Education

Agency participation in national conference on inclusive education in Ukraine

The Agency participated in a recent conference entitled ‘Barrier-free Learning: How to make Ukrainian schools inclusive’ in Kiev, Ukraine.

The two-day conference, which took place on 22–23 November 2019, was organised by the non-governmental organisation Smart Osvita and Open Society Foundations in Ukraine, in co-operation with the Ukrainian Ministry of Education and Science.

Find out more about the conference and the presentation.

Agency Bi-annual Meeting in Budapest, Hungary

The second Agency Bi-annual Meeting of 2019 took place on 4–7 November in Budapest, Hungary, at the kind invitation of the Hungarian Ministry of Human Capacities, State Secretariat of Education.

Bi-annual Meetings offer an opportunity for the Representative Board members and National Co-ordinators from Agency member countries to come together and exchange ideas and practices in inclusive education. They are also a chance for Agency staff members to outline projects and outcomes and gather information from member countries for future work.

Participants took part in a series of sessions and meetings on topics such as legislative developments, information dissemination and on-going projects and activities, including work with the European Commission’s Structural Reform Support Service and UNESCO’s Global Education Monitoring report.

The Agency provided updates and information on the Preventing School Failure and Teachers’ Professional Learning for Inclusion projects. In separate sessions, country representatives discussed the Agency’s future role and long-term work programme. They also looked at the next steps in the Changing Role of Specialist Provision project, which focuses on the reorganisation of specialist provision to support the right to inclusive education for all learners.

The next Bi-annual Meeting will be held in Serbia in May 2020.

Legislation Updates 2019

The Agency has published a new document which outlines updated legislation for special needs and/or inclusive education in eight European countries.

Legislation Updates 2019 includes special needs and/or inclusive education laws and policies that have been introduced in recent years. The document covers updates in Estonia, France, Greece, Italy, Malta, Portugal, Sweden and United Kingdom (Northern Ireland).

Read the Legislation Updates 2019 document to find out more about developments in the field of inclusive education in Agency member countries.

Country News
Autism online logo

New Autism online project launched

The French institute for inclusive education, INSHEA, and the Nouvelle École Farny in Geneva, Switzerland, have developed a new training programme for teachers working with pupils with autism spectrum disorder.

Read about the Autisme en ligne / Autism online project.

INSIDE project logo

INSIDE project: Inclusion in lower-secondary education in Germany

The INSIDE project has been running since December 2016, with the aim of exploring the conditions for the successful implementation of inclusive lower-secondary education in Germany. The project’s current funding phase runs until May 2021, but it is hoped that a second phase of funding will allow the study to continue into 2025.

Find out about the project.

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