What does inclusion mean in 2015: A focus on ASL needs

September 2015

With nearly one in five learners in mainstream schools having ASL needs our PINS seminar explored the story of inclusion and why it matters. Speakers and delegates focused on SEBN provision, learners with autism spectrum disorder in mainstream settings, dyslexia and specific approaches and sources that support the learner. We were all encouraged to take stock and consider what does inclusion mean in 2015?

Key points arising from the event included:

  • Inclusion cannot be another name for special education.
  • Difficulties in learning are dilemmas for teaching, not problems for learners.
  • There is no such thing as a child that can’t learn.
  • Education is a human right available to all.
  • Support staff are crucial.
  • If we are on a journey, it is about increasing participation in learning and decreasing exclusion.
  • An inclusive pedagogy focuses on extending what is generally available to all rather than providing something different or additional to some.
  • Working inclusively is good for everyone. Nothing we do in the learning space is neutral, everything we do as educators matters.
  • Nurture is about every single interaction in a school. Nurturing our learners means nurturing parents and carers too.
  • Making school right for all children means understanding and addressing the anxiety of many.
  • There are routes back to mainstream, but only with the right support.
  • INCLUSION: the idea of EVERYBODY!

Speakers, their topics and Power Point presentations are here:

Professor Lani Florian, Bell Chair of Education and Director of Research and Knowledge Exchange at Moray House School of Education: How did we get here? The story of ‘inclusion’ and why it matters.
Pauline Harte, Head Teacher Inclusion, Glasgow, Glasgow City Council: What’s happening to SEBN provision? What’s needed?  What’s working? The experience in Glasgow.
Moira Park, Scottish Autism: A focus on learners with autism spectrum disorder in mainstream settings: What’s happening now? What’s needed?  What’s working?
Cath Lawson, Education Officer, Inclusion and Equalities, Education Scotland: What does equity and inclusion mean for learners and for schools? How well do we create inclusive environments for our diversity of learners in Scotland?
Michael Brown and Fiona Troy-Brown Barnardo’s Cluaran Service: Are there routes back to mainstream?
Hatty Chick and Lorna Johnston, Educational Psychologists, City of Edinburgh: Reflection tool: working with children with ASD
Cathy Magee, Dyslexia Scotland: Addressing Dyslexia Toolkit