Inclusive education and addressing the needs of all learners, is a key priority across European education systems. “Building School-Wide Inclusive, Positive and Equitable Learning Environments Through A Systems-Change Approach” (SWPBS), an innovative policy experimentation project that seeks to promote inclusive education for all students, has completed its first year of implementation. Despite the challenges relating to the pandemic, partners have actively implemented the Positive Behaviour Support (PBS) Tier 1 approach in 46 primary schools across Cyprus, Greece and Romania, engaging more than 2,000 teachers and 20,000 students. During the second year, another 45 primary schools are expected to implement PBS across the 3 countries. The scientific coordinator of the project is Professor Hannu Savolainen from the Jyväskylä University in Finland.

The key aim of the SWPBS Tier 1 approach is to establish a school framework that promotes inclusive education for all students, affording socio-psychological support to the staff and children, and enacting proactive strategies to address school behaviour. To that end, the project partners designed processes and structures to support all students in all premises of schools. During the first year of operation, a number of face-to-face and online trainings and meetings took place to support schools in their implementation efforts and to provide the school leadership teams with the necessary coaching sessions. These sessions aimed, among others, to help schools develop their vision and values, define desired social behaviours and teach these behaviours to students.

In Cyprus, the SWPBS project is being implemented in 16 primary schools by the Cyprus Pedagogical Institute together with CARDET and INNOVADE LI. In June 2020, the three partners met online with the leadership teams from all schools to review the progress marked in each school unit and prepare for a dynamic return with regards to PBS implementation in September 2020, when a total of 33 primary schools are expected to implement the PBS approach in Cyprus.

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