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INCLUSIVE EDUCATION
IN EUROPEAN
COUNTRIES
Verity Donnelly
European Agency for Development
in Special Educational Needs
The Agency
15th year of operations
● Main secretariat in Odense, Denmark and
European Liaison office in Brussels, Belgium
The Agency is financed by:
• The member countries’ Ministries of Education
●
• European Commission as one of the 6
organisations supported by the Jean Monnet,
Lifelong Learning Programme
The Agency network
●
National networks in 27 European countries:
Austria, Belgium (Flemish and French speaking
communities), Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark,
Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary,
Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg,
Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal,
Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United
Kingdom (England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and
Wales)
●
24 EU member states and 3 EFA countries
Focus
The Agency’s focus is upon inclusive education
within its widest interpretation – that is dealing
with learner difference and diversity in all
educational settings as a quality issue. The
Agency’s work is essentially concerned with
how the achievement of all learners - with a
specific focus on the situation of those pupils
identified as having special educational needs can be improved in a meaningful way that
enhances their life chances and opportunities
for actively participating in society
Activities
●
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Collection, analysis and dissemination of
information on priority themes
Participation and organisation of conferences,
seminars and political events
Liaison with the European institutions and
international organisations – UNESCO and its
institutes (IBE, IITE), OECD Eurostat,
Eurydice, Cedefop, World Bank
Information Resources
The Agency offers various information resources,
which can all be accessed via the website
www.european-agency.org
–
–
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Thematic Reports
Thematic Databases
Newsletters and Electronic Bulletin
Agency publications can be downloaded in up to
21 member languages
Working parameters
●
Countries are at different starting points and
have different ‘histories’ in terms of education
generally and inclusion specifically:
–
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No-one has all the answers:
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There is a need to account for that and see it as a
strength
Many countries have clear examples of good
practice, but all countries are still ‘moving ahead’
Learning from diversity is a principle for all
Agency work:
–
As well as being an aim for inclusive education itself
International Policy Context
●
●
●
At all times, the Agency works to guiding
principles as outlined in:
Council Resolutions concerning inclusion of
children and young people with disabilities into
mainstream systems of education
UNESCO Salamanca Statement and
Framework for Action in Special Needs
Education (1994)
UN Convention on Rights of People with
Disabilities (2006)
–
Article 24 in particular
Dilemmas for inclusion as systemic
change
Who … all learners, vulnerable learners, learners with
SEN/disability?
Where ... special settings/mainstream school (under the
same roof or engaged in a common learning
endeavour)
When ... full/part time. Can you be a little bit ‘included’?
How ... focus on diagnosis/label or social/environmental
barriers to learning and participation
Critical issues?
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Resources
Access and participation
Teacher professional development
Policy and legislation
Whole school reform
Identification and placement
Assessment, accountability, efficiency and
effectiveness
Building capacity and sustainability
Peters, S. (2004) Inclusive Education: An EFA strategy for all
children. Paper for World Bank
Movements towards inclusion
Developments
• A wider range and more flexible provision
• Developing funding models
• The development of resource centres
Challenges
• Academic achievements (output) versus SEN
• Secondary education
• Preparing all teachers for inclusive education
• Over 2% of pupils are being educated in
separate settings (schools and classes) across
Europe
Percentage of pupils in the compulsory school sector
recognised as having SEN in 2010 (in all educational settings)
< 2.0%
2.01% - 4.0%
4.01% - 6.0%
6.01% - 10.0%
Sweden
Austria
France
Greece
Luxembourg
Poland
Portugal
Spain
UK (England)
UK (Wales)
Belgium (Fr)
Cyprus
Denmark
Germany
Hungary
Ireland
Latvia
Malta
Netherlands
Switzerland
UK (N.I.)
Belgium (Fl)
Czech rep.
Estonia
Finland
Norway
Slovenia
UK (Scotland)
Italy *
> 10%
Iceland
Lithuania
Percentage of pupils with SEN in segregated settings
Up to 1.0%
1.01 %- 2.0%
2.01%- 4.0%
4.01% and above
Cyprus
Luxembourg
Malta
Portugal
Spain
Austria
France
Iceland
Ireland
Lithuania
Norway
Poland
Slovenia
Sweden
UK (England)
UK (N.I.)
UK (Scotland)
UK (Wales)
Finland
Greece
Hungary
Netherlands
Belgium (Fl)
Belgium (Fr)
Czech Rep.
Denmark
Estonia
Germany
Latvia
Switzerland
Italy *
Factors impacting upon inclusion
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Coherence of services and possibilities within
and across phases of educational provision:
Early Childhood Intervention through to Higher
Education
Horizontal factors that impact on all phases of
educational provision:
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Educational assessment systems
Teacher education and development
Financing systems
Provision for meeting a diversity of learners’ needs
Changes in legislation acting as
levers for change
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Increasing focus on the rights of pupils with SEN and
their families – this relates to access to compulsory
education; access to specialist support and services;
access to mainstream, inclusive education
Devolution of responsibilities – to local and/or regional
level bodies and organisations
Improving frameworks and structures of provision – all
legislative changes and developments aim towards
improvements in provision and services within the
national system and context
Promoting specific tools and approaches within
provision – i.e. the implementation of Individual
Education Plans for pupils with SEN
A broadening of the concept of
educational needs
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A move away from labelling and categorisation
of needs
A widening definition of which groups should be
considered under legislation that gives access
to services
Evident in terms of the ‘words’ or terms’ being
used to identify key concepts: e.g. ‘additional
support needs’ and not disability or SEN
specific labels
Children with disability as a specific group with
specific needs within the educational continuum
of individual needs
What do we still need to know?
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What legislation and models of resourcing can support
effective organisation of education and quality for all?
What makes an effective, inclusive teacher - skills,
experience, attitudes?
What works for learners in education - organisation,
pedagogy, curriculum and assessment?
How agencies can collaborate to provide holistic
support - early intervention, family support,
community involvement?
What are valued outcomes (academic and social) –
long term quality of life, being active and contributing
citizens?
Underpinning beliefs
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Education is a fundamental human right and a
foundation for a more just society
Disability is socially constructed – everyone needs
support
Sorting, ranking, categorising can obscure strengths
and talents - labels should be replaced by useful
information to support learning, increasing learning
capacity of all
All learners are entitled to an interesting curriculum
that is meaningful in context, with consistent pedagogy
and assessment that supports learning
Quality of life is a key indicator – listen to learners,
consider impact on life chances
European Hearing in Portugal
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European Hearing of Young People with Special Educational
Needs organised by the Agency, within the framework of the
Portuguese Presidency of the European Union and the European
Year of Equal Opportunities
The event took place in Lisbon within the framework of the
Portuguese Presidency of the European Union
The Lisbon Declaration ‘Young People’s Views on Inclusive
Education’ is the main result of this event
Lisbon Declaration 2007
http://www.european-agency.org/publications/flyers/lisbondeclaration-young-peoples-views-on-inclusive-education/lisbondeclaration-young-people2019s-views-on-inclusive-education
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‘We have the right to the same opportunities as
everyone else, but with the necessary support to meet
our needs. No one’s needs should be ignored’
‘Teachers need to be motivated, to be well informed
about and understand our needs. They need to be well
trained, ask us what we need and to be well coordinated among themselves’
http://www.european-agency.org/publications/ereports/youngvoices-meeting-diversity-in-education/young-voices-meetingdiversity-in-education
‘Inclusive education is mutually
beneficial to us and to the others’
We see a lot of benefits
in inclusive education:
we acquire more social
skills; we live more
experiences; we learn
about how to manage in
the real world; we need
to have and interact
with friends with and
without special needs
European Parliament Hearing 2011
In November 2011, there will be a
further European hearing, this
time for young people with and
without disabilities, held in the
European Parliament, Brussels
It will involve 31 country
delegations with 3 young people
per delegation, aged between 14
to 18 years
The country delegations will have
the opportunity to express their
own views and perspectives on
inclusive education based upon
their experiences, as well as
highlight their needs and hopes
for the future
More information
www.european-agency.org
European Agency for Development in Special Needs Education
Østre Stationsvej 33
DK-5000 Odense C
Denmark
[email protected]
Dr. Amanda Watkins [email protected]
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