Inclusive education is something our society has been working on for quite some time, and we are still working towards it. In the ideal world, everyone should be able to learn together in mainstream schools, but as we are all aware it’s really difficult to put that into practice. Clearly there has been a lot of progress in this field, but we still have a long way to go and adapt to new challenges. To that end, we are going to examine some of the inclusion means we are implementing today.
The idea of inclusion
The basic idea is for schools and other educational institutions to undergo necessary changes or improvements in order to provide equal learning opportunities for everyone.
As we all know there are people who have mental and/or physical disabilities, which makes the whole learning experience significantly different for them.
Two Types of Support
As of now, there are two types of support we use to facilitate inclusion. Special Educational Needs (SEN) that include behavioral support and speech therapy; and Education, Health and Care (ECH) that provides support to students/pupils with special needs or more complex issues.
Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator or SENCO, is a teacher who is qualified to aid students that require SEN support.
Their jobs consist of 4 stages: assess, plan, do, and review. In other words, they need to figure out how to help particular student groups maintain the pace with their peers.
The role of ECH is to accommodate the requirements of children/students with special educational needs, in order for them to participate in mainstream programs and to be prepared for adulthood. Local authorities should be responsible for identifying ECH providers in their area and also ensure that citizens are informed on how to find them.
Let’s go over the current situation and all improvements that are on the way.
For starters, SEN is working on tackling broader issues of marginalization. This means that traveler pupils or students, as well as those who are at a social or economical disadvantage, will also be included more effectively. Some of the countries have made significant headway on these fronts, but a great deal of them is still lagging behind, mainly because more pressing issues are being addressed.
Another important thing to note is that students/pupils with disabilities don’t have an absolute right to mainstream educational settings, and also they don’t have an automatic entitlement to educational support. Luckily funds are allocated to address these problems, and we have programs like Pupil Premium, to help all students perform better and keep pace with their peers.