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.
Formed in 1996, the Agency focuses on improving outcomes for all learners, with the long-term goal of improving life chances and active participation in society. Its aim is to improve educational policy and practice for learners with disabilities and special educational needs. It has a shared vision for inclusive education systems: that all learners of any age are provided with meaningful, high-quality educational opportunities in their local community, alongside their friends and peers.
The Agency undertakes a wide range of work and brings together the key emerging messages about inclusive education. The Agency publishes full reports and shorter, accessible briefings identifying key factors that hinder or support progress on inclusion. Recent topics include:
- the publication of accessible information
- the organisation of provision to support inclusive education
- a project, with UNESCO, focusing on empowering teachers to work inclusively
- five shared messages for inclusive education
- the European Hearing, which brought together 14 and 15 year-olds across Europe to talk about what supports and hinders inclusion in their school
Projects that are currently underway include:
- data to support inclusion
- funding systems to support inclusion
- a project, running until 2017, on inclusive early childhood education
CDC currently supports the work of the Agency and Philippa Stobbs acts as National Co-ordinator for UK (England). There is separate representation from Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Philippa provides occasional "Postcards from..." following the latest meeting of the Agency, to give a flavour of some of the topics that have been under discussion in Europe.