ETUCE webinar: Effective practices to implement the whole-school approach for inclusive education


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A whole-school approach for inclusive education was the theme of the first ETUCE webinar organised on the 19 March 2021 to address the training needs of education personnel on inclusive education. Bringing together more than 40 trade union experts on equality and inclusion, the event kicked off the series of webinars organised by ETUCE in the framework of the ETUCE project “Education Trade Unions and Inclusive Schools: Embracing Diversity in Education”. 

Building on the results of the ETUCE online survey on inclusive education and the findings of the ETUCE research report ‘Embracing Diversity in Education’, the series of webinars aims at equipping teachers, trainers, academics, and other education personnel, as well as education trade unions with updated knowledge and competences on the effective development of inclusive learning environments. 

This first webinar focused on diverse topics: the whole-school approach as an efficient cooperation practice within educational institutions, the visibility of diversity within the education institutions (eg. infrastructure, languages used in the institution etc.); the cooperation with other stakeholders; the participatory approaches, etc.

The webinar can be watched in English, French or Russian here.

According to the ETUCE research report on ‘Embracing Diversity in Education’ in relation to the whole-school approach, 1 out of 3 ETUCE member unions believes that there is a lack of strategies and policies that would support school infrastructure and environment including the different aspects of diversity within the school community.

After getting insights from a research expert on the European perspective of the whole-school approach, trade union experts showcased various examples of whole-school approach implementations used to address crucial issues linked with inclusive education.

A representative from the Cyprus Pedagogical Institute presented a 2-cycle EU-Council of Europe project “Human Rights and Democracy in Action (2014-2015)”, which was implemented in Cyprus among other countries and aimed at developing a training toolkit for teachers and school leaders on addressing controversial issues in education such as religion, sexuality, euthanasia, racism, homophobia, transphobia, bullying, sexism and nationalism. The second cycle of the project focused in particular, on the whole-school approach to the issue.  

From ETUCE member organisations, the German union GEW gave an overview of the GEW LGBTI working group and presented the national-wide project “Homophobia - School for diversity” fostering schools’ actions against discrimination of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and trans students and teachers and providing training for teachers and students on the LGBTI topic. The Israeli Teacher Union presented national good practices for the inclusion of persons with special needs in education. These include the building of ad hoc school infrastructures (e.g. special acoustic classes for students with hearing impairments), as well as training courses for teachers and adapted curricula. From Malta, the ETUCE member organisation MUT presented good practices in Maltese primary and secondary schools to implement the whole-school approach in light of increasing diversity in student and teacher body due to migration flows.  

Forthcoming events in the framework of the series of webinars “Education Trade Unions and Inclusive Schools: Addressing training needs of education personnel for inclusive education” will tackle the themes of “safe and healthy learning and working environment” (12 April 2021) and “using digital technologies and media to foster the inclusion” (29 April 2021). Registration for the webinars is possible for all ETUCE member organisations.

Read more:

  • Presentations: project research findings
  • National Practices from  Cyprus– Germany– Israel – Malta
  • Project research report ‘Embracing diversity in education’ (ENFRRU) + Annexes (EN)
  • Factsheet based on the research report ‘The many facets of diversity’ (ENFRRU)
  • Factsheet based on the research report ‘Key elements and conditions for the implementation and maintenance of inclusive education’  (ENFRRU)
  • Factsheet based on the research report ‘Training and professional development of teachers, academics, leaders in educational institutions and other education personnel’ (ENFRRU)