Pilot Inclusive Schools

This component focuses on practical measures needed at school level to enable inclusive education. It aims at helping general education and Vocational Education Training (VET) schools in changing their policies and practices through setting good examples benefitting from the European Union and the region. 

The pilot school component aims to help pilot schools to develop inclusive cultures, policies and practices.

This specific project activity will attempt to increase experience and knowledge about how schools can become more inclusive when we make use of the different views of those involved. It will help increase understanding of inclusion in education in 49 schools and will help those schools to develop inclusive cultures, policies and practices.

In doing so, it will challenge many assumptions about school improvement and educational reform. It is about ‘school improvement with attitude'. Hence, school improvement becomes far more than merely a technical process of raising the capacity of schools to generate particular measurable outcomes. It involves dialogues about ethical principles and how these can be related to curricula, approaches to teaching and learning, and the building of relationships within and beyond schools. 

Network of inclusive schools

The Joint European Union and Council of Europe Project "Regional Support for Inclusive Education", has through an open and transparent process selected 49 schools from Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Montenegro, Serbia, "The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia" and Kosovo* to participate in the project as pilot schools whose inclusive practices will be supported, enriched and later on replicated as successful examples.

A network of inclusive schools in the region (Inclusive SchoolNet) has been established. In order to learn from each other a mixture of schools with different levels of inclusive education policies was selected.

The network consist of 49 schools (7 schools per Beneficiary:3 primary, 2 secondary general and 2 VET schools), each school nominated a team of 5 participants (including school principals, teachers and pedagogues, school board members and/or representative of parents), and thus the network as whole comprises 245 persons

This component will attempt to increase experience and knowledge about how schools can become more inclusive when making use of the different views of those involved. It will help increase understanding of inclusion in education of 49 schools and will help them develop inclusive cultures, policies and practices.

*  "This designation is without prejudice to positions on status and is in line with UNSCR 1244 and the ICJ opinion on the Kosovo Declaration of Independence"

A good school is an inclusive school

A special radio show on education called Out of the box on Croatian radio HRT was dedicated to inclusive education in Croatia and in the South Eastern Europe region. The show also covered the Conference Inclusive Education in Practice in Zagreb, 28-29 October 2014.


The project leaflet in the languages of the Beneficiaries can be downloaded by clicking on the following button:

Project leaflet

Latest news

An inclusive school is a democratic school: sharing experiences between SEE and Turkey

Fourteen primary school teachers from the South East Europe region will participate in a study visit to Edirne and Konya in Turkey, to learn more about inclusive cultures, policies and practices...

Photo gallery of the 2nd Annual Conference in South East Europe "Inclusive Education in Practice"

Inclusive School Net


implemented activities


Preliminary results from the baseline survey across the 49 pilot schools

“Primary schools more inclusive than secondary ones”

A team of researchers have now completed the two month baseline survey in the 49 pilot schools participating in the project. The survey was designed to capture the views of various stakeholders on the perceived degree of inclusiveness of the schools. Students, teachers, the school project team, parents, local authorities, and where logistically feasible, unenrolled young people, were asked to take part in the survey.

The survey was carried out by a team of researchers affiliated to the LSEE Research Network on Social Cohesion in South Eastern Europe and coordinated by LSE Enterprise, the consulting arm of the London School of Economics and Political Science.

The survey led to the development of an ‘Index of Inclusion’ for each school inspired by earlier work carried out by Tony Booth and Mel Ainscow. The Index comprises four dimensions focusing on:

  • Inclusive practices for entry into school,
  • Inclusion within the school,
  • Inclusive teaching and practice approaches,
  • Community engagement.

The stakeholders who took part in the survey were asked to answer a number of questions along the four dimensions with answers scored from 1 to 5, where 1 was the lowest level of perceived inclusiveness and 5 was the highest. The index was therefore built on a 1 to 5 scale expressing the overall average score achieved by each school along the four dimensions.

The preliminary results show that the aggregate level of inclusion is similar across the seven beneficiary countries of the project. Looking at the type of schools, it was found that in all countries primary schools were perceived more inclusive than secondary schools, scoring a cross-country average of 3.86 as opposed to 3.69 and 3.68 for secondary general and secondary vocational schools respectively. There is greater variation between individual schools, with the least inclusive school scoring 3.33 and the most inclusive scoring 4.12.

Interestingly, perceptions of inclusion differ between ‘internal stakeholders’ (e.g. teachers) and ‘external stakeholders’ (e.g. parents), with the former systematically rating the schools as more inclusive than the latter, sometimes even by 1 point average or more. Similarly, when asked about ‘factual’ information (e.g. is there a policy in place for reporting bullying?), members of the school project team gave different answers.

These preliminary findings suggest that while there may not be huge differences across countries or across types of school at the aggregate level, there are substantial differences between schools within countries. In addition, the perception of inclusive education varies greatly among stakeholders. This issue should be investigated further as it may signal a disconnect between the formal existence of inclusive practices and their actual implementation and / or impact.

Overall, the surveys provide a wealth of data that will be certainly of great value to inform the various project partners on the baseline upon which the project activities are being implemented.