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Comparative Perspective Inclusive Education Uk And Austria

4922 words - 20 pages

This assignment will take a critical look at the provision of compulsory education for children with intellectual disabilities in Austria. It will give a brief overview of the country, its legislative process, welfare provision and history of the education system and compare this to England. It will then look at education for all children paying specific attention to the provision of inclusive education for children with intellectual disabilities, including how Austria’s government plans to implement the changes required by the ratification of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Disabled Persons (UNCRPD) (2006), Article 24, which states that:

‘States Parties shall ...view middle of the document...

For these reasons, this assignment will look at Austria’s education provision compared to that available in England. It will also look at how the countries rhetoric matches the reality for people with intellectual disabilities

Austria is a small landlocked, neutral, middle European county of approximately 83.870Km2 with a population of 8.3million (CIA 2009). England is approximately twice the area with a population seven times larger (Race 2007). The Alps dominate the western and southern parts of Austria while the eastern provinces, including Vienna the capital, lie in the Danube basin, the later being the most densely populated areas of Austria (CIA 2009, Beller 2009, Country Studies, 2009). Until the end of World War 1, Austria had been the centre of the vast Habsburg Empire, which controlled most of central Europe for centuries, in 1920, it became a federal republic (Beller, 2009). Between 1939 and 1945, Austria as an independent country did not exist, as part of Hitler’s ‘Anschluss’(unification) the country was absorbed into, and became part of, the larger German Third Reich(Rees 2005, Beller 2009). At the end of the war 2nd Federal Republic of Austria was formed, consisting of nine autonomous federal states or ‘Lander’ which are Burgenland, Carinthia, Lower Austria, Upper Austria, Salzburg, Styria, Tyrol, Vorarlberg, Wien (Vienna) also the capital (CIA 2009).

The Federal Constitution defines Austria as a bicameral parliamentary democracy, however, even though each of the nine Lander have their own written state constitutions and legislature, in most practical areas of importance they have little autonomy, with the Federal Government maintaining jurisdiction over many areas, including education. (History of Austria, 2009). Austria's parliament consists of two houses; the National Council (Nationalrat) and the Federal Council (Bundersrat), with members of the Nationalrat elected by nation-wide proportional representation and members of the Bundersrat elected by Austria's nine state legislatures under a statute allocating seats roughly proportional to state population size (Beller,2009, Country Studies 2009).

Since 1945, Austria has prospered under the direction of either single or coalition governments, primarily between the Social Democratic Party (SPO) and the Austrian Peoples Party (OVP) (Beller 2009, Country Studies, 2009). Although both parties have different ideologies, the SPO being socialist and the OVP conservative, they have worked together with the consensus to build an economically strong Austrian nation (Beller, 2009). According to Beller (2009), this has been possible by various opportunities being grasped, having ‘neutral country’ status was the first, the economy was then boosted by aid from the Marshall Plan in 1947 (Lowe, 1998). Inherited German Industries were quickly nationalised and with the onset of the ‘Cold War’ Austria’s geographical location put the country in a position of mediator between west and...

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