The role of paraprofessionals in developing inclusive education in Cyprus

Panayiotis Angelides, Clea Constantinou, James Leigh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A presupposition of inclusive education is that all children have the right to attend the school of their neighbourhood. The implication of this is that schools begin to be organised in ways to provide equal opportunities for teaching and learning of all children. However, to achieve this, it is implied that schools need more teachers or at least personnel. Thus, many educational systems around the world require the involvement of more teachers and this brings a significant additional financial cost. In order to defray some of the additional costs for additional teachers, many school systems opt to involve paraprofessionals in the educational process, especially for supporting children who experience difficulties in learning. The purpose of this paper is to study the role of paraprofessionals in the educational environment of Cyprus, and how they assist in the provision of more inclusive education. We employed qualitative research methods to collect data from two schools. Our findings show that paraprofessionals had a contradictory contribution to inclusive education: both inclusion and exclusion were two parallel processes in their practices. In addition, their roles were confused. They appeared to have double roles both as pedagogues and as social monitors. This confused status influenced the paraprofessionals' contribution towards the provision of fully effective inclusive education.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)75-89
Number of pages15
JournalEuropean Journal of Special Needs Education
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2009


  • Cyprus education
  • Exclusion
  • Inclusive education
  • Paraprofessionals


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