Increasing Inclusive Capability


How can provision be organised to meet the needs of all the school community?

This question relates to the system and structures that are put in place to support learners – but there are inevitably close links to the question on collaboration, which refers to the processes and relationships that also contribute to a high quality education and support for learners. The five sites studied in the OoP project represented a ‘continuum of provision’.

The sites included:

  • a special school that had changed to become a resource centre (Slovenia);
  • a special school that had become an inclusive mainstream school (Austria);
  • mainstream schools that included all learners through a system of individual support (Malta);
  • a mainstream school that re-organised separate special classes and raised the achievement of all learners (Sweden) and
  • a school that worked with other schools/resource centres to include and provide a flexible system of support for all learners (Germany).

This demonstrates that inclusion is always a ‘work in progress’ and that understandings of inclusion should be seen in the context of each school/community. It may also be helpful to refer to discussions around the question ‘What does inclusive education mean to stakeholders in our national/local context?’


Organisation of Provision project country visit reports

The country reports on the project visits outline the transformation strategies used and the structures introduced to provide support to both learners and teachers. Refer to:

Sweden Page 13
Austria Page 15/16
Germany Page 11/12
Malta Page 16
Slovenia Page 12

Inclusive Education in Europe: Putting theory into Practice. Reflections from Researchers

Pages 44-47 of the paper by Per Skoglund outlines seven factors for transformative change as seen in particular in the project case studies to Essunga and Flensburg.

picture of a question mark within a circleTalking Point - transformation strategies

  • What can we learn from the descriptions of transformation strategies in the above reports? From these practices, can we identify some challenges in our own context? What action might be taken to address these?

Organisation of Provision project synthesis paper

Read pages 4-5 on the changing role of special schools and pages 6-10 on teaching approaches, curriculum and assessment and organisation.

Organisation of Provision to Support Inclusive Education Literature Review

The project literature review provides information on systems of support at school and classroom level to meet a range of diverse needs in schools. The importance of support for school leaders and teachers is also discussed (See chapter 7).

picture of a question mark within a circleTalking point - a continuum of support

  • What support is available in the school/local community for school leaders and for teachers? How does this support increase the school’s capability to include all learners? (See also the question on engagement for change in the orange section of this resource)
  • What support is available for learners? What ‘gaps’ exist and how might the school’s capability be increased to close them?

A Curriculum for all Learners

This section of curriculum guidance in Wales describes needs that all learners have in common (pages 13-15).

Think-piece - Including all learners

Read the think-piece here and consider the questions below.

picture of a question mark within a circleTalking Point - dealing with 'difference'

  • How/why do teachers see some learners as ’different’? What assumptions are made about ability, disability and competence and how do they impact on school/classroom organisation and learners groupings?
  • Discuss/draft a rationale for including all learners in regular classes (Refer to the Essunga study summarised in this presentation. Also consider developments at: Waldschule and Wiener Mittelschule.
  • How can schools include/support all learners 'up-front' in all activities, rather than 'differentiating' content designed for the majority in order to respond to perceived limitations? (See also the question on reasonable adjustments in the pink section of this resource)

Critical factors in quality provision

Twenty-nine Agency member countries took part in the Organisation of Provision Project seminars in Autumn 2013. Their contributions, based on project findings, have been summarised into a list of critical factors in quality provision (see page 7). 

Inclusive Education in Europe: Putting theory into Practice. Reflections from Researchers

The paper by Per Skoglund discusses ways to increase schools' capabiity. The points here have been further developed in the final project analysis and with reference to the critical factors above to include:

  • Child rights and active participation
  • Conceptual clarity
  • Correspondence and coherent partnerships
  • Constructive leadership and commitment to cultural change
  • Contextual analysis
  • Collaboration and collegiality
  • Confidence and creativity
  • Continuum of support
  • Cycle of feedback and improvement

 Talking Point - critical factors

  • How far does our current practice include the critical factors developed by the  project ? 
  • How can we use the points above to develop an 'aide-memoire' of factors that can support us to identify priorities in working towards a more inclusive system?

Additional References

Learning without Limits - Key ideas and principles

This site describes the key ideas from the Learning without Limits project - in particular moving from ability labelling to transforming learning capacity.

UNICEF webinars and booklets - see in particular:

10. Access to School and the Learning Environment I - Physical, Information and Communication
11. Access to School and the Learning Environment II - Universal Design for Learning
12. Teachers, Inclusive, Child-Centred Teaching and Pedagogy

(also referred to in the pink question)