|Sumár projektu:||The foundations for this project were laid in September 2018 when five of the partners met at a TCA held in Bratislava entitled "Inclusive Education-A Road to Social Inclusion". These partners from Ireland (Portlaoise), Sweden (Umeå), Estonia (Krootuse), Slovakia (Bratislava) and Spain (Sagunt) were drawn together due to their common goals of wanting to improve the quality of education in their schools in terms of being more inclusive of all children. The partner from Turkey (Zonguldak), due to its close links to the Irish school which were formed when it hosted a KA1 job shadowing activity for the Irish school in 2015, also joined the project. Each school has a common profile, that being that they are all primary schools and all have, among their student population, children with special needs, migrants, refugees, diverse cultures and nationalities and varying socio-economic backgrounds. The partners devised a project in which teachers in the partner schools would be supported through teacher training activities to receive the tools, knowledge and up-skilling to assist them in developing and introducing practices, policies and teaching strategies that would be inclusive of every child in each partner school. Each school has identified an example of good practice in inclusive education that it employs in its school and which it will share with the other schools in a training activity. The six training activities have different themes under the heading of inclusion: (1) Inclusion of Children with Special Needs (2) Co-Operative Learning, an Inclusive Methodology (3) External Supports in Inclusive Practice (4) Inclusion Through Games (5) Inclusive Approaches to Literacy (6) Inclusion of Cultural Diversity. Each partner will host a training activity which will be facilitated by the teachers in the school. This will be done through teacher presentations, classroom observations and job shadowing. Some trainings will include visits to and visits from outside agencies which support the school's inclusive strategy. A cultural programme will also be included in the training activities with visits to places of local interest. Each school will send 3 participants to each training activity, except in the case of the coordinating school which will send 4 (so that the coordinator can attend each event and also as its the largest partner school). The participants will all be teachers who have permanent or long-term contracts to ensure that the results of the project will live on after the completion of the project itself. These teachers will be a mix of classroom and special education teachers, of senior and junior teachers, those with management responsibilities and also having a gender balance. On returning to their own schools the teachers will disseminate the results of the training to their colleagues through staff meetings, peer tutoring and team teaching so that the new strategies and approaches can be implemented.
Etwinning will form a major role as a project activity and an etwinning project will run in conjunction with this project through which communication and collaboration between the partners can take place. It will also be a forum in which to share information and record project activities. It will facilitate some contact between the students in each partner school also. Activities such as an art activity between the students to design a logo for the project will be conducted through etwinning. A project mascot will be designed and will travel to each partner school in turn. Project management meetings will also be held, some through "Events" in etwinning and others between the coordinators on a face-to-face basis which will allow for project planning, direction and assessment to take place and will ensure the momentum of the project is maintained.
Each partner will have a specific responsibility in the running of the project. Ireland will have responsibility for communication and overall project coordination, Sweden will draw up agendas for meetings, record the minutes and keep track of the Action Plan agreed. Estonia will oversee monitoring and evaluation which will entail conducting surveys and correlating the results. Turkey, having an etwinning school label, will coordinate the project's etwinning project. Spain will coordinate the implementation of some activities learned on the training activities that each partner school will engage in. Slovakia will coordinate the designing of the project mascot and the actiivty to design the project logo.
The results and impact of the project will be that each school will have a cohort of teachers who have received up-skilling in the field of inclusive education. They will have acquired the support, knowledge and skills to introduce new practices, policies and procedures into their schools in which every child will have equal access to educational opportunities. These will become imbedded in the school and will live on long after the conclusion of the project.|