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School-community Partnership for Reversing Inequality and Exclusion: Transformative Practices of Segregated Schools

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - Inclusion4Schools (School-community Partnership for Reversing Inequality and Exclusion: Transformative Practices of Segregated Schools)

Reporting period: 2020-11-01 to 2021-10-31

The emerging European context is characterized by deepening inequalities and the disintegration of communities, especially in Central-Eastern Europe. In contrast to the power-relations of exclusion, the project aims to foster and promote pedagogical relations of inclusion, a culture of dialogue, and the transformation of unjust structures through education.

As a Coordination & Support Action, the Inclusion4Schools project extends its role to three main areas in the four countries of the consortium and in Europe.
- The first one is supporting educational research and development activities to address social inequalities.
- The second one is support for communities, social groups experiencing exclusion and for elementary schools dealing with disadvantaged pupils through various pilot projects.
- The third one is support for public education development programs, creators of school-models and pedagogical good practices to strengthen school-community cooperation.
In WP1 "Mapping, Analysis & Evaluation", in Task 1.1 the consortium agreed to produce state-of-the-art studies with a broader thematic focus than planned. It resulted in a more than 300-page study focusing on factors affecting school segregation in the four countries’ education systems. The task provided a glossary of the most frequently used terms of the project, different questionnaires and methodologies to assess schools and their environment, questionnaires for institutional self-assessment, and to describe and evaluate good practices.

In Task 1.2 a comprehensive survey was conducted in the four countries following a common methodology, and using multiple techniques: online questionnaires, personal interviews, attitude tests and extensive data collection and analysis. The survey targeted 1358 schools at risk of segregation and managed to involve 387 of them into the project, meaning over 10 000 children at risk. 74 stakeholders (schools, NGOs, municipalities) were interviewed individually and the first step of the attitude test was completed. A 120-page report, deliverable D1.1 summarizes it.

In Task1.3 collaboration with RIA projects resulted in seven common activities and meeting, including the common organisation of the first public event in September 2021.

In WP2, only Task 2.1 has started. The planned first step is to set up cross-sectoral think-tanks involving various experts and stakeholders, and asking them about data provision in their country on education in general and on inclusion and exclusion in particular. Cross-sectoral think-tanks have started to be set up in Albania, Belgium, Estonia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Slovakia and Sweden.

In WP3, two Tasks started in July. The project intends to try out different methods of community development, as our project is essentially aimed at disseminating good practices based on school-community collaboration. The preparation of the community building activities has started in Task 3.1 a common concept was elaborated and an international team set up. In Task 3.2 the main activity was to develop a networking and knowledge-sharing online platform that has reached its test phase.

In WP4 only Task 4.4 "Clustering with existing programmes & initiatives" has started. Through CORDIS and other relevant webpages partner projects have been selected and contacted based on given selection criteria. By the end of the first reporting period, 36 projects and initiatives have been identified. The consortium established strong contacts with 9 projects so far.

In WP6, first a focus group was set up formed by a representative from each partner whose main task was to measure the attractiveness, usability, ergonomics and functionality of the project communication. The Dissemination & Communication Plan was compiled. There is a communication toolkit developed for partners with the design elements. The main dissemination channel, the Inclusion4Schools website was developed in five languages including tools for social media sharing. An animated project video has also been created to strengthen public discussions on school segregation as a central issue in our project. There are 118 articles on the webpage, more than 4500 visitors, altogether more than 15000 visits, 1022 views on the YouTube channel and 900 followers on Facebook and more than 850 000 reach. Project members participated altogether in 32 external events.

WP7/WP8’s main objective is to ensure timely and effective implementation of the planned activities and to ensure harmonised, balanced contribution of each partner. First the consortium agreement was stipulated and signed by all parties. Coordination of tasks was executed using multiple techniques. There were two deliverables completed in WP7 and three in WP8. The coordination of the project has been successful: the consortium has submitted 11 deliverables, had many unplanned results put forward and despite the pandemic situation managed to close the first interim period with respectable results.
Project achievements and expected results per Task

Task 1.1 & 1.2
By Februray 2022, the expected results are:
-at national level in the four consortium countries: analysis of the causes of school segregation, mapping and presentation of segregated schools, assessment of the school-community network of the Pilot schools, evaluation of public RDI projects and good practices in segregated schools;
-at international level: creating a glossary to study the relationship between social inequalities and education, developement of methods for describing and evaluating good practices and for self-assessment of schools, and to measure the impact of community development programmes on teachers and other stakeholders.

Task 1.3 & Task 4.4
To strengthen synergies, the main aim of these tasks is to build links with the two ongoing RIA projects, as well as with all EU and non-EU projects that address and fight against social inequalities in education. In both tasks, in addition to networking, partly academic, partly awareness-raising or educational activities are being implemented.

Task 2.1
The standardisation of data collection and data provision for research and planning purposes is an opportunity that we would like to discuss with cross-sectoral think-tanks to be set up in 18 European countries, in order to put our proposals to national data services on a sound basis.

Task 3.1 & 3.2
For schools, particularly in segregated situations, community involvement in school issues is a old-new way of thinking that can lead to a transformation of the school system as a whole. To this end, we are implementing a number of Pilot projects. Currently, an online networking and knowledge-sharing portal is being developed, and various community building and crowdsourcing events are being prepared with the involvement of segregated schools. After continuous monitoring of the Pilot projects and summarising the results, methodological recommendations will be formulated for school principals and municipal leaders.

Task 6.1 & 6.2
As our project will have more than 120 events over four years, all of which will be forums for different stakeholders, communication tools have a very important role to play. We have websites and FB pages in five languages and we are present on several major social platforms. We want to increase this impact with media appearances and our own media campaigns.
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