How do we ensure that children with disabilities are not bullied in school?
Students with disabilities are bullied more often than their typically developing peers. Students in schools for children with disabilities may be victimized more often than students with disabilities in inclusive settings. Being bullied, which can take forms which are physical, verbal, indirect (relational, emotional, or social), and/or sexual, is associated with negative academic, social, and psychological outcomes for the victim. This evidence brief summarises what we know about how to prevent bullying of children with disabilities.
- Inclusive education settings need universal interventions.
- Schools for children with disabilities can include targeted prevention interventions to reduce perpetration and victimisation.
- Educators need capacity development in order to help prevent and respond to bullying.
- Interventions need to be multicomponent and address the systemic roots of victimisation.
What works to improve educational outcomes of children with disabilities in school?
For people with disabilities, a major determinant of social and economic outcomes in adulthood, is access to, and the adequacy of, education in childhood and adolescence. Yet, children with disabilities are less likely to be enrolled in, or complete, school. Further, there are substantial gaps in the evidence regarding what works to improve educational outcomes of children with disabilities in school. Educational outcomes, here include academic achievement, pass rates, and grade completion. Many studies measure child behaviour and proxy or distal outcomes in response to various interventions, but not actually how children with disabilities do in these domains. This is particularly the case in LMIC, where there is a dearth data about the effects of educational policies and practices on child educational outcomes.
- More evidence is needed if we are to understand how, and for whom, inclusive education works in LMIC, particularly in relation to academic achievement.
- More evidence is needed regarding educational outcomes of children with disabilities in response to various interventions, as these are seldom measured in LMIC.
- Integrating best practices from rehabilitation and special education needs to be facilitated in low-resource settings.
- We need to involve parents in educational interventions.
How do we provide mental health support to children with psychosocial disabilities in school?
It is estimated that approximately 10-20% of children, adolescents and young people (under the age of 18) worldwide have a disabling mental health condition. Approximately two-thirds of the global youth population goes to school for a significant proportion of the day. The idea of delivering mental health support in the setting has gained prominence as a way to increase the coverage and accessibility of mental health support for children. While there is a wealth of evidence around school mental health approaches in HIC, there is limited information with regards to their impact in low- and middle-income settings. This evidence brief explores what has worked for the delivery of school mental health initiatives in diverse settings, as well as evidence-based recommendations to strengthen them.
- Cultural adaptability is essential in school-based settings
- Take a multi-modal approach for integrated support
- Active participation of young people in programmes
- Ensuring sustainability and feasibility in low-resource settings
- Building the capacity and readiness of schooling systems
What evidence is there for the benefits of inclusive education for children without disabilities?
Inclusive education offers a variety of potential academic and social benefits for all students; with as well as without disabilities. However, a common concern among the non-disabled population is the potential negative impacts the inclusion of students with disabilities might have on their non-disabled classmates. These negative beliefs and attitudes by parents and teachers can translate into a lack of implementation of inclusive education. There is substantial evidence for the benefits of inclusion for students with disabilities, however, there is very little evidence on the impact it has on non-disabled students, particularly in LMICs compared to HICs. This evidence brief explores evidence-based recommendations on the benefits of inclusive education for children without disabilities and how this issue shapes inclusive education implementation in LMICs.
- Ministries of Education should be responsible for the education of all children and inclusive education reform
- Raise community awareness of benefits for students without disabilities
- Teachers in LMICs need to receive training in special needs education including the benefits inclusive education can bring to students without disabilities
- More evidence is needed to understand what impact inclusive education can have on children without disabilities socially and academically in LMICs
What works to support girls with disabilities reaching and staying in school?
A recent multi-country analysis by UNESCO revealed that children with disabilities were more likely to be out of school than children without disabilities across Low and Middle Income (LMIC) countries, with some evidence from the available datasets that girl children with disabilities were more likely to be out of school than boy children with disabilities. Access to quality education can break cycles of poverty, decrease risk of violence and increase both access to livelihoods and individual wellbeing. It is therefore vital to understand what works to support girls with disabilities reaching and staying in school. In line with the Sustainable Development Goals, Incheon Strategy and United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, this brief is part of a series on girls’ and women’s empowerment
- Generate better evidence on what works to improve outcomes for children with disabilities overall, and disaggregate this by gender
- Collect more nuanced data on barriers to education among girls with disabilities in specific settings
- Prioritise inclusive and safe sexual and reproductive health support for girls with disabilities in schools
- Involve boys and men in supporting girls with disabilities accessing school
- Think beyond primary education, to support girls with disabilities through to meaningful livelihoods and to mitigate against risk of violence
- Harmonise indicators and outputs to build national baselines and monitor change over time
Education and disability in a conflict affected context: Are children with disabilities less likely to learn and be protected in Darfur?
- Peer-reviewed article
Children with disabilities in disability-inclusive disaster risk reduction: Focussing on school settings
- Peer-reviewed article
The Participation of Refugee Children with Disabilities in Educational Options in Turkey: A Systematic Review
- Peer-reviewed article