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date: 26 July 2021

Financing Mechanisms to Support Inclusive Practicelocked

Financing Mechanisms to Support Inclusive Practicelocked

  • Serge Ebersold, Serge EbersoldEuropean Agency for Special Needs and Inclusive Education and National Conservatory of Arts and Crafts, France
  • Edda ÓskarsdóttirEdda ÓskarsdóttirEuropean Agency for Special Needs, and Inclusive Education and University of Iceland
  •  and Amanda WatkinsAmanda WatkinsEuropean Agency for Special Needs and Inclusive Education

Summary

Financing plays a critical role in achieving more inclusive education systems, and most European countries are considering how the way they fund education impacts the policy goal of more inclusive practice in schools. The way financing is determined in laws and regulations has a direct impact on decision-making and implementation in relation to identifying learners’ educational needs, diagnostic and assessment procedures that might be used. Crucially it impacts on the placement of learners in different types of provision, including separate special classes or special schools.

Financing inclusive education systems differs from financing special needs education in several important ways. In addition to providing shared educational opportunities for learners with recognised additional needs with their peers in mainstream settings, financing inclusive education systems aims to enable all learners to gain access to the educational support they are legally entitled to. Financing inclusive education systems is also far more complex than financing general education as it relates to a multilevel and multi-stakeholder framework of policy and provision that includes non-educational aspects of educational provision that are needed to ensure all learners access to high-quality inclusive education. These non-educational aspects may cover factors such as accessibility of the physical environment, specialist support, different resources for reducing the functional consequences of different disabilities, as well as financial support for families in meeting the direct and indirect costs of education.

Effective mechanisms for financing inclusive education systems entail the provision of additional funding and resources that encourage mainstream schools to develop inclusive education policies, as well as innovative and flexible learning environments that meet a wider range of learners’ academic and social needs and requirements. A higher amount of funding does not in itself guarantee better learning conditions; the successful implementation of inclusive education policies depends on how funds are allocated and to whom the funds are addressed, rather than solely on how much money is available. Effective inclusive education systems build upon funding mechanisms and strategies that consider and manage the deployment and manipulation of resources at the school level, governance mechanisms, capacity building, and school development approaches. All these strategies must be targeted at achieving the policy goal of more inclusive practice in all schools.

Subjects

  • Education, Change, and Development
  • Educational Politics and Policy
  • Educational Systems
  • Globalization, Economics, and Education

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