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Online course

The Right to Education: Breaking Down the Barriers

How can we support those who are marginalised and excluded from education? Does education for all, mean all?


  • Access to the course for its duration + 14 days, regardless of when you join (this includes access to articles, videos, peer review steps, quizzes)
  • No certificate


  • Unlimited access to the course, for as long as it exists on FutureLearn (this includes access to articles, videos, peer review steps, quizzes)
  • A Certificate of Achievement when you complete the course

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The Right to Education: Breaking Down the Barriers

Find out how to ensure inclusion and equity in education

Number 4 on the the UN’s list of global universal sustainable development goals (SDG) is “Ensure inclusive and quality education for all and promote lifelong learning”. Despite this, 59 million primary-school age children were out of school in 2013. So, does education for all, really mean all? What are the barriers to participating in education? How do you include “all” in the classroom? This online course will answer these and other questions, and help you join the movement to get children the world over into education.

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Skip to 0 minutes and 10 secondsIn spite of great efforts between 2000 and 2015, we have not achieved education for all. It was a tall order. And advances were made. But there are still too many children and young people not in either formal or informal education. Together, we are going to spend the next three weeks looking at ideas around inclusion, equity, and participation in education. Hi. My name is Dr. Margaret Sutherland, and I work here in the School of Education at the University of Glasgow. So, what can we do? What should we do? What needs to change if we are to meet the sustainable development goal where we are to ensure inclusive, quality, equitable, education and lifelong learning for all by 2030?

Skip to 0 minutes and 59 seconds Through activities, readings, videos, we're going to think about how we might try to meet that goal. We've also included the voices of people, teachers, students, academics, who have experienced barriers to education or who have worked with young people who've experienced barriers. There are many reasons why young people will have barriers to education. And perhaps more than ever, we need to think about how we meet their needs, how we ensure that we are including them and valuing them in our education systems.

Skip to 1 minute and 32 seconds This free online course won't answer all of these questions, but it will help us to think through what the issues are, and to think how we might make our education systems more inclusive, equitable, and of high quality, ensuring lifelong learning for all by 2030. I'm really looking forward to welcoming you to this course and to learning with you and from you as we progress through the weeks

What topics will you cover?

  • Key international documentation and legislation
  • School systems and structures and how they support learning
  • Main barriers to participation of marginalised groups of learners
  • Practical examples of how teachers and schools are developing inclusive practice
  • Developing inclusive pedagogy

When would you like to start?

  • Date to be announced

What will you achieve?

  • Compare a range of international legislation relating to Education for All, inclusion and disability
  • Assess why groups are marginalised from educational opportunities considering such things as the link between poverty and disability
  • Assess how education can help to break down barriers for those that are marginalised
  • Collaborate to identify some useful tips for creating a more inclusive learning environment

Who is the course for?

There are no prior requirements to join this course

Who will you learn with?

Margaret Sutherland, Lead Educator.

I am a senior lecturer in inclusive education. I have 35 years teaching and research experience in schools, behaviour support and latterly in higher education.

Who developed the course?

Founded in 1451, the University of Glasgow is the fourth oldest university in the English-speaking world. It is a member of the prestigious Russell Group of leading UK research universities.

Buy a personalised, digital and printed certificate and transcript

You can buy a Certificate of Achievement for this course — a personalised certificate and transcript in both digital and printed formats, to prove what you’ve learnt. A Statement of Participation is also available for this course.

Certificate of Achievement + transcript £49.00

Statement of Participation £34.00

Estimate prices in preferred currency

Charges to your account will be made in GBP. Prices in local currency are provided as a convenience and are only an estimate based on current exchange rates.