Research project

Reaching the 'hard to reach': inclusive responses to diversity through child-teacher dialogues

Project overview

‘Reaching the hard to reach: inclusive responses to diversity through child-teacher dialogue’, 2017-2020, funded by the European Union, Erasmus+, Key Action 2, School Education Strategic Partnerships, Development of Innovation. The project involved five universities and thirty primary schools, from five countries: Austria, Denmark, England, Portugal and Spain.
The central purpose of this three-year project was to develop effective strategies for including all children in lessons, particularly those who might be seen as ‘hard to reach’. The research led to the development of Inclusive Inquiry, an approach that involves dialogues between children and teachers to develop inclusive lessons. A set of materials have been prepared in five languages to help schools to implement the approach. These include: Inclusive Inquiry Guide; Preparing students to be Researchers: A Guidance Manual; Accounts of Developments in the five country networks; Students’ Voices Toolkit; Guidance Document for monitoring Teachers’ Thinking and Practices; Guidance Document for monitoring Students’ Engagement.
For more information, and to download for free the materials, please follow the link below:

Messiou, K., & Ainscow, M. (2020). Inclusive Inquiry: student-teacher dialogue as a means of promoting inclusion in schools. British Educational Research Journal, 1-18. DOI: 10.1002/berj.3602

Messiou, K., Ainscow, M., Galbally, L., & Page, R. (2020) Primary school children becoming researchers: The use of Inclusive Inquiry, Impact,

Messiou, K. (2019). The missing voices: students as a catalyst for promoting inclusive education. International Journal of Inclusive Education. DOI: 10.1080/13603116.2019.1623326

Hedegaard-Soerensen, L. & Penthin Grumloese, S. (2020) Student-teacher dialogue for lesson planning: inclusion in the context of national policy and local culture, Nordic Journal of Studies in Educational Policy, 6:1, 25-36, DOI: 10.1080/20020317.2020.1747376.

Sandoval Mena, M., Simón Rueda, C. y, Echeita Sarrionandia, G. (2020). ¿Qué me ayuda a aprender y participar?: Herramientas para recoger las voces de los estudiantes. Revista de Educación Inclusiva, 13(1), 12-27.


Lead researcher

Professor Kyriaki (Kiki) Messiou

Professor of Education

Research interests

  • inclusive education
  • marginalisation in schools
  • research with children and young people
Connect with Kyriaki (Kiki)

Collaborating research institutes, centres and groups

Research outputs