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 July 2020

We hope you and your loved ones are safe and well. This eBulletin brings you an update on the Agency’s response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. There are also details of a vacancy within the Agency for a Project Manager.

There’s news of the Agency’s continued collaboration with the European Union’s Structural Reform Support Programme, including work with a new country, Portugal. In addition, there are updates on the Changing Role of Specialist Provision, Country Policy Review and Analysis, Teacher Professional Learning for Inclusion, Preventing School Failure and Supporting Inclusive School Leadership activities.

Finally, you can read about the Agency’s participation in the recently launched UNESCO Global Education Monitoring Report on Inclusion and Education.

For more news from the Agency, visit the News section

Update: European Agency COVID-19 precautions and measures

As many countries have begun easing physical distancing measures, some Agency staff are able to return to our offices. Appropriate procedures are in place to ensure the safety of staff who choose to do so. However, all staff continue to have the option to work from home.

Meetings and events between March and September have all been cancelled or moved online. The Spring Bi-annual Meeting, which was due to take place in Belgrade, Serbia at the end of May, was also moved to an online format.

Otherwise, the Agency continues to follow the internal measures implemented at the beginning of the crisis. We urge everyone to continue to follow official recommendations aiming to slow the spread of COVID-19.

Vacancy: Project Manager

The Agency currently has a vacancy for a Project Manager, who will provide support across a number of Agency projects and activities focusing on inclusive education policy and practice.

We are looking for a suitably qualified and experienced researcher from the field of inclusive education to join and contribute to the diverse Agency staff team.

They will be responsible for co-ordinating Agency projects and activities, as well as completing international contracts and assignments examining policy and practice for inclusive education.

For more details of the vacancy and how to apply, visit the Agency website.

The European Union Structural Reform Support Programme

The Agency continues to work within the European Union's Structural Reform Support Programme (SRSP), in co-operation with the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Structural Reform Support (DG Reform). The initiative aims to promote and improve countries’ inclusive education systems.

The Agency has been working with the ministries of education in Cyprus, Czech Republic, Greece and Poland for some time, and has now begun work with the Ministry of Education in Portugal.

The Portuguese Ministry has committed to design a monitoring system to assess the effectiveness of its new law to promote inclusiveness in school education (Decree-Law No. 54/2018, July 6). DG Reform and the Agency will support the Ministry to achieve this ambitious goal. They will provide specific technical knowledge to design the monitoring system and indicators relevant to both the Portuguese education sector in general (schools, teachers, parents) and the national administration in particular. Find out more about the work on the Agency website.

In Cyprus, the Agency organised four online meetings in June as part of Phase 2 of the SRSP activities. The final outcomes of Phase 2 will be a final bill on inclusive education, alongside the regulations and recommendations that will accompany the bill. The recent meetings aimed to keep the momentum of the activities in Cyprus in light of the COVID-19 organisational challenges, and to inform the on-going analysis for the development of the recommendations. Read about the meetings in the news item.

Updates on Agency projects and publications

The Changing Role of Specialist Provision in Supporting Inclusive Education

Project logo - CROSPAt an online meeting of the Changing Role of Specialist Provision in Supporting Inclusive Education (CROSP) Project Advisory Group (PAG) in early June, members explored the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the role of specialist provision. 

As well as discussing the upcoming project activities, the team discussed emerging country-level responses during and after the COVID-19 lockdown. This included an exchange of steps already taken or planned in the PAG members’ countries (Finland, France, Germany, Portugal and Serbia).

Read more about the meeting’s discussions on the news page. More information about the project is available in the CROSP web area.

Country Policy Review and Analysis: Policy analysis grids

Project logo - CPRA Between 2015 and 2019, the Agency worked with 20 countries to analyse their policy frameworks for inclusive education as part of the Country Policy Review and Analysis (CPRA) activities. This year, two more countries (Belgium – Flemish community and the Netherlands) have completed the process, together with one German Land – Hessen. The main results of the policy analysis work with all 23 of these countries are now available on the CPRA web area, together with the Methodology Report for the activities.

Teacher Professional Learning for Inclusion: Policy mapping grids

Project logo - TPL4IThe Teacher Professional Learning for Inclusion (TPL4I) project team recently worked with 26 participating countries to produce TPL4I policy mapping grids using the project’s policy self-review tool. The grids present the policy information which contributes to teacher professional learning for inclusion within each country. Details of all of the project outputs to date can be found in the TPL4I web area.

Preventing School Failure

Project logo - PSFThe final publication from the Preventing School Failure (PSF) project is the Country Information Thematic Analysis. It presents the definitions of ‘school failure’ in each of the 14 participating countries, and analyses the policy to prevent school failure within each country. The information from the countries was used to inform the PSF Project Synthesis Report. The Thematic Analysis, together with all the outputs from the PSF project, can be found in the PSF web area.

A Policy for preventing school failure within the ecosystem of inclusive education systems infographic is also available to download on the Agency website. It summarises the inclusive policy areas that are particularly important for preventing school failure. The specific areas are linked to wider policy aims that are key priorities for preventing school failure. The infographic can be downloaded and shared broadly. Feel free to share this infographic on social media using the #EASNIE hashtag.

Infographic preview - PSF project
Infographic preview: Preventing school failure within the inclusive education ecosystem

Supporting Inclusive School Leadership

Project logo - SISLFollowing the scoping meeting held in February, phase 2 of the Supporting Inclusive School Leadership (SISL) project continued with an online meeting in June. Representatives from the participating countries, namely Hungary, Ireland, Malta and Sweden, met with Agency project staff to discuss the first draft of the SISL policy framework. The results of the discussions will allow the project team to develop the policy framework and begin work on a self-reflection tool.

The Journal of Education Administration has published an article entitled ‘Inclusive school leaders – their role in raising the achievement of all learners’. The article presents a model based on the SISL project’s phase 1 findings. It discusses the key issues of the competences, support and professional development opportunities for inclusive school leaders and policy frameworks that support inclusive leadership across the whole education system.

An infographic entitled Roles and responsibilities of inclusive school leaders within the ecosystem of inclusive education systems has also been developed as part of this project. This infographic considers the roles and responsibilities of school leaders that lie at the interface between education policies and their implementation in schools. It highlights the potential for school leaders to extend their sphere of influence well beyond their own school and to play a key role in supporting wider system transformation. Feel free to share this infographic on social media using the #EASNIE hashtag.

Infographic preview - SISL project
Infographic preview: Supporting inclusive school leadership within the inclusive education ecosystem

Virtual Launch of UNESCO's 2020 Global Education Monitoring Report on Inclusion and Education

The 2020 Global Education Monitoring (GEM) Report from the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) launched online on 23 June.

Titled ‘Inclusion and education: All means all’, the report is inspired by the 2015 Incheon Declaration and is a measure of progress towards Sustainable Development Goal 4 (SDG 4). These both call on countries to ‘ensure an inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning’.

The report investigates the barriers to education that are faced by vulnerable communities around the world and analyses policies and methods used to combat these barriers and support inclusion.

The Agency was involved in the creation of this report as part of the reference group, together with other experts and stakeholders from around the world. The report references several Agency findings, including from the Profile of Inclusive Teachers, the Inclusive Early Childhood Education project, the Supporting Inclusive School Leadership project and European Agency Statistics on Inclusive Education data.

The Agency is also working with UNESCO on a regional edition of the GEM report for Central and Eastern Europe, Caucasus and Central Asia. The regional report is due to be published in December 2020.

The publication of the 2020 report was marked with a series of events, beginning with the launch itself on 23 June. The launch event involved speakers from around the world, including the Director-General of UNESCO, members of the GEM Report team and champions of inclusion. 

Find out more about the GEM Report on the Agency website. To read the full report, download it on the UNESCO website.

Graphic - All Means All
The 2020 GEM Report's key message: #AllMeansALL
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