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A Policy on Inclusive Education in Schools: Route to Quality Inclusion is developed within the context of the Framework for the Education Strategy for Malta 2014-2024 (MEDE, 2014a), the philosophy outlined in the National Inclusive Education Framework (MEDE, 2019) and the values promoted through the Respect for All Framework (MEDE, 2014b). The latter encompasses the four fundamental pillars of learning adopted from UNESCO (1996) which are key for teaching and learning and curriculum design for the 21st century: Learning to know, Learning to do, Learning to live together and Learning to be. These pillars will ensure that learners will attain the necessary knowledge of values and acquire the necessary skills for employability, to become active citizens and participate in the community. 

This policy delivers the principles of inclusion and diversity that underpin the commitment taken by the National Curriculum Framework for all (MEDE, 2012) as it promotes the conviction that all learners should experience success through equitable access to master learning. The policy embraces the concept, values and principles of Inclusive Education into the realm of responding positively to all learners’ diversity. It views individual differences as opportunities for enriching learning (UNESCO, 2005) by providing every learner with the necessary knowledge, skills, competences and attributes for active citizenship and employability. 

A Policy on Inclusive Education for schools: Route to Quality Inclusion also offers a comprehensive and holistic definition of Inclusive Education. This will bring together all educators and practitioners, learners, families and community members who create colleges and schools that are conducive to learning, thereby giving all learners the education they need. Inclusive Education is, therefore, defined in accordance to the conclusion of the Council of the European Union (2017, p3) as a philosophy, process and implementation that should cover all aspects of education and should be: 

“Available and accessible to all learners of all ages, including those facing challenges, such as those with special needs or who have a disability, those originating from disadvantaged socio-economic backgrounds, migrant backgrounds or geographically depressed areas or war-torn zones, regardless of sex, racial or ethnic origin, religion of belief, disability, age or sexual orientation.” 

The policy adopts a whole school approach philosophy to provide a planned and systematic way of how schools are to develop conducive learning environments for all learners. Inclusive Education is conceived as a way to ensure that the needs of all the learners are being properly accommodated (Kiuppis, 2014). Hence the policy offers flexibility to schools to transform existing pedagogical, personal and professional beliefs, attitudes and discourse, as well as re-design processes and practices in a manner that respond effectively to all learners’ needs and social realities. There needs to be a commitment to ensure an Inclusive Education System that reflects the constitutional right of all learners to have access to inclusive education, in inclusive classrooms where they may access the general curriculum. This will ensure an equitable and accessible education through a learning environment which is flexible to respond to how learners learn.