The Directorate General for Internal Policies and the Committee on Petitions (PETI) of the European Parliament have published a report entitled “Inclusive Education for Learners with Disabilities”. The report was presented at the “Workshop on the Protection of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities” in collaboration with the European Agency for Special Needs and Inclusive Education.

The report reviews the current situation of education for learners with disabilities in the EU and found that “None of the countries has a fully inclusive system where 100% of learners attend mainstream schools and are educated with their peers for 100% of the time” as all countries had some form of separate specialist provision. The report also found that definition of Special Educational Needs (SEN) can vary country by country as national governments are in charge of defining this.

Also included in the report are recent trends in inclusive education. It states that “inclusive education can be seen to be most effectively supported by decentralised education systems promoting flexibility at local and school levels, as well as within delivery” and that the approach towards inclusive education needs to “avoid exclusionary strategies and focusing on the enabling effect of capacity-building mechanisms”.

ETUCE welcomes the publication of this report as it is a necessary step in putting inclusive education for learners with disabilities on the agenda at a European level. ETUCE has previously been vocal at the European level on the topic of inclusive education for learners with disabilities, such as our reply to the European Commission’s Review of the European Disability Strategy, and will continue to call for inclusive education for all.