This project investigates how schools in Tanzania can be supported in developing more inclusive school cultures and practices.

It seeks to develop ways for participating schools to include all learners in their community and improve quality of education at the school level through whole school planning for inclusion.

Using a participatory action research approach grounded in ideas of participation, reflection, emancipation and empowerment, the project has worked with school to identify priorities for action to facilitate inclusion.


Research and key findings

This project's development of an Index for Inclusion in Tanzania through the participatory action approach is intended as seed research to support the development and design of future research on a larger scale.

Initial stages have involved eight primary schools located in Dar es Salaam and Pwani (Coast) regions of Tanzania. Early findings highlight that there are numerous barriers to inclusion at national, community and school levels and that, while some progress has been made towards inclusive, just and quality education in Tanzania, there is still a long way to go.

Activities to date include a launch seminar to gather understandings of inclusion from a range of education stakeholders. Coordinating teams of teachers and parents were set up to draw up a plan and objectives for their school to become more inclusive. Further work will involve audits of progress towards these objectives and production of an ‘Index' for evaluating an effective, inclusive school.

An Index for Inclusion is a resource to support the inclusive development of schools. It involves in-depth analysis of the views and experiences of key stakeholders on the barriers and obstacles to educational access, participation and achievement, as well as investigation into how such barriers can be reduced or eliminated for all students.

Lead contact details

Filiz Polat, University of Hong Kong,

Research team

  • Filiz Polat - initially University of Bristol, currently University of Hong Kong
  • Sibel Erduran - University of Bristol, UK
  • Joseph Kisanji - TEN/MET (Tanzania Education Network)
  • Dinah Mmbaga - University of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania