Notwithstanding many pro-active measures for improving access to and participation in basic primary education, every fifth child in Bangladesh still does not go to school. Therefore, the paper concentrated on this issue by examining the government plans/programs aimed at improving access and participation, by identifying the groups of out-of-school children and also by exploring the factors that hamper their inclusion. As discovered, programs implemented were not sufficient to ensure access and participation for non-enrolled children who were persistently excluded from schooling. The study found out that there was an evident association between the socio-economic status of the parents and their children’s ability to attend the school and that poverty and disparities constituted major barriers preventing children from extremely poor families and ethnic minorities from primary education. As a result, the paper suggests some innovative policy options and concrete strategies and expresses the concern that if the excluded groups of children are not integrated in schooling, the country may not be able to reach the EFA goal of ensuring access of all children to primary education by 2015.