Week 2: Creating an inclusive ethos and culture

Site: TeacherFutures
Course: Creating Inclusive Schools
Book: Week 2: Creating an inclusive ethos and culture
Printed by: Guest user
Date: Friday, 22 September 2023, 5:30 PM

1. Introduction to Week 2

The purpose of creating an inclusive school is to ensure that all learners can access learning and fulfil their potential in an environment where they are supported and valued. The ethos and culture of a school enables them to achieve inclusive education as set out by Mariga, McConkey and Myezwa, (2014, p16):

‘Inclusive education is a process; it is concerned with the identification and removal of barriers to children’s learning. Inclusive education is about the presence, participation and achievement of the learner in a regular class.’

But how can educators create these conditions?

The ‘ethos’ of a school is what it ‘feels’ like. It is the   atmosphere experienced by children, parents and staff. It is determined by the values and beliefs that the school officially supports and ideally, are held by all those who work there. An inclusive ethos and culture are visible in the actions of individual teachers. A positive ethos towards inclusion is also created and supported by a range of roles and systems that support everyone in the school.

Each ‘layer’ of the school community has a responsibility to promote positive attitudes towards diversity, but it is through the actions of the people directly associated with the school – the head teacher, teacher, administrative staff and School Management Committee – that an inclusive ethos will emerge.

During this week, you will consider some of the collective actions that help to create an inclusive ethos.

In Week 2 you will:

  • Consider what is meant by ‘an inclusive ethos’
  • Consider the role of data and information sharing in creating an inclusive ethos
  • Explore how school policies and systems can support an inclusive ethos
  • Examine how behaviour management policies can contribute to an inclusive ethos
  • Prepare an individual plan for a student with individual needs
  • Plan professional development activities based on inclusive attitudes and values

In total there are eight activities in this second week, including a quiz at the end that is part of your course assessment.

1.1. Activities for the week

Activity number





Creating an inclusive ethos

Watch a short video clip and reflect on how a South African school creates an inclusive ethos. Note down how the roles of different staff contribute to creating and inclusive ethos in any school.

30 minutes


School policies to support inclusive education

Reflect on the case study about Luis and note what could be done to support him. Share a forum post on how school organisation, policies or systems could support social relationships and peer support for children with disabilities.

30 minutes


What can we do about disruptive behaviour?

In your notebook write some bullet points to answer the questions about the Case Study on Eshe’s behaviour

15 minutes


Positive behaviour management strategies

Read a resource about positive behaviour management and make a forum post

15 minutes


Reviewing the behaviour checklist

Use the behaviour checklist to audit your practice

30 minutes


Using information about pupils

Watch the video about how the teacher in India uses his knowledge of pupil progress to adapt his lesson.
In your notebook respond to the questions about the teachers’ choices.

20 minutes


Planning for individual needs

Develop an individual plan for David

20 minutes


Teacher as a role model

Read Chapter 2 of the TESSA IE Toolkit. Make a plan specific to your role and make a forum post.

30 minutes


End of week quiz

2. Key factors for establishing a strong inclusive ethos

The foundation of an inclusive school is that all pupils of different abilities, and children with disabilities are welcome to attend and that staff are able to make adaptations in the classroom to ensure that they can access learning, as outlined in the first course in this series, ‘Inclusive Teaching and Learning’. However, this foundation needs to be supported and developed through school leadership and organisation, including school policies.

In Activity 2.1 you will find out about some key factors that contribute to an inclusive ethos and culture in schools

Activity 2.1 Creating an inclusive ethos

Allow approximately 30 minutes for this activity

Watch this video about schools with an inclusive ethos in South Africa.

Developing Inclusive Education in South Africa – Ethos and Culture from 3:45 to 7.07

  1. Note down the 4 key factors that the narrator says are important to create an inclusive ethos in school.
  2. How does a school that you are familiar with exhibit these four factors? Note down your ideas.
  3. Note the different needs of some disabled pupils who have been included in the class and the adaptations that the teacher has made to include them.
  4. What qualities does a teacher need to have in order to be able to help these children feel included?
  5. Identify what you think different staff listed below have to do to create an inclusive ethos.
  • Principals
  • School based support staff
  • Teachers

2.1. Reflecting on key factors for establishing a strong inclusive school ethos

The video in Activity 2.1 emphasises:

  • leadership from the school Principal and other members of staff such as the school-based support team co-ordinator
  • whole staff commitment
  • flexible management
  • systematic approaches to removing attitudinal, learning and physical barriers in school.

The video clip shows that children with hearing impairments, cerebral palsy, learning disabilities and ADHD are included in the Bukhosibetfu school in South Africa. However, simply enrolling children with disabilities in mainstream school does not make the school inclusive.  Research in schools in Kenya highlights the importance of ‘adapting curricula and curricula support materials; adapted facilities and equipment; teaching learning resources and a safe and accessible environment’ (Mwarari, 2020 p7).  Mwarari (2020) goes on to argue that Head teachers’ attitudes to inclusion are the most significant predictor of effective implementation of inclusion, alongside the knowledge and attitudes of class teachers. Class teachers and other staff can work together to make the ethos and culture of a school inclusive:

  • through their willingness to make adaptations to support learners in their classrooms
  • through the way they interact with children with different needs e.g. using positive language and valuing each child’s responses
  • through advocating for inclusive practice by learning about, discussing and sharing new strategies with other members of staff

Reflection point

What opportunities are there for you to ‘advocate’ for inclusive practice in your school? What you can do in your professional role to make the culture of your school more inclusive?

2.2. Policies for an inclusive ethos and culture

Inclusive schools will develop a range of policies to set out their expectations. The most effective policies are developed with consultation between staff and families and children. They are not hidden in a folder in the Head Teacher’s office, they are widely shared and discussed with staff, parents and children so that everyone is working with them.

A school with an inclusive ethos and culture will have a clear policies about Inclusive education that set out:

  1. How they will admit children with disabilities to the school
  2. The support that teachers will provide in the classroom
  3. How they will monitor progress, share information and review pupils’ support needs
  4. How they will use resources and the learning environment for children with disabilities
  5. How they will encourage positive behaviour management
  6. The school expectations for positive non-discriminatory language and how they will establish inclusive attitudes and relationships between teachers, pupils and parents.
  7. How teachers will be supported in developing inclusive teaching practices through professional development programs.
  8. How the school will monitor the effectiveness of policies to support inclusivity.
  9. How they will consult with the child to find out about the support they need
  10. How they will work with parents and caregivers
  11. How they will work with other agencies
  12. The role of the inclusion support team
Activity 2.2 Policies for an inclusive ethos

Allow approximately 20 minutes for this activity

For a school that you know, select one of the points above and describe a policy that is in place. Write a short post on the Week 2 forum describing the policy and how it supports inclusive practice.

For example: ‘a school that I know shares information by having a short staff briefing every morning. As well as administrative issues, information is shared about students who are experiencing difficulties at home, or who need some extra support’.

Read some of the other posts and note down any policies that would be helpful in your school, or a school that you work with.

The first course ‘Inclusive Teaching and Learning’ focused on how all teachers can provide support in the classroom (no. 2). The rest of the activities this week will focus on how to create an inclusive ethos through policies on, positive behaviour management, using resources and the learning environment to support students with disabilities, using information to review pupils’ support needs and how teachers can act as role models (no 3-6). Next week the activities will focus on professional development and whole-school monitoring (7 and 8) and in the last week you will consider how schools can consult students and work with the wider community (9-12)

3. Gathering and sharing information about learners

A key element in creating an inclusive ethos and culture is ensuring that the choices the teachers make in the classroom are informed by their knowledge of pupils’ capabilities, strengths, interests and where they need additional support. The next activity will ask you to reflect on the ways in which the teacher uses his/her knowledge of the pupils to adapt his/her lesson and to consider the strategies he/she uses to gather information on their progress.

Activity 2.3 Using information about pupils

Allow approximately 25 minutes for this activity:

Watch this video about how the teacher in India uses his knowledge of pupil progress to adapt his lesson.

In your notebook respond to the questions about the teachers’ choices.

  1. How does the teacher use resources to help all pupils to access the learning?
  2. How does his knowledge of pupils prior learning inform what he does in this lesson?
  3. How and when does he gather ‘data’ about the pupils’ progress?
  4. What else could he record rather than ticking to show they have understood?
  5. What do you do in your role to gather data about pupils and use it to inform teaching?

3.1. Responding to children’s needs

The teacher has given the children a group task. This can enable them to support one another and to learn by talking about the task. He has also included some resources and activity sheets that help them to visualise the numbers which should help all the children to access the learning. He planned the lesson using his knowledge of the pupils and has decided to focus on a topic that they are struggling to understand. He observes and talks to each group as they are working so he can find out which pupils have grasped the concept and those that are still unsure. He can use this information to decide how to help them in the next lesson.

This strategy can work for all children but is especially important to monitor how children with disabilities are coping with tasks and to plan in advance to support them with resources or different activities.

Overtime, this will enable him build up a detailed picture of his class. He will be able to pass this information on to the teachers who teach them next year. If he also records marks in assessments and keeps a few examples of their work, he will notice if something changes (such as their marks decrease) and he will be able to intervene.

The example below, demonstrates the importance of collecting information and sharing it within a school.

Example: Agatha

Agatha is in the lower secondary school, and her Maths teacher is Mrs Wambugu. A few weeks into term, Mrs Wambugu is looking through her mark book to see how her students are doing. She notices that Agatha’s marks have fluctuated a great deal and there seem to be gaps in her understanding. She asks in the staffroom, but the person who taught her Maths last year has left the school. However, someone remembers that she was absent a lot. Next lesson, Mrs Wambugu asks Agatha about last year and discovers that her Mother was seriously ill and she had to take time off school to look after the family. She missed a lot of work, and Maths is the subject that she has found most difficult to catch up. Mrs Wambugu agrees to help Agatha and pairs her with Beatrice – a high achieving student - in the lessons. She also reflects on how it would have been helpful to know this about Agatha at the start of the year – but is pleased that she has kept detailed records so she noticed that she had gaps in her understanding.

Reflection point

For a context with which you are familiar, write a few notes about how information about students is gathered and passed on and how this process could be strengthened.

3.2. Individual Plans

All teachers need to gather information about their students. But for students with a particular need, more detailed information is needed.

In some systems, where disabled children are integrated into the mainstream, the child has an ‘individual plan’ that sets out their needs. In some countries this entitles them to extra, individual support from a teaching assistant, paid for by the Government. Whether or not a formal system exists, the idea of a plan which is centrally available for all the teachers who come into contact with that child, is a good one, as it gives the teacher a starting point. In the next activity you will look at an assessment of a disabled child about to enter mainstream, and make a plan that could be shared with his teachers. The first step is to observe the child and consider their needs under these main headings:

  • Sensory difficulties: checking for hearing and vision problems.
  • Physical ability and limitations: notably their use of hands - and any problems with sitting in chairs or on the floor.
  • Activities of daily living: such as dressing, toileting and eating.
  • Language development: understanding what is said to them as well as their level of expressive language.
  • Academic readiness: for learning to read, write and number work.
  • Behaviour and emotions: attention and concentration, their self-esteem, relationships with others.” Mariga, McKonkey and Myezwa (2014, p105)

When staff have some idea of the areas where the child needs support, they can use an individual plan to set some targets and action to work on, as well as to record any special resources or teaching activities that might help them.

Initial Assessment Case study

Sensory difficulties
David has problems with his hearing. He can follow what is said to him close-up when the other person’s mouth is visible but cannot follow the class teacher’s instructions easily if there is background noise.

Language development
David’s speech is not always clear, and he struggles to spell using the sounds in words.

Behaviour and emotions
David can get bored and frustrated in lessons and will sometimes stop paying attention. He has some friends but can be a little shy because sometimes children make fun of his speech and call him ‘slow’ and ‘retarded’.

He needs support to ensure he understands the learning and has followed the instructions in all lessons.

David’s views

David says that he would most like help with his writing because he wants to be a teacher when he grows up. He says he likes it when his friend sits next to him and they can work together.

Activity 2.4 Planning for individual needs

Allow approximately 30 minutes for this activity:

  1. Look at some examples of individual plans. Pay attention to the format and try and imagine how it would help the teacher support that child. 

  1. Download an Individual plan form including some example targets for David
  2. Compare these with any forms you already use
  3. Do they offer anything better/ different?
  4. How could you adapt them to fit in with your class/ setting/ role?
  5. Read the ‘initial assessment’ of David and the targets/ actions. What is the advantage of having a plan like this in place?


4. Optional reading

In the UK, the ‘individual plan’ has evolved into a ‘pupil passport’. This document is negotiated between the student and a teacher, or support worker. The targets are linked to the curriculum to help teachers in their planning. You can read about this system here

Your plan for David may have targets that relate to his ability to follow what is going on in lessons, his speech, his spelling and his relationships with other pupils. These should be accompanied with some strategies and activities that the teacher and support team can use to help David. A simple adaptation could be to ensure that David sits in front of the teacher, with his friend next to him. This way he should hear most of the lesson and his friend can also help to explain the learning or task. The teacher could also use more pictures and gestures to explain ideas in lessons. The preparation of individual plans, that involve students is one way in which an inclusive school ethos becomes visible.

5. Resources and systems to support children with disabilities

There are many ideas that schools can embed in their policies and ways of working which will help children with disabilities. Next, you are going to read a case-study about Luis, a pupil with Down’s Syndrome. You will be asked to think about the case study and how school policy could be used to improve Luis’ experience at school.

Case study 2.1 Luis

Luis is 7 years old. He has Down’s Syndrome and has been at the school for a year. Luis is managing well in lessons with some extra support. For example, a teaching assistant or volunteer spends 15 minutes every day playing some games that help with his fine motor skills and handwriting. The teacher makes sure that she adapts the work she gives to him and spends some extra time explaining tasks and checking he has understood. Luis is normally a cheerful, friendly child but his mother has recently come to school to explain that he has been sad about coming to school. She says he sometimes forgets what the teacher wants him to do in lessons and then worries he will be in trouble. He also feels a bit left out during play times. He especially likes singing, dancing and pretend play but all the boys play football at break time and he doesn’t know what to do. His mother also adds that he is not included in any social activities outside of school with children in his class.

Activity 2.5 School policies to support inclusive education

Allow approximately 30 minutes for both parts of this activity:

Note your response to the following questions about the Case Study on Luis’ school experience.

  • What other strategies could the teacher use to ensure Luis is able to remember his tasks in the lesson? How could peer support be used?
  • How could Luis be helped to make friends and feel included at play time?
  • How could the school support Luis’ social interaction and interests outside of the school curriculum?

List any ideas you have about systems that could be in the school inclusion policy to ensure that:

  • all children with disabilities have someone to play with at break time
  • all children with disabilities have extra help from peers in lessons
  • all children with disabilities have social activities after school

On the Week 2 Forum post your ‘favourite’ idea from the list above and read and comment on others’ suggestions

6. Resources, buddy systems and clubs

Strategies to ensure that Luis could be supported in class to keep on track with his tasks might include:

  • The teacher checking on Luis at regular intervals and explaining again if needed
  • Setting up a visual timetable with pictures and simple words to remind Luis of his different task in the lesson and talking this through at the beginning of the lesson, then putting this on his desk or the wall where he can check it.
  • Providing Luis with a peer ‘buddy’ in the lesson who will be able to remind him about what to do next
  • Plan for group work and seat children together where the group can keep each other on task

Luis and other children, with or without disabilities, could also benefit from a playground buddy system, or from after school clubs and activities.

Buddy systems

In a playground buddy system, peer buddies have the role of leading play activities or befriending anyone who is alone at play time. In some schools, teachers will bring out skipping ropes, balls or wooden bricks to play with and teach the ‘peer buddies’ some games that they can play with other children, so they are not bored or lonely at play time. In a classroom buddy system, a teacher pairs two students together, so that one can support the other, during a lesson by reading aloud to them for example, or explaining the work.

After school clubs

After-school clubs or activities for children can support their social relationships. Luis would enjoy a club that involves singing, dancing and acting, but a variety of different activities could be offered. The school could consult with parents, staff and children to find out what would be popular, and they could prioritise including children with social needs.

Both these strategies link to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child that asserts:

Article 31: every child has the right to relax, play and take part in a wide range of cultural activities (UNICEF 2020)

The school inclusion policy could be discussed and shared with all staff. It might:

  • set out possible teaching strategies that will benefit all children
  • describe processes for sharing information
  • highlight relevant resources and possibilities for peer support
  • describe the extra-curricular activities that will support all children including those with disabilities.

If systems are put in place to put the policy in action these strategies can become are part of the normal ways of working for the whole school and do not need to be introduced to help one pupil. In this way, policies help to shape the ethos and culture of a school.

Reflection point

Think about the resources available to teachers in your school to support learning. Are there things that you could easily make for use or display, that might help a blind or deaf child?

Luis’ experience also highlights the importance of responding to the individual needs of children with disabilities by creating opportunities to listen to their concerns and difficulties.

7. Positive Behaviour Management

All children are more likely to feel included if they feel safe and if behaviour inside and outside of lessons is good. Policies for positive behaviour management are one of the ways in which a school sets an inclusive ethos. Such policies can influence how teachers and children interact and emphasise the importance of mutual respect.  To create an inclusive ethos and culture behaviour management must avoid physical punishment, negative language or the humiliation of children.

In this section you will be asked to reflect on some example case studies and consider how policy can support inclusive practice in school.

Case study

Eshe is 9 years old. She is intelligent and able to understand the tasks that are set for her. She has friends who she plays happily with at play time. However, in almost every lesson she is disruptive and misbehaves. Usually she will begin the lesson by listening to the teacher but then starts to swing her legs and fidget in her chair. She will try to distract other pupils by dropping her pencil on the floor near to them or poking their chair with her foot. Sometimes she will make a loud noise like a cough or a shout. When the teacher admonishes her, she stops for a little while but then the whole sequence begins again. When Eshe’s behaviour continues, the teacher gets very angry and shouts at her. Sometimes she is sent out of the lesson to stand outside the classroom.

Activity 2.6 What can we do about disruptive behaviour?

Allow approximately 15 minutes for this activity:

In your notebook write some bullet points to answer the questions about the Case Study on Eshe’s behaviour.

  • What suggestions to you have to explain why Eshe is disrupting the lesson?
  • Write a list of any other ways that the teacher could stop Eshe from misbehaving.
  • How could rewards be used to improve Eshe’s behaviour?
  • How might a school policy for behaviour management help the teacher to know what to do?
  • What other support would the teacher benefit from?

8. What can we do about disruptive behaviour?

Most disruptive behaviour has a reason behind it. Sometimes children misbehave when the lesson is too hard, or too easy for them; if they are sad or worried about something at home and cannot concentrate; or if they feel as if the teacher does not like them or value what they. They may just want the teacher to pay them some attention. For some children, getting the negative attention of being shouted at makes them feel noticed and this is worth getting into trouble for. Occasionally, a more serious condition such as ADHD or Autism that can make it difficult for children to behave appropriately.

Eshe is intelligent and socially accepted by her peers. There do not seem to be any underlying disabilities that might be making her behave inappropriately. The teacher should talk to Eshe and find out more about her home life, what she enjoys and what she finds difficult. It seems most likely that Eshe is either bored as the lesson is too easy for her, or she is intent on gaining some adult attention. The teacher should look at the quality of Eshe’s work and reflect on whether the work could be too easy. They could also look back in their mark book and see if the quality of Eshe’s work has changed recently, and talk to others who have taught Eshe The teacher could try giving Eshe an extra task to complete and see if this will keep her on task.

An inclusive school ethos would ensure that teachers’ examine their practice and the impact of their practice on learners. Through reflection, collaboration and talking to Eshe, much progress could be possible.

In addition, some other strategies to improve the behaviour of a persistently disruptive pupil are:

  • find ways to ‘Catch them being good’ and to praise them for the moments in the lesson when they put their hand up to answer, or quietly complete a task;
  • set up an individual reward system for a disruptive pupil or something for the whole class; 
    (a simple example could be to put a marble in a jar every time someone is praised. Once the jar is full the class could choose to sing a song or play a game as a reward)
  • give praise to the other children when they are behaving appropriately so that the disruptive child may want to copy their good behaviour to be included in the praise;
  • ignore some low-level disruption and instead of admonishing the child, say something positive to encourage them to work hard on the task.

9. Establishing a culture of positive behaviour

A school behaviour policy should set out how teachers can manage a disruptive child positively, and also set a culture of positive behaviour in the school. Teachers should be able to follow strategies in the policy including graduated rewards and sanctions for different situations.

Activity 2.7 Positive behaviour management strategies

Allow approximately 15 minutes for this activity:

  • Read Table 1 and the GATE resource about managing behaviour
  • Write an example of a strategy to positively manage behaviour, that you have tried or observed in a classroom on the Week 2 forum and say why it worked or not. 
  • Note down any contributions that could be used or adapted for the context in which you work.

Table 1 : possible actions to positively manage disruptive behaviour

At the start of term

Work with the class to agree asset of class rules. Put them in groups and ask each group to contribute up to five rules. Draw them together to make a list of no more than 7.

Before the child misbehaves

Start the lesson by reminding everyone of the class rules and set the class a goal to achieve a certain number of rewards (marbles in the jar).

Praise and reward good behaviour

When the child first starts to disrupt

Praise and reward others’ good behaviour

After the lesson, or in a quiet period, ask the child about their behaviour and if they are anxious about anything.  

If the disruption continues

Talk kindly to the child about the class rules and success you want to see in the lesson

If the disruption continues

Give a warning of the low-level sanction e.g. missing 5 minutes of play time

If the disruption continues

Record that the child will miss 5 minutes of play time

If the disruption continues

Give the child a short time out of the lesson

From a student’s perspective, good behaviour is easier if there is a consistent approach across the school. For this reason, it is helpful if school’s have a policy in place which sets out the expectations for behaviour, the rewards and the sanctions. Even better, if creating the policy involves discussions with teachers and pupils. For example, pupils might be asked to suggest their own classroom rules for good behaviour. Once agreed, displaying it around the building will help to create a shared understanding of what good behaviour looks like and why it is important. What a positive behaviour policy might contain is discussed in the next section.

10. Positive behaviour management checklist

The checklist below is suggested as a way for teachers to review how clear, consistent, positive and inclusive the behaviour management strategies are in their schools. The next activity asks you to use this checklist to reflect on how behaviour management strategies could support an inclusive ethos and culture in your school.

Activity 2.8 Reviewing the Behaviour Checklist

Allow approximately 30 minutes for this activity:

Review the proposed teacher checklist for positive behaviour management below.

  • Use it to analyse a lesson that you taught or observed recently. Use the scale below to rate the aspects of the lesson highlighted in the checklist.

1. Securely in place 2. This sometimes happens 3. We don’t have this 4. I don’t know what this means

  • Note down any the elements that you rated at 2. How could you ensure that these become consistent aspects of your practice/ the school’s practice?
  • Look for any elements that you rated 3. Which one or more of these could you start to introduce in your classroom/ across the school?

If you are unsure of any of the terms/ suggestions make a note of them, and post a question on the Week 2 forum.

Adapted from Behaviour Checklist for Teachers (DfE 2011)

Meet and greet pupils when they come into the classroom.
Display rules in the class - and ensure that the pupils and staff know what they are.
Display the tariff of sanctions in class.
Have a system in place to follow through with all sanctions.
Display the tariff of rewards in class.
Have a system in place to follow through with all rewards.
Have a visual timetable on the wall.
Follow the school behaviour policy.

Know the names of children.
Have a plan for children who are likely to misbehave.

Praise the behaviour you want to see more of.
Praise children doing the right thing more than criticising those who are doing the wrong thing (parallel praise).
Stay calm.
Have clear routines for transitions and for stopping the class.
Teach children the class routines.

11. Teachers as role models in inclusive schools

Teachers are in a powerful position in schools – and very often how they behave has more influence than what they say. Teachers have an important role in modelling positive attitudes.

Activity 2.9 Teacher as role model

Allow approximately 30 mins for this activity.

The TESSA Inclusive Education (IE) toolkit highlights 8 principles to support Inclusive Education. In this activity you will have chance to review the Toolkit and focus on Principle 2: the inclusive teacher’s attitudes and behaviour.

If you are a classroom teacher, click through Chapter 2 of the IE Toolkit, and make a note of any useful tips or resources that you would find helpful. Download the resource ‘Teacher behaviours for fostering a climate conducive to learning’.

For each ‘behaviour’ reflect on your own practice. Identify three behaviours that you do well and three that you would like to develop.

If you are a head teacher, teacher educator, District Official, or involved in a school in some other capacity, click through Chapter 2 of the IE Toolkit and plan one activity that you would do with a group of teachers in order to support their development as an IE practitioner. You can choose one of the activities described, or adapt one for use in your context, relevant to the needs of the teachers that you support.

Finally, whatever your role, make a short post on the Week 2 forum telling us what you have taken from Chapter 2 of the TESSA IE Toolkit.

12. Summary

When you walk into a school, you can immediately get a ‘feel’ for what it is like. The way you are greeted, the wall displays, the ways in which students and teachers interact with each other, and the sounds that you can hear will help you form an immediate impression of what that school is like  and whether it has an inclusive ethos. The focus this week has been on how the policies that the head teacher and staff in the school put in place can support an inclusive ethos and make the values and beliefs that they hold, visible.

Next week the focus is the school as a learning organisation – focusing on what the head teacher and school staff can do to improve practice and monitor progress towards becoming an inclusive school.

End-of-week quiz

13. Looking forward

In the next week of this course you will consider how to create the conditions for becoming a learning organisation which is an important aspect of creating an inclusive school


Department for Education (2011) Getting the simple things right: Charlie Taylor’s behaviour checklists. https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/571640/Getting_the_simple_things_right_Charlie_Taylor_s_behaviour_checklists.pdf

Mariga, L., McConkey, R. and Myezwa, H. (2014) Inclusive Education in Low-Income Countries: A resource book for teacher educators, parent trainers and community development workers, Cape Town: Atlas Alliance and Disability Innovations Africa. https://www.eenet.org.uk/resources/docs/Inclusive_Education_in_Low_Income_Cou ntries.pdf

Mwarari, C.N. (2020) ‘Head teachers’ attitude towards inclusive education the key predictor of effective implementation of inclusive education in public primary schools of Muranga county, Kenya’, ijebp (International Journal of Educational Best Practices) (Online), 4(1), pp. 1–16. doi: 10.31258/IJEBP.V4N1.P1-16.

UNICEF (2020) Special Schools and the Convention. https://www.unicef.org.uk/rights-respecting-schools/resources/teaching-resources/guidance-assemblies-lessons/special-schools-convention/