Abstract: Although the exact impact of the Covid‐19 pandemic on the inclusion of vulnerable children and young people—nationally and internationally—is unknown, historical failures to address the link between poverty and low educational outcomes have reversed any progress hitherto achieved. This thematic issue speaks to the challenges faced by, and promises of inclusion made to, children and young people in the most vulnerable circumstances: It brings together a set of articles that detail the challenges educators, educational institutions, and students faced during the pandemic, while also discussing innovative approaches to include pupils in mainstream education and help them make progress against the odds. The pandemic has been an opportunity for both learning and unlocking potentialities toward innovative solutions. Taking stock of these solutions is important in preparing and strengthening schools, educators, and students to face the post‐pandemic era that is dawning, for public education systems need not only be seen as sites of frustration and challenge, but also as sites of promise and possibility.
Keywords: Covid‐19; educational inclusion; pandemic; social disadvantage; vulnerable children; young people