Fighting school segregation in Europe through inclusive education

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Publication Date 2017
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School segregation still deprives many children of quality education

School segregation – one of the worst forms of discrimination – is still an unfortunate reality in Europe today. Its negative consequences affect in particular Roma children, children with disabilities, children with a migrant background and other children due to their social or personal circumstances (such as children living in institutions and children in the juvenile justice system). Despite existing anti-discrimination legislation and policies, the practice of separating groups of pupils in specific schools or classes may even be growing, including as a result of the current increase in the arrival of migrants and refugees in Europe.

Many states have adopted important measures to build more inclusive education systems and to guarantee the right of all children to education without discrimination. In practice, however, authorities at national and local level do not always abide by their obligations and often yield to pressure from different sources, including from school administrations, teachers and other professionals and from families.

Inclusive education should not be considered a utopian project. It is an achievable goal that has huge potential for improving social cohesion, intercultural relations and the educational opportunities of all children.

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