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Malta: Revised Inclusive Education Framework & Policy 

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Malta: Revised Inclusive Education Framework & Policy 

12 June 2023
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In 2022, two steering documents in the field of inclusive education, A National Inclusive Education Framework and A Policy on Inclusive Education in Schools: Route to Quality Inclusion, both of which were published in 2019, were revised. These documents invite schools and education stakeholders to embark on a journey towards the development of high-quality inclusion by implementing, reviewing, and committing to more inclusive policies and practices. Their aim is thus to provide high-quality education for all learners, in order to embrace social equity and achieve a more inclusive society.   

A National Inclusive Education Framework gives a clear direction to schools on their journey towards inclusion, with a view to providing an effective and efficient service to all learners, educators, and parents, as well as to the wider community. This framework embraces the principles of Ownership, Diversity, Autonomy, Planning, and Research. It addresses inclusion through ten themes: Inclusive and Strategic Leadership; Whole-School Development Planning; Whole-School Inclusive Environment; Collaboration with Parents and Community Engagement; Individual Education Planning; Teaching and Learning; Learner and Staff Wellbeing; Continuous Professional Development; Positive Behaviour Management; Support Structure and Services.  

A Policy on Inclusive Education in Schools: Route to Quality Inclusion provides Education stakeholders with a guiding plan for a more just and holistic education system. It promotes, among other aspects, a collaborative culture where all stakeholders work hand in hand towards the removal of all barriers to learning. This can be achieved by addressing inequalities in schools, while working on various goals related to disability, attendance, gender, the promotion of a healthy lifestyle, and behaviour management in schools. The policies on Managing Behaviour in Schools and Addressing Bullying Behaviour in Schools were completely rewritten to reflect the current situation and adopt proactive approaches. To this end, a working group was set up to bring together different stakeholders, who all work in schools with students exhibiting challenging and/or bullying behaviour. The revised document was published in January 2023.  

  The two documents are complementary, and they were developed within the context of the Framework for the Education Strategy for Malta 2014-2024, the National Curriculum Framework for All, and the Respect for All Framework. They also draw on international commitments – related to the provision of education for all – of which Malta is a signatory, namely the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (1989) and the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (2006).  

Furthermore, they were developed taking into account the Council Resolution on a strategic framework for European cooperation in education and training towards the European Education Area and beyond (2021-2030), which sets out, as its first strategic priority, to improve education and training’s quality, equity, inclusion, and success for all. These policies also adopt a whole-school approach philosophy, based on which Maltese schools are to develop environments that are conducive to learning for all, in line with the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goal No. 4 – ‘Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all'. Hence, schools are being offered a certain flexibility to transform existing personal, pedagogical and professional beliefs, as well as attitudes and discourses, in an effort to re-design processes and practices to effectively respond to all learners’ needs and social realities. 

Source: Eurydice Unit Malta 

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