Welcome to the Changing Role of Specialist Provision project web area!

The Changing Role of Specialist Provision (CROSP) project will focus on the re-organisation of specialist, separate provision (schools, classes and units) and the perceived shift in the role of such provision to support the right to inclusive education for all learners. 

The project will have two phases: 

  • Phase 1 (2017–2018) will cover a detailed mapping exercise on past and current trends and situations in countries in relation to specialist provision (SP), as well as on perceived future trends. 
  • On the basis of the main outcomes of Phase 1, Phase 2 (2018–2019) will focus on peer learning activities, to be organised in two or three groups. These will consider different aspects and stages of policy reform and development for SP to support inclusive education. 

Project framework

The current educational policy framework – incorporating the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in many countries – increasingly focuses on inclusive education systems that aim to meet the rights of all learners to an inclusive education with their peers in their local communities. All Agency countries agree on this definition and are working towards this vision. All learners, including those with disabilities and from vulnerable groups, have recognised rights to inclusive education. 

A key question for many countries is therefore clarifying what the role of SP should be in supporting the rights of all learners to inclusive education. 

The CROSP project will be framed around the policy-driven shift in the role of separate schools and classes towards supporting mainstream provision to meet the right to inclusive education for all learners.

Participants and target group

All Agency member countries are invited to participate in the project activities. Country participants are involved in providing specific country information during Phase 1 of the project. 

The project will focus on learners in ISCED 1 and 2 (compulsory education). The main target group for the project outputs will be national and regional-level policy-makers from different social sectors, who are responsible for ensuring an effective framework of educational provision to meet all learners’ needs. 

Aims

The project’s overall aim is to identify and analyse the factors (challenges and opportunities) within country policy and practice that influence the reorganisation and reform of special provision (schools, units, classes) towards inclusive education for all learners. It will specifically focus on the policy drivers for re-organising SP to support the right to inclusive education for all learners. 

The project’s key questions will be: 

  • What type of cross-sectoral policy framework is needed to effectively support the changing role of SP (schools, units and classes) in supporting mainstream schools to be inclusive? 
  • What type of developments and reforms to different forms of separate SP are required to ensure that the rights of all learners to inclusive education are effectively met? 

The project will initially aim to: 

  • collect information to map the change in the role of SP in recent years;
  • collect information that provides a mapping of the current situation regarding separate SP in countries; 
  • highlight the critical levers within country situations that have led to these changes; 
  • change of role of SP in supporting the right to inclusive education for all learners. 

Project activities and outputs

Preparatory activities started in 2017 and, depending on decision-making at the end of Phase 1, the project activities will run until 2019. 

Phase 1 – Mapping exercise (mid-2017– mid-2018) 

This aims to provide a European overview of the state of the art regarding the development of SP and its relation to mainstream inclusive education. 

Desk research conducted by the staff team will be used to develop a project conceptual framework and background document. This will clarify key concepts, the methodology to be employed and offer more detailed proposals for project activities and information collection tools. 

A template of information on country situations has been developed to provide a detailed mapping of the past, current and perceived future trends and situations in countries in relation to SP. 

The template for the country reports has been framed within four issues relating to specialist provision’s changing role in supporting inclusive education. These issues are:

  • Historical policy trends
  • Current policy situation
  • Specialist provision’s current role in supporting inclusive education
  • Future trends.

Each of these issues is the focus of a different section of the country report template.

Phase 2 – Peer learning activities (mid-2018–2019) 

This phase’s activities will be agreed at the end of the Phase 1 work. 

The proposal involves peer learning activities to be organised in two or three groups. These will consider different aspects and stages of policy reform and development for SP to support inclusive education. 

In Phase 2 we will work in country clusters. A peer learning methodology will be used to explore a small number of examples highlighting different aspects of policy reform for SP. The goal is to go beyond information sharing and provide a forum for finding solutions to policy challenges in a participatory workshop.

compulsory education
country policy review
data collection

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