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One School for All Model - a Model for Building an Inclusive School Environment
If you are ready to work for a change in your school and to make it more inclusive OR if you are a representative of an NGO and want to support the schools in your country to become more inclusive, please, contact us. It will be our pleasure to help you walk your schools or your partner-schools’ path of building an inclusive and supportive environment.
The One School for All Model
is a teamwork method for managing the school’s resources and processes towards changing the school’s environment; for changing the attitudes towards diversity and inclusive education in the classroom and for more active participation of each of the school community’s members.
The Model has been created especially for the Bulgarian context by Association for Shared Learning ELA (previously Centre for Inclusive Education) in partnership with five Bulgarian schools and the Washington University, Seattle, USA. It is based on the school’s work as a system. In order to ensure sustainability, the Model does not give ready answers to the question “How do you build an inclusive school environment?”. Instead of this it puts the school within the frame of a learning organization, which analyses its culture, policies, and practices and makes the necessary changes as a result of this analysis. This is an approach, which is taking place in the school, by the work of the teachers and the leaders of the school themselves, with the external support from ELA (or from other leading NGO).
The Model relies on the shared leadership. Its implementation is led by a leadership team, consisting of the principal, deputy-principal and a core of teachers. The school team’s work focuses on each or a part of the following key areas of school development:
- School leadership, (2) Teaching practices, (3) Child safety and (4) Partnership with parents.
“The Model reflects the school life with an absolute accuracy. These four areas – this is undoubtedly the real school life and the relations between these four areas.”
(The quotes are from focus groups conducted in June and July 2018 with ELA’s partner schools, working on the Model.)
The implementation of the Model in schools, which have chosen to work on it, takes place with the active support from ELA’s experts (or from other leading NGO’s experts), who are consulting and supporting the school’s team during the key steps of implementing the new way of work:
- Analysis of the school’s environment through self-evaluation based on key indicators in each of the four areas;
- Priorities are selected and specific and measurable objectives are set, along with indicators for success;
- People in charge are appointed and teams are formed;
- An action plan is developed, specifying deadlines and assigning responsibilities;
- Implementation of the plan and coordination of activities;
- Progress monitoring.
- Self-assessment and analysis
In the beginning of the process of implementation of the Model the school organizes and conducts a detailed self-evaluation with the participation of as many pedagogical specialists as possible. They use the Instrument for self-assessment, through which their practices and attitudes towards the inclusive principles in each of the four areas of the Model are evaluated. The results of the self-evaluation are processed and analyzed by the school team and they are discussed at a meeting. It is the self-reflection and joint discussion that are important during this process, rather than the final quantity assessment. The school can also rely on ELA’s experts (or from other leading NGO’s experts) for the facilitation of this meeting.
“For me it was very interesting, each evaluation is a delicate thing, it is not easy to be honest. What happened when the results were summarised, was fascinating because ultimately the idea is to start from something which can reveal the needs. It is adapted to the specific situation of the specific school.”
“The Instrument reveals the little details, things that are hidden at first glance. I was surprised.”
2. Selecting priorities
The school is ready to start working towards a change once it has identified its needs. Based on the information collected and analyzed from the self-assessment, the school team selects (in one, several or all of the 4 areas) a priority indicator to work on during the school year.
“The level of details of the Model helps very much, because the initial notion, when you hear about a given area, is very wide, but this specifics give you clarity.”
3. Forming teams and teamwork
For coordination and validation of the inclusive school vision and work on the Model a school leadership team with the participation of the school principal, the school specialists and a core of teachers, is formed. Teams with executive and coordinating functions are formed in each of the selected areas of the Model. This is an approach, which encourages and empowers the teachers and the principal to be agents of the change and to work for a “better version” of their school.
“After working with the Model I’ve realized that in order for things to happen we need to work as a team. I think this is the most valuable and important of all. A team at each level. If there is no team and, respectively, specialists in these teams who know their job and everyone is in his/her place and doing his/her job, there is no way for things to happen.”
4. Planning and preparing action plans on the areas
Each formed team on a chosen area elaborates an action plan with an objective and activities, as it sets deadlines and determines persons in charge and indicators for success. At this stage the teams can again rely on outside expert support.
“The fact that we are working on the One School for All Program, we have set out priorities and have a plan, turns our thoughts and efforts in one direction and unites us.”
5. Implementation of the activities in each of the areas
During the school year the teams on the different areas implement the activities set out in the action plans, and if possible, they inspire their colleagues from the expanded school team to participate.
“The work on this priority was very useful, courage was needed to get on with it, so much work was done and there is some left for the next year.” (for indicator 1.5 from area School leadership for improving the psycho-emotional climate at school)
“Everything in the notebooks was useful to me. I used them for nine students. With the notebooks I was able to draw up my plans for general support (1st level of support for the students in Bulgaria) and to coordinate my work with the specialists needed. The students received the support they needed and felt included. Extremely effective…” (“The notebooks are supporting methodologies for the teachers, who are working on area “Teaching practices” to identify the students’ strengths and weaknesses and to select the relevant strategies for working with them in class.)
“On child safeguarding the only thing we had done was to have a policy and a procedure, they were discussed, but during the year we realized that these policy and procedure are not shared and remain only on paper, they are posted on the website. But parents themselves do not recognize them as common activities, as something they need to do for the safety and protection of children. Therefore, the goal next year is to work on the whole policy and procedure together with parents, so that they could understand them.”
Partnership with Parents
“Our own attitudes towards the willingness of the parents to be partners have changed. We were at a point when we thought of the parents as enemies, people, who do not want to engage, do not want to help. It turned out that parents can be partners, when we are well-intentioned and approach them. Now we are the proactive ones. Partnership is already being established at school.”
At the end of the school year, the second self-assessment and analysis at school level allows the team to make a review of the progress and an evaluation of the results from the activities implemented and to refer them to the set out objectives.
Some of the results of the schools implementing the Model:
Check out our free and paid online courses (EN version is expected in 2021)
Short movie about the Model (8 minutes) - use the automatic switch of the subtitles
Full version of the movie about the “One School for All” Model - use the automatic switch of the subtitles
How do we know that the Model is working – achieved results based on the “One School for All” Programme
International recognition for the team that elaborated the “One School for All” Model
Replication of the “One School for All” Model in Europe based on the Erasmus+ programme
Is it possible to build an inclusive school environment? Lessons learned by the Association for shared learning ELA
If you are ready to work for a change in your school and to make it more inclusive OR if you are a representative of an NGO and want to support the schools in your country to become more inclusive, please, contact us. It will be our pleasure to help you walk your school's or your partner-schools’ path of building an inclusive and supportive environment.
We are awaiting your questions on e-mail: email@example.com
and phone number 00359 898 500 848
Team of Association for Shared Learning ELA