News release

Experts Selected to Review Inclusive Education

NOTE TO EDITORS: Zach Churchill, Minister of Education and Early Childhood Development will be available to speak with media today, May 15, at 12:30 p.m. The minister will be joined by the evaluators, Andy Hargreaves and Jessica Whitley. The availability will be at the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development, 2021 Brunswick St., Halifax.


Two professors from the University of Ottawa will lead an evaluation into the implementation of inclusive education in Nova Scotia. Their goal is to gain a deeper understanding of what is working and what may need to be adjusted to better support students.

In May 2019, government announced its second of a five-year rollout for changes to inclusive education. In 2018-19, 191 positions were added to schools. This year, new supports bring the total to 364 new inclusive education positions.

“We are committed to improving inclusive education in Nova Scotia and we want to ensure our investments and improvements are making a difference for students,” said Zach Churchill, Minister of Education and Early Childhood Development.
“Evaluating the implementation of changes to inclusive education in our province was a recommendation in the Commission on Inclusive Education’s report, Student’s First. As we implement year two of a five-year rollout, now is the time to move forward with this evaluation.”

Jessica Whitley, associate professor of inclusive education, in partnership with visiting professor Andy Hargreaves, who is also a research professor in the Lynch School of Education at Boston College, will lead the development and implementation of the evaluation.

“We are honoured to help develop an inspiring and effective inclusive education strategy that will enable all young people in the province to have the best start in life,” said Ms. Whitley. “We bring combined skills and experience of working as researchers and educators in inclusive education and educational change with governments, communities and professional associations across Canada and around the world.”

Ms. Whitley has a background in educational psychology and special education, with extensive experience working with students, teachers and families with diverse needs. She has specific experience in developing and analyzing complex evaluations.

“We have spent most of our careers working to develop effective strategies that can and will address every young person's opportunity to be successful and feel they belong in school, whatever their circumstances, strengths and needs,” said Mr. Hargreaves. “We are looking forward to this unique opportunity to collaborate with Nova Scotia educators in gathering and using evidence to inform positive change that will benefit all students and help the province to become a world leader in inclusive education.”

Mr. Hargreaves is a world-renowned leader in educational policy with significant experience working on inclusion and diversity. He co-founded the International Center for Educational Change, has been an adviser in education to the First Minister of Scotland and from 2016 to 2018, an adviser in education to the premier of Ontario.

The three-year contract with the University of Ottawa team will cost $457,908. The evaluators will begin their work immediately. The evaluators will work with Education and Early Childhood Education staff, Regional Centres for Education and the Conseil scolaire acadien provincial, and will consult with teachers, inclusive education staff, families and students.

For more information on investments and changes to inclusive education in Nova Scotia, visit: ednet.ns.ca/inclusiveeducation.

FOR BROADCAST USE:

Two professors from the University of Ottawa will lead an evaluation into the implementation of inclusive education in Nova Scotia.

Their goal is to gain a deeper understanding of what is working and what may need to be adjusted to better support students.

Minister of Education and Early Childhood Development Zach Churchill says government wants to ensure investments and improvements in inclusive education are making a difference for students.

The three-year contract with the University of Ottawa team will cost almost 458-thousand dollars. The evaluators will begin their work immediately.

Jessica Whitley, associate professor of inclusive education, in partnership with visiting professor Andy Hargreaves, who is also a research professor in the Lynch School of Education at Boston College, will lead the development and implementation of the evaluation.

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Media Contact:

Chrissy Matheson
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