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Verity Donnelly European Agency for Development in Special Educational Needs. AN OVERVIEW OF EUROPEAN TRENDS IN SPECIAL NEEDS EDUCATION. The Agency. Established in 1996 Main secretariat in Odense, Denmark and European Liaison office in Brussels, Belgium
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European Agency for Development
in Special Educational Needs
AN OVERVIEW OF EUROPEAN TRENDS IN SPECIAL NEEDS EDUCATION
Agency thematic reports, databases and newsletters can be downloaded in up to 22 member languages from: www.european-agency.org
At all times, the Agency works to guiding principles as outlined in:
- A wider range of more flexible provision, heterogeneous groupings and personalised education
- Early intervention and support for a continuum of learner needs
- Greater staff collaboration – in schools and communities - and between agencies
- Greater attention to school leadership
- Teacher education for inclusion – ITE, CPD
- Developing the role of special schools to resource centres
- Creative funding models
- Accountability - academic vs wider achievement
- Terminology – common understanding of key concepts
- Identification of additional needs and criteria for allocation of support without labelling
- Engaging older learners and reducing school drop out rates
- Preparing all teachers for inclusive education and maintaining specialisms
- Developing the role of special schools/settings - over 2% of pupils educated in separate settings (schools and classes) across Europe
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
The focus is on the widening participation and promoting access and achievement for all learners
- The learner voice – learners’ voices and those of family and advocates should be heard, particularly when decisions are made that affect their lives
- Active participation of learners – all learners are entitled to be active participants in the life of school and community
- All teachers should have positive attitudes towards all learners and the will to work collaboratively with colleagues
- All teachers should develop the skills to meet the diverse needs of all learners
- School leaders should value diversity among staff as well as learners, encourage collegiality and support innovation
- Every school should have access to the support of a multi-disciplinary service and relevant community services
Attended by 31 delegations from 27 countries, official representatives from the Ministries, the European Institutions and key European and international organisations.
The event aimed to highlight issues raised by young people regarding the benefits of inclusive education and challenges still to be overcome and look at the progress made since the 2007 Hearing in Portugal.
“Inclusive education allows us to make more friends, to be part of the community and to feel like everybody else”.
Financing additional school provision should not be the main consideration, inclusive education is an investment: if everyone is involved, it is good for the whole of society. Inclusion is important for everyone, it is not only about
“We need to fight against prejudice and change culture. We need to train teachers and make them capable of meeting the requirements of all students in the classroom.”