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Policies and practices for equality and inclusion in and through education

Budginaite, I., Siarova, H., Sternadel, D., Mackonyte, G., Spurga, S., ‘Policies and practices for more equality and inclusion in and through education: Evidence and policy guidance from European research projects funded under FP6 and FP7’, NESET II report, Luxembourg: Publications Office of the European Union, 2016. doi: 10.2766/300891.

Education policy needs to cater for diversity and enable all citizens to succeed in education and to develop their full potential according to their specific needs and irrespective of their backgrounds. However, in reality, educational inequalities are a key challenge to education systems across the EU, often linked to socioeconomic disadvantage, low participation rates in early childhood education, low parental educational level and family support, ethnic or migrant background amongst others. This report highlights concrete policies and practices that work to disrupt or prevent educational disadvantage. The Key Findings are based on a review of 20 research projects funded under the Sixth and Seventh EU Framework Programmes for Research and Development (FP6 and FP7). The review was commissioned by the Directorate General for Education and Culture (DG EAC) and carried out by the Network of Experts on Social Aspects of Education and Training (NESET II). The Key Findings and Lessons for Policy and Practice described below will help to support Member States in their efforts to deliver on the objectives set out in the Paris Declaration ‘Promoting citizenship and the common values of freedom, tolerance and non-discrimination through education’ as well as the 2015 Joint Report on the implementation of the Education and Training 2020 Strategic Framework. This summary presents Key Messages stemming from the review of 20 research projects, followed by an overview of more specific Challenges and Lessons for Policy and Practice according to the following four themes: 1. Lifelong learning, skills and employability; 2. Inclusive education for disadvantaged children; 3. Equity and efficiency of education and training systems; 4. Empowering educators and the teaching staff.

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