1. Introduction to this course

Welcome to this course, Creating an inclusive school.

Creating an Inclusive school is the second in a series of Professional development for inclusive education courses. This course is for you if you are involved in a school as a school leader, a teacher, an administrator, a stakeholder or part of a community that supports a school.

The two courses in this programme are underpinned by a set of assumptions. These are:

  1. There will be many reasons why children might feel excluded at school. Some will be visible (such as a physical disability) but many will not be.
  2. Inclusive education is the responsibility of all teachers, leaders and school staff. Much can be done in individual classrooms to support children with special needs, and in the process, all children will benefit.
  3. All children can learn, given the right support
  4. Learning will be more effective if children are given the opportunity to talk about their learning and to work together
  5. Teachers can achieve more by working collaboratively, asking for help and sharing resources. Inclusive ways of working will contribute to creating an inclusive ethos.
  6. Everyone in the wider school community has a responsibility to demonstrate positive attitudes to diversity and to challenge negative attitudes when they encounter them.
  7. Teacher professional development to support inclusive education needs to be on-going and school-based and will be more effective if based on a cycle of collaboration-practise-reflection.
  8. Creating an inclusive school is a process that needs to be continually reviewed and adapted.

Assumptions 1-4 were explored in ‘Inclusive Teaching and Learning’; this course focuses on assumptions 5-8. You don’t need to have studied the first course to make sense of this one, but they are linked.