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New Brunswick’s Inclusive Education system an example for Ireland’s policy makers

One of Inclusive Education Canada’s national associates will be travelling to Ireland next month to share the success of New Brunswick’s Inclusive Education system. Jody Carr, former New Brunswick Minister of Education will join middle school principal, Kendra Frizzell in Dublin, Ireland from March 18-22, 2019. The pair will be guest speakers at the National Council for Special Education (NCSE), which will bring together Ireland’s educators and policy makers to learn about best practices for implementing an inclusive education policy.

New Brunswick’s Inclusive Education policy has been celebrated internationally as one of the most progressive of its kind, attracting attention from countries interested in introducing similar practices. In November 2018, New Brunswick hosted two delegates from the National Council on Special Education in Dublin, who came to visit five New Brunswick schools as part of an international study tour focusing on inclusive education.

Now, Carr and Frizzell will visit Ireland to share success stories from NB’s inclusive school system, and the underlying values that make these successes possible. New Brunswick’s inclusive education system is founded on the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD). The UNCRPD, an international agreement between countries, reaffirms the human rights of people with disabilities and sets out requirements for ensuring these rights are respected. Article 24 of the Convention addresses education, and clearly lays out the requirement to ensure a quality inclusive education system at all levels. Ireland recently ratified the UNCRPD and the Ministry has asked the NCSE in Ireland to consult and provide recommendations on transitioning to a more inclusive education system in line with international obligations and best practice.

As countries work towards fulfilling these obligations and transitioning to inclusive education, New Brunswick is presented with a unique opportunity as a leader. Through sharing their success stories, experiences, learnings and strategies, New Brunswick has the honour of equipping educators, policy-makers, parents and students around the world with the tools to make inclusive education a reality for everyone.