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 January 2021

We wish you and your loved ones a safe and happy new year for 2021.

This eBulletin contains news of the Agency’s 25th anniversary, which we are celebrating in 2021. It brings you details of the Agency’s new Open Access Policy, and its continued collaboration with the European Union’s Structural Reform Support Programme. There is also an overview of the new publications from the Teacher Professional Learning for Inclusion and Supporting Inclusive School Leadership projects.

International news includes the launch of the regional Global Education Monitoring report on inclusion and education, which will take place on 12 February. There are also details of a recent UNESCO symposium on the right to inclusive education for people with disabilities.

In news from Europe, there are details of the Conference of Ministers of Education’s response to COVID-19 and the final meeting of the ET 2020 Working Group on Promoting Common Values and Inclusive Education. The European Commission has published an Action Plan on Integration and Inclusion, and you can watch events from the Third European Education Summit, which took place in December.

Finally, there are details of the InScool project’s final conference, and an event in Poland on preparing all school staff for inclusive education.

For more news from the Agency, visit the News section

Agency news

Celebrating 25 years on the path to inclusion

Logo - Agency 25th anniversary

In 2021, the Agency celebrates 25 years of working to improve the quality and effectiveness of inclusive education systems for all learners.

Over the past 25 years, our member countries have participated in thematic projects and activities in a wide range of key topics in the field of inclusive education. These have all aimed to explore and promote our vision that ‘all learners of any age are provided with meaningful, high-quality educational opportunities in their local community, alongside their friends and peers’.

Find out more about the Agency’s history and how we are celebrating our 25th anniversary in this news item.

Agency adopts Open Access Policy

As a platform for collaboration, the Agency is committed to broad and open information-sharing. The Agency’s new Open Access Policy affirms this commitment by expanding the reach and impact of our outputs. 

Find out more on the 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 is working with the ministries of education in Cyprus, Czech Republic, Greece, Poland and Portugal.

Phase 2 of the SRSP activities continues in Cyprus, with further working groups including Ministry representatives and stakeholders taking place through the autumn. In the meetings, the Agency presented draft recommendations for the new legislation on inclusive education in Cyprus. Find out more in the news item.

Last November, the Agency contributed to the second round of online regional consultation meetings in the Supporting the Improvement of Quality in Inclusive Education in Poland project, which is supported by the SRSP. During the meetings, the Agency presented the draft assumptions that will underpin the proposal for new legislation on inclusive education in Poland. Find out more in the news item.

Project updates and publications

Teacher Professional Learning for Inclusion (TPL4I) project

Logo - TPL4I projectThe final publications from phase 1 of the TPL4I project are now available on the Agency website:

  • The synthesis report entitled ‘Teacher Professional Learning for Inclusion: An Analysis of Country Policies in Europe’ analyses countries’ policies and identifies key issues and challenges for policy-makers and providers of teacher professional learning for inclusion.
  • The Phase 1 Final Summary Report provides a short overview of the phase 1 findings. It describes the trends in teacher professional learning policies found in the policy mapping activities and relates the findings to previous Agency work.
  • The Methodology Report sets out the steps for phase 2 of the TPL4I project. It also presents the project rationale and the steps taken in phase 1, and highlights possible uses of the project findings.

You can find out more about the project and the three documents in the news item.

Supporting Inclusive School Leadership (SISL) project

Logo - SISL projectA new publication, ‘Inclusive School Leadership: A practical guide to developing and reviewing policy frameworks’, is now available on the Agency website. An output of phase 2 of the SISL project, it offers a framework for all policy- and decision-makers who have a vision of more inclusive and equitable education for all. It sets out a vision, guiding principles, goals, objectives and a framework of standards and supportive policy measures for all education system levels.

The policy framework aims to be applicable to all countries. It is open-source, which means that users can adapt it to their respective contexts. It can help users to develop and review new and existing policies aimed at school leadership, and to reflect on current practice.

Find out more about the SISL project or access the publication on the Agency website.

International news

Launch of the 2021 Central and Eastern Europe, Caucasus and Central Asia Report on Inclusion and Education

The launch of the Global Education Monitoring Report 2021 for Central and Eastern Europe, the Caucasus and Central Asia: Inclusion and education will take place online on Friday 12 February.

The Agency has worked with the GEM Report team and the Network of Education Policy Centres (NEPC) to produce the report, which continues the main 2020 GEM Report theme of Inclusion and Education: All means all. It provides information on inclusive education and progress in 30 education systems of Central and Eastern Europe, Caucasus and Central Asia.

The report includes evidence-based recommendations for education policy-makers and other stakeholders to improve inclusion in education and to strengthen their implementation of Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 4. In addition, the report focuses on the impact of COVID-19 on education systems and how countries in the region responded to the pandemic. It specifically highlights those learners who already faced disadvantages before the pandemic, including girls, learners with disabilities and those from low socio-economic backgrounds.

The launch event will provide an overview of the main findings of the regional report. It will also present progress in inclusive education in countries across the region and launch a series of webinars connected to the themes of the report. The Agency will be represented by Amanda Watkins and Verity Donnelly.

Register for the event at: The launch will also be streamed live on the GEM Report Facebook page. It is aimed at education stakeholders, including policy-makers, teachers, parents and learners. Simultaneous translation in English and Russian and English sign language interpretation will be available. 

Children clap to music in a preschool at the Social Services and Child Protection agency in Istanbul
Children clap to music in a preschool at the Social Services and Child Protection agency in Istanbul. The agency provides adult literacy classes, runs an early childhood development centre and offers parent-education courses using materials developed by UNICEF's Family and Child Training (FACT) programme. Cover photo: ©UNICEF/UNI42671/ Roger LeMoyne

UNESCO symposium: Ensuring the right to quality inclusive education for persons with disabilities

A symposium exploring the continued exclusion and inequitable educational provision for children with disabilities took place online on 25–27 November 2020. It aimed to examine how policy and practice can fulfil the right to inclusive education for learners with disabilities.

Representatives from UNESCO, the GEM Report, disability organisations and education ministries from around the world took part. Sessions focused on Sustainable Development Goal 4 and its implementation, and how to build education systems back better after COVID-19.

Find out more in the Agency news item.

News across Europe

Conference of Ministers of Education response to COVID-19

A Conference of Ministers of Education has called for increased efforts to protect the most vulnerable young people during the COVID-19 pandemic. During the Conference in October, Ministers endorsed a Political Declaration on Europe’s education response to the pandemic. The Declaration reaffirms the intention to ensure the right to education, which is enshrined in the European Convention on Human Rights and the European Social Charter.

Find out more on the Agency website.

Final meeting of the ET 2020 Working Group on Promoting Common Values and Inclusive Education

The fourth and final meeting of the European Commission’s Education and Training (ET 2020) Working Group on Promoting Common Values and Inclusive Education took place online on 18 November. The meeting aimed to present updates following the proposal for achieving a European Education Area by 2025, and the main outcomes of recent working group activities. 

More details of the meeting are available on the Agency news page.

Commission Action Plan on Integration and Inclusion

The European Commission has published a new Action Plan on Integration and Inclusion for 2021–2027. The plan addresses the barriers that can hinder the participation and inclusion of people with a migrant background.

The plan sets out new actions that build on the achievements of the previous Action Plan (2016), which focused only on third-country nationals. The new plan has a much broader scope, and covers both migrants and EU citizens with a migrant background.

For more details, visit the Agency website.

Third European Education Summit

The third European Education Summit took place on 10 December 2020. Tying in with the recently-published Digital Education Plan, the theme of the Summit was ‘Digital Education Transformation’. Speakers included representatives from the Commission, education ministries and other education stakeholders from across Europe. For details of the Summit and to watch the sessions, visit the Commission website.

Final InScool project conference: The Road to Inclusion

The Erasmus+ funded Inclusive Schools (InScool) project held its final online event to explore inclusive education in schools on 18 November. Co-organised by the Lifelong Learning Platform, it was an opportunity to celebrate good practice and explore the challenges still to overcome in inclusive education across Europe.

After the event, the InScool project shared its final Policy Report on Inclusive School Education, which outlines the lessons learnt during the project. The report includes a methodology to support schools and other stakeholders to understand the diversity within their communities and create a strategy for inclusion.

Find out more about the event and the Policy Report on the Agency website.

Preparing all school staff for inclusive education conference, Poland

A conference entitled ‘A School Accessible to All Students: Preparing Staff for Inclusive Education’ took place online on 10 and 11 December. Organised by the Ministry of National Education (MEN) and the Educational Research Institute (IBE) in Poland, the conference was a knowledge exchange for stakeholders working to prepare schools for inclusive education. It was particularly aimed at universities, teacher education centres and school leaders.

Agency representatives Annet De Vroey and Simoni Symeonidou took part in the first day of the conference, presenting the Teacher Professional Learning for Inclusion (TPL4I) project. Details of their presentations and other sessions are available on the Agency news page.

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Co-funded by EU Erasmus+ Programme

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