The European Agency for Special Needs and Inclusive Education is an independent organisation that works to help member countries across Europe improve their inclusive policy and practice in education.
The Agency brings together a growing number of European countries, all focused on improving inclusive education. In 2020, there were 31 countries in membership, counting the United Kingdom as one country, though England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland all have individual membership of the Agency. Membership of the European Union is not a requirement for membership of the Agency.
The Agency undertakes a wide range of work and brings together the key emerging messages about inclusive education. Its work is firmly based in the evidence and research and is designed to support member nation governments and policy makers but increasingly it reviews practice issues alongside law and policy.
The Agency works through projects and publishes research summaries, full reports and shorter, accessible briefings identifying key factors that hinder or support progress on inclusion. Accompanying the reports, there is a growing range of tools to support decision-makers and practitioners.
Projects that are currently underway include:
- Supporting Inclusive School Leadership: https://www.european-agency.org/projects/SISL
- Changing role of specialist provision in supporting inclusive education: https://www.european-agency.org/projects/CROSP
Recently concluded projects include:
- Financing Policies for Inclusive Education Systems
- Raising the Achievement of all Learners
- Inclusive Early Childhood Education
The European Agency works closely with other international organisations including the OECD and UNESCO. The European Agency has contributed to the recent UNESCO Report – Towards inclusion in education: Status, trends and challenges which looks in detail at the current situation for inclusive education across the world. The European Agency has also worked with UNESCO to develop resources on Inclusive Education in Action.
Increasingly the European Agency presents its findings in ways that are more accessible to a range of different audiences, for example infographics summarising key findings, for example: on preventing school failure and this one that takes a wider look at inclusive education across Europe. Every few years the European Agency brings together young learners themselves to ensure their involvement in the development of inclusive policies. The last event, ‘Inclusive education: Take action!’ is summarised in presentations and video clips.
The work of the European Agency is of interest to policy makers, researchers and, increasingly, to practitioners themselves. It also facilitates links between groups in different countries with shared interests.
If you are interested in the work of the European Agency, you can find out more about the European Agency here or you can sign up for the Council for Disabled Children newsletter and receive updates in the work of the Agency in the form of a blog, usually written as a ‘Postcard from...’ the latest place where the European Agency has met. The postcards give a flavour of some of the topics that have been under discussion in Europe.
CDC currently supports the work of the Agency and Philippa Stobbs acts as National Co-ordinator for UK (England). If you are interested in receiving updates on research and publications from the European Agency, or on recent developments in other countries that might help to inform developments in England please contact CDC@ncb.org.uk.