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Members Voice: Segregation of students with disabilities in Spain, IIIS a European experience of inclusion

The segregation of students has been a challenge that all European countries have had to face since the birth of public education policies.

Every nation looks to improve and develop education systems and with the help of awareness raising and social advances these systems can contribute to the effective inclusion of all members of society. But, as it is common in our European idiosyncrasy, not all countries have adopted the same measures or, at least, not with the same speed.

At this moment Spain is living in a time of social projection, in which many initiatives propose an evolution of inclusive processes in schools, although these are sometimes held back by the lack of economic resources or government support.

In this sense Spain has very advanced education centres, in which a large number of measures have been developed to ensure the inclusion of  students, regardless of their particular difficulties. On the other hand some schools maintain only the base inclusion policies required by the Spanish government. These schools do not transition towards inclusive settings any further, either due to lack of resources, lack of information or a lack of specific training that allows them to modify their current systems.

In this way the Spanish educational system is inclusive, but there are notable differences in the inclusion mechanisms that apply from one centre to another or from one community to another.
As a group that brings together 8 social economy organisations Plataforma Educativa (FPE) wants to focus its efforts on improving the conditions and quality of life for people, especially those most disadvantaged or at risk of exclusion. With these goals we design and manage programmes and services that improve the inclusion systems that guarantee quality of life for people and groups in situations of social exclusion and/or at risk of suffering.

FPE aims to raise awareness for this situation amongst competent entities and governments, as well as seeking to participate in initiatives that allow the development of inclusive practices in schools.
One of these initiatives is the IIIS project. The project’s application of an inclusive culture while coaching schools across 4 European countries (Germany, Finland, Austria and Spain), with the collaboration of transnational organisations like EASPD, is supporting the creation of more inclusive education systems across Europe. With European funds from the Erasmus + program, the aim of the project is to generate dynamics and processes that modify, modernise and optimise the inclusion systems of schools, proposing, from these, a general change.

The pilot project is currently in its final phase and will show an analysis of how the coaching processes can make an impact, regardless of the differences between powerful and relevant dynamic countries to ensure the right to inclusion in all its forms. You can find more information at: https://www.implementing-inclusion-in-schools.eu/

In this way, perhaps the systems do not need to evolve at the national level but, as we said at the beginning, there needs to be development from joint initiatives and materials that allow, finally, to unite and standardise European criteria and values ​​ in order to guarantee the rights of every European citizen regardless of their particular situation.

 
Arnau Taberner, Administrative coordinator of international cooperation department at Fundació Plataforma Educativa

Members' voice is an open space for EASPD member organisations to publish their opinion articles on our newsletter. This article does not necessarily reflect the official position of EASPD.