Closing Conference of the Inclusive Schools Project and World Teachers’ Day


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On the 4 and 5 October, ETUCE has organised the Closing Conference of the project “Education Trade Unions and Inclusive Schools: Embracing Diversity in Education”. The event provided the opportunity to discuss the key findings and outcomes of the initiative, as well as sharing experiences related to inclusive education. The Conference took place during World Teachers’ Day (05 October) as a reminder of the importance of inclusive education for all and a tribute to the amazing work accomplished by teachers across Europe.

A greater than ever diversity among Europe's learners and education personnel requires strong attention to ensuring equality and inclusion in education. This reality is more important than ever for education trade unions. This is the reason why, under the slogan ‘Every learner matters, every teacher matters’, the project is building capacity to allow education trade unions to prepare their members in addressing the many forms of diversity they encounter in the classroom and in society: socioeconomic, cultural, linguistic and more. ETUCE and member organisations aim to support education personnel in creating inclusive learning environments where every student and teacher can achieve their full potential.

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The Closing Conference of the project gave not only a chance to participants to discuss the key findings and outcomes of the project, including the Research Report and the Catalogue of Good Practices on Inclusive Schools supported by the ETUCE Online Database of Good Practices, but the event also featured presentations from education experts, trade unions, teachers and policy makers. Furthermore, working group sessions were organised, to discuss and endorse a concrete and practical strategy for the implementation of the ETUCE Action Plan on Equality, Diversity and Inclusion that can be transferred and adapted to the national and local context.

Commenting on the project research, Dominique Danau from SAGO Research, said: “We have learned that social and cultural diversity is for 89% of respondent an opportunity, but for 83% it is also a challenge.” She concluded her presentation stating: “It is important to remember that the implementation of an inclusive school environment is a participative learning journey between all the actors.”

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“ETUCE has done a lot of work and we are proud to present the Action Plan on Equality, Diversity and Inclusion,” said Rossella Benedetti, Chair of the Standing Committee for Equality. “This is our first concrete step and has to be seen as a supportive policy tool to be adapted at national level.

Today, on World Teachers’ Day, we also take the time to come together and recognise the enormous toll that the pandemic has taken on educators everywhere. COVID-19 has hugely impacted the teaching profession and completely shifted the learning approach. Teachers and their trade unions have been working hard to overcome the shortcomings and ensure access to quality education for all students. ETUCE and its member organisations stand together to support teachers across Europe as the pandemic continues to evolve. 

We have all lost colleagues, friends, and fellow unionists. All the participants of the Conference have taken part in a moment of silence to reflect on the legacy of our colleagues and to call for better working conditions for educators everywhere, as well as for vaccine equity around the world. A memorial has been launched by Education International to honour and remember the colleagues we have lost. You can support the World Teachers’ Day Tribute by using EI’s communication material (English toolkit, French toolkit, Spanish toolkit, Portuguese toolkit, Arabic toolkit, Russian toolkit)

By developing effective and practical strategies for inclusive schools and supporting national initiatives, ETUCE seeks to promote concrete measures which implement the adopted ETUCE Action Plan on Equality, Diversity and Inclusion at national and local level. This two-year project is coming to an end, but we are confident that the goal of the project, which is to work with education personnel and their unions to embrace diversity in education and enhance equality and inclusion, will be reached.

Learn more about the project outcomes and activities: