1.2.4 Different classrooms, different experiences
The inclusive classroom is one that provides for the learning of a diverse range of children. The pupils in the above example were in streamed secondary education. The 1997 White Paper on education (DfEE, 1997) supported the policy of streaming by attainment in primary schools. Doug McAvoy, a former leader of a teaching union, interpreted this as ‘setting is good and mixed ability is bad’ (McAvoy, 1997, cited in Lyle, 1999). The practice of setting is endorsed through the National Literacy Strategy and statements from Her Majesty's Inspectorate (Lyle, 1999). This practice has been encouraged despite a lack of research evidence to support it and without seeking the opinions of the children themselves. So what do children think of different groupings for learning? We turn to look at this next.