A systematic approach to creating inclusive school environments
- One School for All – a model for creating inclusive school environments
- Association for Shared Learning ELA
- Country of Implementation
- Central and Eastern Europe
- Sofia and six other regions
- Start Year
- First published
“The One School for All programme helps schools to create an inclusive environment so students feel comfortable, parents are satisfied, and teachers are successful.” Emilia Manolova, Principal, 97 School Bratya Miladinovi in Sofia
The Association of Shared Learning ELA, an education-focused NGO based in Sofia, has developed the One School for All programme to help schools to organize their processes and resources to become more inclusive. It offers schools a structured and systemic approach in four key areas: school leadership, classroom practices, partnership with parents, and child safety. In 2019 it expanded from supporting 12 schools in Bulgaria and, in collaboration with partner organizations in three other countries, to nine further schools through EU funding.
Although inclusive education legislation was introduced in Bulgaria in 2016, following 14 years of integration, teachers lack support to implement inclusive education and negative attitudes persist.
Solution, Innovation and Impact
The One School For All programme supports school teams to lead and initiate changes at all levels – culture, policies, practices – to make their schools inclusive. The structured two-year programme starts with a self-assessment by the whole school team against key indicators in four main areas (school leadership, classroom practices, partnership with parents, and child safety). Using this assessment, the school selects priorities and objectives and sets indicators of success. The school then develops an inclusion action plan, with assigned roles and deadlines. The next step is implementation of the plan and monitoring of its progress. Finally, the plan is reviewed and updated, and the objectives and the action plan are amended as needed. In addition, the programme provides mentorship and training for the school leadership team and teachers to support them in this process. Evaluation of the programme shows an improvement in teachers’ understanding the concept of Inclusive Education (+34 per cent) and their specific responsibility (+32 per cent). Teachers are more confident in communicating with parents (+14 per cent), and students are more accepting of diversity (+26).
Funding, Outlook and Transferability
The programme costs €5,200 annually for one school in Bulgaria, including eight training sessions, mentorship support, and printed materials (plus travel costs). The programme was funded by the America for Bulgaria Foundation from 2014–2019. The practice has grown in Bulgaria from five schools in 2014/15 to 12 schools in 2018/19. From 2019, the programme is being scaled up to nine schools in Greece, Portugal, and Romania through an Erasmus+ funded project. Through this project, a ‘train the trainer’ approach has been developed, as well as a free Inclusive Education e-learning course in English..