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 2021

This eBulletin brings an update on work with the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Structural Reform Support with five Agency countries. It also shares a recent Agency literature review exploring the impact of COVID-19 on inclusive education across Europe.

There are details of a vacancy for an Agency Information Dissemination Assistant and a call for case studies for the Inclusive Education in Action website. There is also information about the Agency’s bi-annual meeting of country representatives in May, including the Global Education Monitoring seminar that was part of it.

Finally, find out about a new public consultation launched by the Commission as part of the Pathways to School Success initiative and a recent Agency presentation applying the universal design concept to education systems.

For more news from the Agency, visit the News section

Collaboration with the European Commission’s DG REFORM

The Agency continues to work with the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Structural Reform Support (DG REFORM) and education ministries to promote and improve inclusive education systems in Cyprus, Czech Republic, Greece, Poland and Portugal.

Following a series of online consultation meetings with stakeholders in June, the Agency has presented the final recommendations and key priority action for promoting more inclusive and equitable education to the Czech Republic's Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports (MŠMT) and key stakeholders. The 15 recommendations focus on measures to promote more inclusive education in the Karlovarský and Ústecký regions, but which can be applied across the Czech education system to promote more inclusive and equitable education for all learners. The proposed priority action focuses on structured stakeholder dialogue based on the significant issues highlighted by the recommendations. Find out more about the recommendations and the meeting on the news page.

The final meeting has also taken place in the Agency’s work with the Greek Ministry of Education and Religious Affairs (MERA) to promote inclusive education in Greece. During the meeting on 24 June, researchers and experts involved in the work presented the key outcomes, which the MERA will use to improve inclusive education. Read about the final meeting on the website.

Continuing the activities in Cyprus, the Agency joined a teleconference with the Cypriot Minister of Education, Culture, Sport and Youth in May to discuss progress towards inclusive education reform. Agency representatives presented the main principles of the newly prepared draft legislation and regulations, and participants had the opportunity to ask questions about the draft. Read about the meetings on our news page.

Activities in Portugal also continue, with the Agency team working to define the indicators that will be used in the system to monitor Portugal’s new law on inclusive education. The activities in Portugal also feature on the Commission’s new website about its work through the Technical Support Instrument, the successor to the Structural Reform Support Programme. Find out more about the website and the work in Portugal on the Agency news page.

Conference on EU solidarity

DG REFORM and the Directorate-General for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion organised a conference on 6 May, exploring methods to ensure all children across Europe receive the education and services they need. During the conference, representatives from the countries involved in work with DG REFORM and the Agency described how the collaboration is supporting them to develop more inclusive education systems. Find out more about the conference.

New Agency publication: Literature review on the impact of COVID-19 on inclusive education in Europe

Cover of the literature review documentThe Agency has published a literature review examining the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic on education around Europe. The literature review aims to map evidence and identify acknowledged ways in which COVID-19 has impacted on education in general and inclusive education in particular at European and national levels.

Download the literature review on the Agency website.

Vacancy for an Information Dissemination Assistant

The Agency is looking for a suitably qualified and experienced person to join its Information Dissemination Team. This is the Agency’s communications team, responsible for the production of digital and printed materials. The ideal candidate is a native-level English speaker with excellent content writing, copy-editing and proof-reading skills.

Agency bi-annual meeting and presentation of the GEM Regional report for Central and Eastern Europe, Caucasus and Central Asia

The spring 2021 meeting of the Agency’s member country representatives took place on 26–27 May. Alongside approval of work programmes, accounts and budgets, Agency staff presented updates on Agency projects and activities. 

During the meeting, the Agency also hosted a seminar on two recent UNESCO Global Education Monitoring (GEM) reports: the 2020 GEM Report and the 2021 Regional Report for Central and Eastern Europe, Caucasus and Central Asia. Both reports have the theme of inclusion and education. The Agency collaborated on the Regional Report alongside UNESCO’s GEM Report Team and the Network of Education Policy Centers (NEPC), which were both represented at the seminar.

Learn more about the bi-annual meeting and the GEM Report seminar on the news pages. You can download the full 2021 GEM Regional Report on the Agency website.

Kindergarten children playing in a tent
Children with learning difficulties are fully included in this mainstream kindergarten in Belarus. They are fully engaged in the same activities as other children. The photo was taken during a field visit to document the best practices of pre-school education in Belarus. © UNICEF/UN040214

Call for case studies: Inclusive Education in Action

Inclusive Education in Action (IEA) is an online public resource and knowledge base on approaches to inclusive education around the world. A collaboration between the Agency and UNESCO, it presents a collection of important and interesting case studies and resources on inclusive education.

The case studies provide insights into inclusive education systems around the world for policy-makers working to develop equity and equal opportunities within education systems. They focus on four themes:
  • Specific policy initiatives for inclusive education
  • Inclusive curriculum development
  • Developing inclusive learning environments
  • Educational staff professional development.
New case studies which present material on key policy development towards inclusive education from all regions and countries are welcomed for consideration through the website’s open call for case studies.
To submit a case study or for more information, visit the IEA websitedownload the case study template or email the IEA team.

Four children writing in school books
Pathways to School Success consultation

The European Commission has launched a public consultation to support the development of a new policy framework for national education systems.

The consultation aims to collect input on the proposed Council Recommendation on Pathways to School Success. The Pathways to School Success initiative is a response to the need for improved education systems that promote inclusive and fair societies. It will present schools and authorities with a policy framework to improve their education systems for all learners. Read more about the initiative and how to take part in the consultation on the Agency website.

Applying universal design to education policy and practice

An Agency presentation at a Summer School recently outlined how the principles of universal design can be applied to policy and practice in teaching and learning. The Summer School was organised by the NEPC and Action for Reducing Inequalities in Education (ARISE).

The Agency was invited to present the principles of universal design and how they can be used in schools and in policy-making. Agency representative Diana Murdoch provided an overview of Agency work and described how the concept of universal design has been adapted to a vision of a unified education system. In this system, policy impacts all levels and sectors and includes all stakeholders, from national levels to families and communities. Find out more about the universal design concept in education on the website.

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.

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