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Centre for Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND)

Regular centre meeting for staff and students (all welcome)

Event details

Session focus: discussion of the below two papers on international aspects of inclusive education.

The first is by Mel Ainscow (11 pages) and the second a critical comment on it by a Norwegian academic (5 pages).


Promoting inclusion and equity in education: lessons from international experiences

ABSTRACT: This paper focuses on a major challenge facing education systems around the world, that of finding ways of including all children in schools. In economically poorer countries this is mainly about the millions of children who are not able to attend formal education (UNESCO, 2015). Meanwhile, in wealthier countries many young people leave school with no worthwhile qualifications, whilst others are placed in special provision away from mainstream education and some choose to drop out since the lessons seem irrelevant (OECD, 2012).  Faced with these challenges, there is evidence of an increased interest in the idea of making education more inclusive and equitable. However, the field remains confused as to the actions needed in order to move policy and practice forward.


‘It is impossible to avoid policy’ comment on Mel Ainscow: promoting inclusion and equity in education: lessons from international experiences
Peder Haug, Department of Humanities and Education, Volda University College, Volda, Norway

ABSTRACT: Mel Ainscow has recently written an interesting and important article concerning a challenging aspect of inclusive education, namely how to practically implement the ambitious ideal of inclusion in schools,where inclusion refers tomaking basic education of a high quality available to all learners by identifying barriers to access to educational opportunities and resources to overcome those barriers. Schools should serve all children, especially those with special educational needs. To work towards inclusive ideals represents a fundamental shift in the traditional approach to teaching, certainly for most schools, in most countries. According to Ainscow, there is confusion about how to move policy and practice forward, a declaration which has found strong support among other researchers. Allan (2008, p. 10), for instance, writes that there is a deep uncertainty about how to create inclusive environments within schools and how to teach inclusively. The article contributes insights into how to reduce this uncertainty. The author presents many principles and practical suggestions for how to promote inclusive education. The intention here is to highlight some of the elements in Ainscow’s article that are of most importance. The conclusions drawn here would not be surprising or unfamiliar to Ainscow himself.



A couple of other interesting papers on inclusive education have been published recently and we might read and discuss these next term.

Please contact the event organiser for copies of the papers and the MS Teams meeting link.