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Exploring learning disabilities: supporting belonging
Exploring learning disabilities: supporting belonging

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4 Challenges and benefits of delivering inclusive education

A number of factors can make it difficult to achieve inclusive education in practice, as you will learn in the next activity.

Activity 7 The difficulties of delivering inclusive education

Timing: Allow about 10 minutes

Watch Elaine Cowin, a Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCO), at an inner-city primary school, discussing some of the challenges she faces in her day-to-day work. Then complete the table below, reflecting on the challenges and benefits of delivering inclusive education.

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Table 1 Challenges and benefits
ChallengesBenefits
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Answer

Table 1 Challenges and benefits (completed)
ChallengesBenefits
There is not enough funding to cover the full costs of educating some children with special educational needs and disabilities in mainstream schools. This means that inclusive schools can find themselves running at a financial loss.Elaine says that to effectively teach children with special education needs and disabilities, you need to teach well. This means the quality of teaching can be very high in inclusive schools, which benefits all students.

In Elaine Cowin’s experience, delivering inclusive education has benefits for the whole school. She argues that it can lead to higher quality teaching which impacts positively on all students. But you may have been surprised to hear about the funding issues which can mean schools who are inclusive run at a financial loss. Currently, it seems that for some schools, there are simply too many disincentives at play to enable them to deliver what is actually national – and international – education policy.