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:
See the full blog
“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
Think Meet Do
- 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.
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
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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