The Agency’s focus is upon: The Agency’s focus is upon


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The Agency’s focus is upon:

  • The Agency’s focus is upon:

  • inclusive education - learner difference and diversity in all educational settings as a quality issue

  • the achievement of all learners - with a specific focus on the situation of those pupils identified as having special educational needs

  • improving learners’ life chances and opportunities for active participation in society



Collection, analysis and dissemination of information on priority themes

  • 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



Current collection and analysis of data includes:

  • Current collection and analysis of data includes:

    • Percentage of pupils in the compulsory school sector recognised as having SEN (in all educational settings)
    • Percentage of pupils with SEN in segregated settings ‘where pupils are educated in separate schools/classes for 80% or more of the school day’
  • The Agency position:

  • The imposition of ‘external’ definitions has significant methodological difficulties in practice – SEN is a ‘construction’ that countries identify and address in different ways

  • There is only one element of statistical data that is comparable - the percentage of pupils in segregated provision (calculated against the overall school population)

  • The Agency uses a ‘bottom-up’ model - member countries decide what, how and when the Agency collects data

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The need for all countries to track the implementation of new educational policies and legislation are evident at:

  • The need for all countries to track the implementation of new educational policies and legislation are evident at:

  • - International level (as can be seen in the UN 2006 Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities calls for data collection and monitoring at State level);

  • - European level (as outlined in the Lisbon objectives 2010 and also European Council priorities and targets outlined in the ET 2020 strategy);

  • - National levels (as evidenced by Agency work involving ministerial representatives from 27 European countries. Please see: www.european-agency.org)



- Article 24 – right to education without discrimination and on the basis of equal opportunity – an inclusive system at all levels and access to lifelong learning

  • - Article 24 – right to education without discrimination and on the basis of equal opportunity – an inclusive system at all levels and access to lifelong learning

  • - Article 31 – Statistics and data collection – ‘to formulate and implement policies to give effect to the present Convention’ and ‘identify and address barriers faced by persons with disabilities in exercising their rights’.

  • - Article 33 – establish national/regional monitoring points and independent mechanisms

  • - Guidelines for monitoring progress in reaching the CRPD



‘European Disability Strategy 2010/2020: a renewed commitment to a barrier-free Europe’ was adopted in order to ensure the specific needs of people with disabilities are considered in all EU level work. The main objectives of the strategy are to:

  • ‘European Disability Strategy 2010/2020: a renewed commitment to a barrier-free Europe’ was adopted in order to ensure the specific needs of people with disabilities are considered in all EU level work. The main objectives of the strategy are to:

  • - Empower people with disabilities to enjoy their full rights

  • - Create a barrier-free Europe for all

  • - Comply with the international commitments taken by concluding the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities



Charged by the Council of Ministers to investigate possibilities for data collection at EU level linked to an indicator for SEN

  • Charged by the Council of Ministers to investigate possibilities for data collection at EU level linked to an indicator for SEN

  • The Eurostat work programme for 2011 includes:

  • 1. An enquiry to ‘actors’ at international and country level regarding comparable data and indicator needs in relation to SEN pupils

  • 2. Creation of a test methodology combining policy needs and data availability in an ‘optimal mix

  • 3. Identification of relevant possible indicators given policy requirements and available data



Aims to:

  • Aims to:

  • - Clarify what information needs to be made available for policy makers

  • - Identify what information is already available

  • - Highlight the gaps in current information

  • - Provide detailed proposals on how the necessary information could be collected in the future for the purposes of national, self-mapping and for European level comparative purposes

  • Involves policy makers and data collection experts from 27 countries, EU Commission and Eurostat



Two conferences in Belgium, 2010 and Hungary, 2011 (political level events held during the respective countries’ hosting of the Presidency of the EU and organised in co-operation with representatives of the Ministries of Education).

  • Two conferences in Belgium, 2010 and Hungary, 2011 (political level events held during the respective countries’ hosting of the Presidency of the EU and organised in co-operation with representatives of the Ministries of Education).

  • These events provided opportunities for information gathering with the target group for the project – decision-makers responsible for the implementation of inclusive education policy in European countries



These questions were the focus of debate during the Brussels conference:

  • These questions were the focus of debate during the Brussels conference:

  • 1. What is the single most important data collection issue for the project to focus on?

  • 2. What sort of data do you need to inform you about this issue?

  • 3. Why is this issue so important within your country context?



Policy makers suggested that they need qualitative and quantitative data that informs them about the quality of education of pupils with special educational needs (SEN). This will include comparable data on the outcomes and effectiveness of different approaches specifically including: data on learners’ experiences and achievements and data that demonstrates cost effectiveness of different elements within the education system.

  • Policy makers suggested that they need qualitative and quantitative data that informs them about the quality of education of pupils with special educational needs (SEN). This will include comparable data on the outcomes and effectiveness of different approaches specifically including: data on learners’ experiences and achievements and data that demonstrates cost effectiveness of different elements within the education system.

  • The data needs to map and monitor trends and developments over a period of time and be flexible enough to be interrogated to provide specific answers to specific questions.



Development of inclusive education policies

  • Development of inclusive education policies

  • Analysis of quality in inclusive education

  • Evidence on special needs education at international level (effectiveness of approaches, quality assurance)

  • Ways to track the progress of learners throughout and beyond their school careers

  • Information on the impact of differences in countries’ education systems to increase understanding

  • Quantitative and qualitative evidence needed at national level, anchored within European level agreements



In the Budapest conference, policy makers and country data collection experts discussed how data can be collected and recognised that:

  • In the Budapest conference, policy makers and country data collection experts discussed how data can be collected and recognised that:

    • The more inclusive an educational system becomes, the more difficult data collection will be
    • The questions policy makers need answers to cannot be answered with quantitative data alone. Quantitative data should always be presented with explanations/context for the ‘numbers’. The nature and focus of qualitative data also requires careful explanation


The goal would be to explore the effectiveness of resource allocation in the short, medium and long term for learners. Long term data collection is needed to track educational and post educational careers of learners. Data would consider, amongst other issues, how well schools prepare young people for their later life? Do they have the necessary competences and life skills? What happens after compulsory education for young people? How successful is transition to employment and the labour market?

  • The goal would be to explore the effectiveness of resource allocation in the short, medium and long term for learners. Long term data collection is needed to track educational and post educational careers of learners. Data would consider, amongst other issues, how well schools prepare young people for their later life? Do they have the necessary competences and life skills? What happens after compulsory education for young people? How successful is transition to employment and the labour market?



Data collection at the school level would give insights into the quality of school life for all stakeholders. Potential issues to be considered would include how schools effectively involve parents; how the school takes the wider home and community environment into account in planning learning and teaching; how social inclusion is supported in educational processes

  • Data collection at the school level would give insights into the quality of school life for all stakeholders. Potential issues to be considered would include how schools effectively involve parents; how the school takes the wider home and community environment into account in planning learning and teaching; how social inclusion is supported in educational processes



Data that helps to improve the education process is required. Such data would aim to provide evidence that addresses key policy issues: for example the effectiveness of different placements (special – mainstream schools) and educational approaches; the potential ‘added value’ of inclusive education; how the system empowers learners and their parents

  • Data that helps to improve the education process is required. Such data would aim to provide evidence that addresses key policy issues: for example the effectiveness of different placements (special – mainstream schools) and educational approaches; the potential ‘added value’ of inclusive education; how the system empowers learners and their parents



Project experts agreed that any data collection for European level sources must clearly build upon existing national level data collection, as well as directly link to the ET2020 work and other European strategies

  • Project experts agreed that any data collection for European level sources must clearly build upon existing national level data collection, as well as directly link to the ET2020 work and other European strategies

  • As such data will be open for scrutiny, there needs to be a clarification of what type of information is useful ‘for public debate’ at the European level - who is the target audience and why do they need this information?



Participation in education and training

  • Participation in education and training

  • Access to support and accommodation

  • Achievement opportunities

  • Transition opportunities

  • Affiliation opportunities



Resource allocation



At national level:

  • At national level:

    • Between different data providers
    • Between different ministries and civil sectors
  • At European level:

    • Through a shared strategy
    • Addressing comparability issues


  • Mapping the Implementation of Policy for Inclusive Education:

  • www.european-agency.org/agency-projects/mipie

  • Agency website:

  • www.european-agency.org

  • Dr. Amanda Watkins:

  • amanda@european-agency.org

  • Dr. Verity Donnelly:

  • verity@european-agency.org




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