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Education & Development

12 things you need to know about inclusion in schools

Updated Friday, 30th August 2019

Providing students with real learning opportunities in school is crucial, Dr Clare Woodward tells us what we need to know about inclusive education. 

Inclusive education, also called inclusion – is education that includes everyone learning together in mainstream schools, colleges and universities. If you look at the mission statements for schools in your area you will almost certainly find some mention of inclusive education.

The CSET multi-academy trust in the OU/BBC co-produced School series includes in their mission statement the following value:

  • SA deep-rooted and continued commitment to inclusive education

But what does ‘inclusion’ actually mean? If you google ‘inclusive education in UK schools’ you will be presented with a range of links and definitions. Some focus on ‘special educational needs’, while other perspectives define inclusive education as going well beyond one particular group of learners and encompassing all learners in schools.

In the series there are various different examples of how the CSET multi-academy trust deals with inclusive education. These include children with special educational needs, with behavioural issues, as well as the impact of pupil premium and wellbeing on inclusion. What is clear across the various stories is that economic and cost cutting decisions have implications for the Trust’s approach to inclusivity.

1: What is inclusive education?

It is a process of change and improvement within schools so that all children can be valued equally, treated with respect and provided with real learning opportunities.

2: What two types of support may a child be eligible for?

  • SEN support (Special Educational Needs) - support given in school, for example: speech therapy or behavioural support.
  • EHC (education, health and care) - a plan of care for children and young people aged up to 25 who have more complex needs.

3: What is a SENCO?

SENCO stands for Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator. They are qualified teacher in a school or maintained nursery school who has responsibility for co-ordinating SEN provision for students.

4: When is SEN provision needed?

Where provision is in addition to, or different from, typical provision for others of that age.

5: What are the 4 stages of SEN provision?

  • Assess
  • Plan
  • Do
  • Review

6: What is an EHC Plan?

An EHC plan makes special education provision to meet the special educational needs of a child or young person in order to secure improved outcomes for him/her across education, health and social care and prepare them for adulthood.

7: What is a Local Offer?

Every local authority must identify education, health and social care services in their local area provided for children, young people and families who have SEN or disabilities and include them in an information directory.

8: Does ‘inclusion’ only refer to learners with special educational needs and disabilities? 

Inclusion should also engage with the broader issue of marginalisation. There is a range of learners who might be included here: traveller students, economically and socially disadvantaged students, minority linguistic and ethnic groups.

9: Do all disabled learners have a legal right to mainstream education?

Currently disabled pupils and students do not have an absolute ‘legal’ right to mainstream courses in mainstream educational settings.

10: Do disabled learners not have the legal right to individualised support?

Disabled pupils and students do not have an automatic entitlement to support whilst attending a mainstream educational setting.

11: What is Pupil Premium? 

Pupil Premium (PP) is a set sum of money given to all academy trust students from the Ministry of Education. This is additional funding for publicly funded schools in England. It's designed to help disadvantaged pupils of all abilities perform better, and close the gap between them and their peers.

12: Who is eligable for EHC?

An education, health and care (EHC) plan is for children and young people aged up to 25 who need more support than is available through special educational needs support.





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