Description

Schools for All supports schools in creating a more democratic and inclusive environment where all students, including refugees, feel safe and welcome. The project follows a holistic approach and actively involves the different members of the school community (teachers, parents, students, local community) in the design and implementation of an action plan. “31 Basic Activities” is a handbook created in the framework of the project implementation. The handbook includes a series of teaching activities in the field of refugee education and inclusion.

Beneficiaries

While students with refugee background are the ultimate beneficiaries, the project is addressed to schools with reception classes and aims to create a more democratic and inclusive school environment where all students feel safe and welcome.

 

Countries

Education level and sector

Type of policy/initiative

Prevention
Intervention

Level of implementation / Scope

2019-2023

Aims of policy/initiative

Since the onset of the ongoing financial crisis, Greece has been dealing with multileveled and severe challenges; the influx of refugees, including Ukrainian refugee students, is the most recent one. Greek schools struggle with issues connected to this challenge on a daily basis. The project aim is to help schools create a more democratic and inclusive school environment where all students, including refugees, feel safe and welcome.

Features and types of activities implemented

The main educational outcome of the project is the handbook “31 Basic Activities”. It is intended as a practical tool for educational environments and schools across Europe in their effort to create an inclusive and welcoming learning environment for all students. Focus is placed on students with refugee background. The Handbook aims to equip school communities with the necessary tools to ensure a safe, democratic and uninterrupted quality education for all students.

In addition, the following activities were implemented:

  • 3-day trainings (called Academies) addressed to a team of school representatives (school director, teachers, students, local community representatives);
  • 1-day training addressed to all the members of the school community;
  • close and systematic support of school by a trainer of our project (school mentoring visits, workshops, etc.);
  • design and implementation of an action plan adapted to the needs and expectations of each school;
  • joint activities and synergies between schools of our network;
  • online trainings. 

Resources

The project is being implemented under the “Local Development and Poverty Reduction” programme in Greece, by the European Wergeland Centre (EWC), under the auspices of the Ministry of Education and Religious Affairs and with the support of the Institute of Educational Policy (IEP). The project is financed by EEA and Norway Grants and has a total budget of EUR 1.5 million. The project is managed by a team based in Oslo and a team based in Athens, in total four people. In addition, 40 education experts and trainers are involved in the implementation of the project. 

Evaluation of the measure

This initiative/practice is evaluated on a yearly basis by an external expert from the Leeds Beckett University/UK. The key findings will be published after the project’s completion, towards the end of 2023.

Evidence of effectiveness of the measure

The project does not target students directly, but aims to create a more democratic and inclusive school environment where refugee students feel safe and welcome. Within this context, the project will hopefully have a positive impact, as refugee background is a risk factor for early leaving. 

In total, 64 schools have actively participated in the project, of which 5 are VET and 4 evening secondary schools.

Success factors

The innovative elements of this initiative could be summarised as follows:

  • close and systematic support of schools by the project trainers;
  • joint exploration of the educational needs of each school, and design and implementation of an adapted action plan;
  • active participation of all members of the school community (teachers, students, parents, local community, etc);
  • cooperation and exchange of experiences between schools.

Contact details for further information

Related protective factors

Related resources

    Publications
    Publikācijas
    Gelly Aroni, Marios Koukounaras-Liagkis, Iro Potamousi, Angelos Vallianatos

    The handbook “31 Basic Activities” is a resource for all who work in the field of inclusion. It addresses the challenges of receiving students with refugee background in schools, and is developed for educators and professionals in the field.