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All-in network

The NECE Focus Group "Hard-to-reach learners" is an international learning network, which brings together European learners, practitioners, researchers and policy makers from formal, non-formal and informal education. The aim of the network is the evaluation of current statuses and the development of innovative practices in order to facilitate the access of learners to formal and informal learning opportunities. The premise on which we base our work is the right of all people to education in general and citizenship education in particular. The network is particularly concerned with young people’s access to citizenship education and learning opportunities, and here especially of those who belong to groups at risk of social exclusion and marginalisation. The diversity of experiences and expertise of the focus group members allow the network to be involved in a wide range of activities, which include but are not limited to the development of common educational and research projects, of educational interventions and of methodologies for the evaluation of educational practices.

'All=In Network' – Citizenship Learning for Inclusion and Diversity

The All=In Network grew out of the NECE Hard to Reach Learners Focus Group, which was run by the bpb between 2012 and 2016. The emerging new network is coordinated by the School Development Support Agency in Leicester, a partner and co-founder of the former NECE Focus Group. A book of papers and practice reports from major European countries summarises major insights and ideas shared within the Focus Group: 'Beyond Us Versus Them: Citizenship Education with Hard to Reach Learners in Europe' which can be downloaded here. An animation video 'How Are We Teaching Citizenship?' available at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=McnG1RNDM9s summarises issues and questions when speaking of 'Hard to Reach learners' and their inclusion.

We follow up on the work done so far by focussing on citizenship learning where existing education is failing some groups of learners. This failure is increasingly problematic as learners who experience discrimination, racism and/or economic exclusion may be most in need of citizens’ rights and support in having their voices heard. It is equally important for all learners to learn about diversity and develop the skills to combat racism and build cohesion as divisive forces of nationalism are increasing. Whilst the citizenship curriculum in schools and colleges is an obvious starting point for this learning, only some of this will take place in formal education programmes.

We aim to have an increasing influence on practice across Europe through acquisition of sustainable funding to support collaboration at both policy and grassroots level. To achieve this we are actively researching appropriate projects to propose to major European funders, including programmes such as ErasmusPlus and Europe foir Citizens) and we welcome contributions to this process.

Our network welcomes links with all professionals concerned with citizenship learning whether front-line practitioners, researchers, administrators or academics. We are dedicated to supporting and sharing innovative and inclusive work in all settings, formal and informal for all ages of learners.
We are also committed to playing an active part in supporting the development of the wider NECE network.


The new All=In network is keen to make contact with anyone working to improve inclusion in citizenship learning. We want to establish a freely accessible bank of short case studies, useful links and resources to inspire improved work with young people and adults in a wide range of settings. For example: Innovative strategies to engage disengaged learners; teaching human rights across language barriers; active learning to understand democracy; outreach programmes to support asylum seeker parents and children; advocacy work with ex-offenders… The range of relevant and useful work is infinite. Can you contribute something you are working on?

If you are interested in joining us, please get in touch with Khalid Mahmoud and Adam Newman Turner at:
Twitter: @allinnetwork
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/allinnetwork
NECE All=In Network

Background / Current status

The initial purpose of the focus group “Hard-to-reach learners” was to follow up on the results and initiatives on empowerment and educationally disadvantaged groups in European societies that were discussed at the NECE Conference 2011 in Warsaw. At the NECE Conference 2012 in Córdoba, we agreed to develop new ideas and a new framework for running the group.

In October 2013, a workshop of the focus group took place in Berlin. A PDF-Icon workshop report summarises the discussions and contains a listing of ideas and activities for 2014-2015 (see documents below ).

In 2014-2015, different project teams are working on specific thematic issues of the focus group. Preliminary results were presented at the second focus group workshop in Leicester in July 2014.

The focus group presented its work and basic questions in a poster session at the project market of the NECE Conference 2014 in Vienna, taking place from 16-18 October 2014. A meeting of the project team coordinators took place in Athens from 18-20 February 2015.

From 20-22 October 2015, a public forum was organised by the focus group prior to and in close connection with the NECE Conference 2015 in Thessaloniki. Under the current working title “Beyond Them and Us in Times of Crisis: Hard-to-reach Learners and their Role in Citizenship Education”, the forum offered issue-driven workshops, as well as space for networking and cooperation between participants.

Prior to the NECE Conference 2016 in Zagreb a HTR “progress workshop” was held from 8-9 November in Zagreb with the overall aim to define an action plan for 2016-2018. The focus group was also present at the project market during the NECE conference from 10-12 November for the official launch of the volume "Beyond Us versus Them. Citizenship education with Hard to Reach learners in Europe".

If you are interested in joining us, please contact the NECE Coordinator of the group:


PDF-Icon Participants (Córdoba 2012)
PDF-Icon Workshop Participants (Berlin 2013)
PDF-Icon Participants (Den Haag 2013)
PDF-Icon Workshop Participants (Leicester 2014)
PDF-Icon Workshop Participants (Vienna 2014)
PDF-Icon Workshop Participants (Thessaloniki 2015)
PDF-Icon Workshop Participants (Zagreb 2016)

Events/ Meetings

The first workshop of the focus group "Hard-to-reach learners & youth" took place from 25 - 26 October 2013 in Berlin. The Federal Agency for Civic Education/bpb invited a small circle of European experts who exchanged views on experiences and new ideas on examples of good practice. Additionally, strategies for an efficient future networking and a concept to present the focus group and its first outcomes at the NECE Conference 2013 in The Hague (14-16 November) were developed.
The School Development Support Agency hosted the second workshop of the focus group from 10-12 July 2014 in Leicester, UK. The workshop offered a platform to review the progress of the focus group and plan ahead, to discuss conceptual issues, and to refine the framework and goals. In order to create synergies between the project teams, the workshop offered a space for exchange and for participants to present their projects and research. At the focus group’s third meeting, taking place within the framework of the NECE Conference 2014 in Vienna, participants discussed the current situation for "hard-to-reach learners and youth" in their respective countries and in Europe in general, which proved a good starting point for critical dialogue on the meaning and scope of "hard-to-reach learners" in times of crisis. The project teams presented their progress in areas like academic research in the field, practical tools, networking possibilities and removing barriers. The members of the focus group additionally discussed and planned the future timeline and presented the focus groups’ work to the interested public at the NECE Conference 2014. The fourth focus group forum in Thessaloniki, Greece, was reviewing the progress of the different project teams. Under the working title "Beyond Them and Us in Times of Crisis: Hard-to-reach Learners and their Role in Citizenship Education", participants discussed the next steps in order to transfer the focus group into an independent forum of exchange. Furthermore, the members of the focus group discussed and presented the focus groups’ work to the interested public at the NECE Conference 2015.
Taking the animation How are we teaching citizenship? as a starting point, the "hard-toreach progress workshop" aimed at reforming and extending the work of the focus group by defining its future directions within an action plan for 2016-2018. As such, some of the main points of discussion were focusing on ways of working requiring fewer face-to-face meetings as well as new targets for communication and potential partnerships. Eventually, the focus group was present at the project market throughout the duration of the NECE Conference 2016, when their new volume "Beyond Us versus Them. Citizenship education with Hard to Reach learners in Europe" was officially launched.

Documents/ Papers/ Results

PDF-Icon Working Paper (Meeting NECE Conference Cordoba 2012)
PDF-Icon Workshop Programme (Berlin 2013)
PDF-Icon Workshop Report (Berlin 2013)
PDF-Icon Workshop Programme (Leicester 2014)
PDF-Icon Workshop Programme (Vienna 2014)
PDF-Icon Workshop Programme (Thessaloniki 2015)
PDF-Icon Workshop Report (Thessaloniki 2015)
PDF-Icon Discussion Paper (Zagreb 2016)
PDF-Icon Mini Seminar Papers (Zagreb 2016)
PDF-Icon Workshop Programme (Zagreb 2016)

Draft versions / work in progress - please do not quote, please do not distribute

PDF-Icon Asfour, Ahmadi, Mentoring for Civic Education
PDF-Icon Campbell, The Fullhurst Story
PDF-Icon Faas, ProDemos
PDF-Icon Kerr, Participatory Citizenship at a Crossroads
PDF-Icon Malik, PYCA - Harder to Reach Communities - Learners
PDF-Icon Mueller-Hofstede, Alander, Country Report_Germany revised
PDF-Icon Mueller-Hofstede, Alander, Germany's Education System and HTR
PDF-Icon Rio, Country Report_Portugal
PDF-Icon Southern, Young Advisors
PDF-Icon Tarah, Community Based Educational Intervention
PDF-Icon Tsekoura, An Outreach Approach for Empowerment and Active Citizenship


Federal Agency for Civic Education
Christoph Müller-Hofstede


NECE Newsletter 03/2020

#digitalNECE #NECEcampus
Auf der nece-conference.eu/nece-campus/ findet ihr weitere Informationen zum NECE Campus.

Useful information ahead of the EU elections on nece.eu
Going to the polls can make a difference, as Brexit and other electoral shocks have shown. Elections do matter! Read more about it here.

Interview with Sarah de Lange
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NECE Conference 2018: Brave new Worlds?! The Future of Democracy and Citizenship Education
6 - 9 September 2018, Marseille (France)
Conference documentation available here.

Lorenzo Marsili on the parliamentary elections in Italy
NECE asked Lorenzo Marsili in what way the results of the parliamentary elections in Italy fit in Europe’s current political landscape. Read the comment here.

bpb statement to the Public consultation on EU funds in the area of values and mobility
The consultation took place as part of the preparations for the Multiannual Financial Framework which will define and shape the EU Budget after 2020. Click here for the PDF-Icon statement and the PDF-Icon questionnaire.

DARE (Democracy and Human Rights Education in Europe) Mini-conference on Populism and Democratic Resilience
14 June 2018 in Nafplio, Greece
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25th EUROCLIO Annual Conference and Professional Training and Development Course: Mediterranean Dialogue
April 21-26 2018 in Marseille
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Eurydice Brief: Citizenship Education at School in Europe – 2017
In an age where the importance of citizenship education is becoming apparent to deal with the current threats to fundamental European values, many countries are implementing changes in their national policies. Read more here

NAME CHANGE: “Hard to Reach” Focus Group now “All-in network” - Your chance to get involved!
Labelling learners as “Hard to Reach” immediately suggests that the problem lies with the learner rather than the educational system.
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MAPPING TRANSITION IN EASTERN EUROPE: Experience of Change after the End of Communism, edited by Louisa Slavkova
Click here for the publication

Civic Education in Eastern Europe - bpb publishes collection of essays as free e-book
The publication is available in English and Russian language.