The 2019 UKFIET conference, 17-19 September, will explore issues through six main parallel themes. Each of these is co-convened by two experts from the Conference Committee. Here they provide a short teaser of what you can expect from their theme.

By Dr Sharon Tao, Senior Gender and Inclusion Technical Adviser for Cambridge Education, and Lizzi Milligan, Senior Lecturer in Education and International Development, University of Bath.

Education system actors – which include ministry officials, regional/district officers, head teachers, teachers and school management committees, amongst others – are central to providing educational opportunities for all children, including the most marginalised. As convenors for this ‘system actors sub-theme’, we were extremely impressed by the breadth and quality of abstracts that provided ideas and strategies to support the inclusive practice of these important actors.

What to expect

We had a significant number of symposia submissions, which entailed groupings of papers and analyses on a common theme or topic. We look forward to the wide variety of symposia that will featured at this year’s conference, which will explore themes such as:

  • ‘Inclusion in education – analysis from the forthcoming 2020 GEM Report’,
  • ‘The Inclusive Education Initiative: What opportunities lie ahead to strengthen disability-inclusive education’,
  • ‘Aspirational Policies vs Implementation Challenges: Supporting System Actors to Resolve the Impasse of Inclusive Education’,
  • ‘Mainstreaming disability issues in education sector analysis and planning’,
  • ‘Research Activities of the Education Equity Research Initiative’s Disability Task Team’ and
  • ‘Perspectives on the implementation and politics of Teaching at the Right Level’.

There was also a record number of paper and quickfire abstracts submitted and we had the very difficult task of selecting those that most prompted meaningful reflection and action regarding strengthening the inclusive practice of education system actors. Although there was a variety of topics that were explored, there were salient themes that emerged such as:

  • ‘Strengthening the inclusive practice of Teachers’,
  • ‘Linking curricula and pedagogy for inclusion’,
  • ‘Designing an inclusive Teacher Workforce’,
  • ‘What works to support girls’ education’,
  • ‘Innovative programming for inclusion’,
  • ‘Developing innovative practices to support to teachers’, and
  • ‘Strengthening the inclusive practice of actors beyond those of teachers’.

We have grouped papers and quick fires with similar themes/interventions/programmes in order to provide for rich comparison, contrast and discussion during the sessions. Given the variety of presentations informed by theory, practice and empirical data and we hope that participants will be able to take away useful reflections and strategies regarding inclusion for, with and through education system actors.

Looking forward to seeing you in September!