RESISTIRÉ project policy recommendations on creating a more resilient and inclusive education system

RESISTIRÉ (RESpondIng to outbreakS through co-creaTIve inclusive equality stRatEgies) is a research project led by the European Science Foundation, which aims at finding sustainable solutions to gendered inequalities, and to strengthen societal resilience to outbreaks. The project’s webinar discussed quantitative and qualitative evidence on the negative impacts of COVID-19 in education, and the resulting policy recommendations.

The project’s findings inform ways to create a more resilient and inclusive education system.  Indeed, RESISTIRÉ’s policy recommendations for making education more inclusive revolve around five main policy recommendation areas. The first recommendation is for educational policies and practices to be evidence-based and more representative of heterogeneous populations, such as including an analysis of intersectional data. Secondly, different stakeholders must come together as a community, and work collaboratively to support vulnerable students, parents, and teachers. Thirdly, more digital and inclusive, flexible, student-centered educational practices are needed, with more cooperation between stakeholders. Examples of this include reviewing teacher trainings, hearing students’ concerns, creating more advocacy groups, and increasing collaboration between families and schools. Fourth, student mental health must not be overlooked, and opportunities for early mental health problem detection and equity audits should be implemented in schools. Recommendations include putting in place life skills trainings for students on self-care, for example, and creating safe spaces to talk about mental health. Lastly, collaboration at all levels - E.U., national, regional - should be enhanced. RESISTIRÉ recommends creating communities of practices for teachers to exchange existing practices, which could also lead to more comprehensive national policies and flexible autonomous approaches for both teachers and schools.

To create more inclusive education systems, RESISTIRÉ’s insights gathered and policy recommendations outline how digital and analogue should merge, and a dialogue on the purpose of education should be opened up, where different stakeholders collaborate together at various levels. In making more inclusive environments, special consideration should be given to safeguarding mental health and making education more accessible, particularly for vulnerable groups.

Visit the project’s website to stay up to date with the project and its resources, including the agendas for future research and policy recommendations.

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