Written By: Dr Margaret Nugent

Teachers Upskilling aiming at a holistic inclusivity in learning. 

TUTOR is a 3 year European Union funded Teacher Academy project. The Department of Adult and Community Education, Maynooth University is a lead partner in TUTOR

Ensuring inclusion in education has been a strong motivator for the Department of Adult and Community since its inception and over several decades. The Department is focused upon holistic, dialogical and pedagogical accompaniment of marginalised communities. It does this by co creating spaces for traditionally excluded voices to be heard,  and on ensuring a standard of excellence is achieved in qualitative, engaged and participatory research. The department’s philosophy of education, initial teacher education and continuous professional development is leading and influencing pedagogy and practice within adult, community and further education and training settings. That philosophy is strategically aligned with, and supportive of, the aims and objectives of the TUTOR project, and with the TUTOR consortium partnership.  The TUTOR project, alongside all of the international research projects the department partners with, encourages wider impact of inclusive education across the teaching profession at a European level.

Key messages of the TUTOR Project 

Summary of the TUTOR Project  

TUTOR aims to create partnerships between teacher education and training providers to set up Teacher Academies developing a European and international outlook on inclusion in teacher education.  These Academies will embrace inclusivity in education and contribute to achieving the objectives of the European Education Area. In particular, the project will address the need for educators to develop their capacities to understand, analyse and develop strategic responses to the diversity in their classroom and to promote a more inclusive learning environment. TUTOR project intends to foster a more inclusive environment in education, that is open to students from migrant, LGBTQI+, and socioeconomically disadvantaged backgrounds, with a particular focus on safeguarding the elements of tolerance, acceptance, and inclusion.

The TUTOR objectives 

To contribute to the improvement of teacher education policies and practices in Europe by creating networks and communities that bring together providers of secondary teacher education and providers of continuing professional development, and other relevant actors (such as ministries) and stakeholders to develop a Train the Trainers approach, focused on inclusivity in learning, 

  • To define a forward-looking strategy upskilling strategy for secondary school teachers, 
  • To enhance the European dimension and internationalization of teacher education through innovative and practical collaboration and by sharing experiences for the further development of teacher education in Europe, 
  • To foster holistic inclusivity in the learning environment, covering all its aspects such as tolerance, non-discrimination, flexibility, etc, 
  • To assess current and future skill mismatches in the targeted (teaching) profession, 
  • To disseminate widely all project products & maintain them in future communications. 

Who is the TUTOR project for?  

It is for teachers, students and policy makers who have an interest in inclusive education 

  • Educators/Teachers/ Trainers from the four participating countries of Greece, Ireland, Austria and Turkey 

Reasons for engagement:  

  1. To update inclusivity skills of secondary education teachers in inclusive education.  
  1. To raise awareness with regards to the inclusivity needs of students being discriminated because they are part of the LGBTQI+ community, have migrant background and they face socioeconomic difficulties.  

The TUTOR Consortium will 

1) conduct desk and field research on the inclusivity skills needs of teachers, exploring both the desired status of inclusive education and the actual status within the partner countries, and at European level. 

2) design a training program to match country-specific needs  

3) promote and provide access to TUTOR e-learning platform – access to training materials and a network of professionals within their sector.  

4) support teachers to develop skills to enable a more inclusive teaching experience for students from LGBTQI+ community, migrant backgrounds, and socioeconomically disadvantage to ensure that they are being equally treated.   

5) work with policy-makers including ministries, local & regional authorities, EU bodies, (and other officials with the ability to influence policies) to make changes at a European and national level regarding transitions to a more inclusive teaching environment. 

What has the TUTOR project achieved so far? 

We commenced in June 2022 with a meeting of all partners in Athens, Greece, where the consortium partners developed an overall strategy including an assessment methodology, a Project Management Handbook and Financial Plan, a Dissemination Plan and a project website. Desk research was undertaken across the four countries and at EU level. Partners produced country specific literature reviews on inclusive education, and an overarching Transnational Literature Review.  

The Department of Adult and Community Education, Maynooth University is the lead partner for Work Package 2 (WP2) Definition of a forward looking upskilling strategy for teachers. Partners have conducted focus group meetings with teachers and stakeholders in Ireland, Austria, Turkey and Greece. 

What is currently happening in TUTOR? 

TUTOR’s Transnational  Partner Meeting (TPM) is being hosted by the Department of Adult and Community Education, Maynooth University on 1st and 2nd February 2023, where we welcome partners from Greece, Turkey, Austria and Belgium. All partners are advocates for and are specialists in inclusive education. We will discuss the implications of the key findings of desk and field research to date and plan our strategy for defining a future looking upskilling strategy for teachers across Europe. For further information,  

The TUTOR website is 

The TUTOR Facebook: TUTOR Facebook 

What’s next? 

Large scale research activity and needs analysis on upskilling of teachers on inclusive education for students from LGBTQI+, migrants, ethnic minorities, and socio economically disadvantaged contexts. 

TUTOR partners are exploring National-level and EU-level research on the current skills levels of secondary education and VET (Vocational Education and Training) teachers on inclusivity. As part of that process we will be conducting surveys and interviews with 800 teachers, engaging with 500 stakeholders and policy makers. We are developing a professional network of teachers, and developing opportunities for training and mobilities for teachers across the consortium partnership. 

Contact and for further information and if you would like to find out more and become involved in the project. 

TUTOR partner consortium 


P2. School of Pedagogical & Technological Education (ASPAITE), Greece  

P3. Symplexis, Greece 

P4. EVTA, Belgium  

P5. EVBB, Belgium 

P6. Maynooth University, Ireland 

P7. BPI OJAB, Austria 

P8. Die Berater, Austria 

P9. National Education Directorate of Serik District, Turkey

P10. SERGED Teaching Academy, Turkey 

P11. IGLYO, Belgium 


Dr. Margaret Nugent is an academic and researcher with the Department of Adult and Community Education. Her professional experience and research interests extends to international peace building, conflict intervention, reconciliation in post conflict contexts and inclusive education. She specialises in qualitative, engaged and participatory research methodologies, and is an experienced practitioner and innovator in developing peacebuilding pedagogies. Margaret has delivered a very extensive portfolio of consultancy work with the adult, rural and community development sector, within further and higher education.

Bernie Grummell is Associate Professor in the Department  of Adult and Community Education. She is co director of the Centre for Research in Adult Learning and Education and is the lead researcher for the TUTOR project in Maynooth University.

By DACE Maynooth

This is the new blog for students, colleagues and friends of the Department of Adult and Community Education, Maynooth University. We aim to promote diversity and inclusion in education using our online platform. Guest bloggers and friends of the Department will post about their research and experiences in Education. The views expressed by the authors of individual posts do not reflect the views of the Department of Adult and Community Education Maynooth University.

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