Is Inclusion Over?Is Inclusion Over 1

This question was raised by NotDeadFish in April 2016 following an alarming recognition that the entitlement to education, for young people with special needs, was under threat:

“Over the years I have had to have many fights on access – can someone with Muscular Dystrophy abseil? Can a learner with Down Syndrome be trusted to do CPR? Can someone with ASD and communication difficulties be the spokesperson for a national speech and language campaign? I’ve had to argue the practicalities of access but I have – rarely and certainly with no significant challenge – had to fight the fundamental principle of inclusion. Until now.” Anita Kerwin-Nye

See the full blog

Think Meet Do

ThinkMeetDoThe Is Inclusion Over? question resonated with many parents, professionals and teachers with experience of special needs and in October 2016 a group of these came together with the following aims:

  • To gather information on the scale of the potential issue – beyond anecdote into evidence,
  • To identify the schools and organisations that exemplify good practice,
  • To start to create a positive campaign that rewards success as a ‘kitemark’ but also acts as a statement of intent for schools and organisations who are committed to inclusion.
See the Think Meet Do agenda

The hashtags #pushedout and #drawnin were used throughout the event to show the mood and highlight the reflections of attendees, and even trended for a short while!

A summary of the Think Meet Do was published by NotDeadFish in a blog and a dedicated newsletter.

“Exclusions are on the rise – in Barnsley and Middlesbrough exclusions rates have risen by as much as 300% in the last three years. The consequences of these rates are clear too. Only 1% of excluded pupils leave school with the skills and qualifications they will require to successfully enter the working world. A child in a Pupil Referral Unit is four times more expensive as one in an ordinary school. The cost of high exclusion rates to the student and to the system are enormous and their number is growing, but does the focus on exclusion lead us to think less about what inclusion means? The Is Inclusion Over? event earlier this week discussed what inclusion should and does mean, and whether it’s a thing of the past.” Isabel Saunders

See the full blog  See the newsletter

Building the Campaign

Since the Think Meet Do NotDeadFish and others have been working to further the aims stated at the event. A newsletter highlights some of these achievements.

See the newsletter

The Drawn In pledge on this website is the next step in growing the movement of likeminded teachers and educationalists. People who recognise that good results are achievable in inclusive schools. People who believe that to exclude pupils, through fear that their individual performance may lower the overall performance of the school, shows low moral purpose and is counter to the aims of the profession of teaching. The pledge is also the beginning of the debate around what would make a suitable kitemark for inclusion.

Click to take the pledge

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