Best Practice Examples of Inclusive Practice in Schools
Inclusion is a basic right for all pupils. It ensures equality, equity and accessibility are championed across a curriculum. When inclusion is part of the makeup of a school, it means the institution is challenging the sources of inequality, especially for those in marginalised groups.
It’s a crucial ideology for schools and ensures all children get the same opportunities in life. That’s why we’ve explored some examples of inclusion in the classroom, providing you with inspiration for this important practice.
Showcasing 3 Best Practice Examples of Inclusive Practice in Schools
1. Paget Primary School: School Inclusion Policy
Paget Primary School in Birmingham developed a ‘School Inclusion Policy’ for supporting diversity, increasing equality and promoting the potential of all pupils. The document states:
"At Paget, inclusion recognises a child’s right to a broad, balanced, relevant and challenging curriculum, which is appropriate to their individual abilities, talents and personal qualities."
The school uses the policy as the foundation for their inclusivity work. They aim towards several ongoing goals, such as the consistent implementation of inclusivity from staff. They also work towards identifying the barriers to successful, accessible education.
The school recognises pupils' diverse needs and so works towards maintaining proper provisions that are adaptable according to those changing requirements. For example, additional in-class support of teaching assistants is available, directed at smaller groups of children or individuals who may need more guidance.
Students also have access to a handful of supplementary support services, such as:
- Specialist Support Services.
- Speech and Language Service.
- Behaviour and Schools Support.
- Communication and Autism Team.
For the inclusion policy to remain relevant and helpful, it’s reviewed at the end of each academic year. This evaluation covers to what extent the goals have been met, the efficiency of the policy in relation to resources and the attainment of pupils.
2. The Brent Primary School: A Focus on SEND
Similar to Paget, The Brent Primary School in Dartford has an ‘Inclusive Practice Policy’ with a specific focus on providing for Special Education Needs and Disabilities (SEND) students. The aims of The Brent Primary School include:
- To identify the children who need special consideration regarding supporting physical, sensory, social, emotion, communication or cognitive development.
- To ensure those children are given special support.
- To promote their inclusion within all activities in school.
- To create high levels of achievement.
- To maintain a supporting partnership with parents and caregivers.
The professionals at The Brent Primary School recognise not all needs are the same. The support for a pupil with a language or communication difficulty will be different from a student with a learning difficulty, so the school tailor their support for these differing needs.
Another way The Brent Primary School promotes inclusivity is by stating they're in a position to learn, thereby enhancing their own abilities when providing special support for disadvantaged students. In the policy, they write:
"There are other kinds of special educational need which do not occur as frequently and with which the school is less familiar, but we can access training and advice so that these kinds of needs can be met."
It’s this kind of inclusive attitude that helps to create a valuable foundation for future equality and accessibility.
St. Winifred’s Catholic School: Delivering Inclusion for Marginalised Pupils
Our final example of inclusion in the classroom sees St. Winifred’s Catholic School employ a particular focus on providing for marginalised student groups. For example, their inclusion policy pays attention to the specific needs of less advantaged children. It specifically mentions minority ethnic and faith groups as well as refugees and asylum seekers among others.
Similar to the previous example, St. Winifred’s works towards providing for the diverse needs of different student groups. They write, “We aim to make equality of opportunity a reality for our pupils." They employ one of their staff as an ‘Inclusion Manager’ who works to champion their inclusion practices. These practices include:
- Designing their curriculum to reflect the different cultures, races and religions in their school to provide both equality, cultural appreciation and educational enrichment.
- Specific, supported induction of pupils new to the UK.
- Properly addressing issues of racism, sexism and bullying.
- Targeted support for pupils, guided by teachers, teaching assistants and senior management.
St. Winifred’s is a great example of how the needs of students from minority or foreign backgrounds can be provided for, ensuring they have the same potential for success as other students.
Inclusion should be promoted within all education institutions, from primary schools to places of higher education. We realise in these uncertain times, where education is challenged by the dual issues of the coronavirus pandemic and Brexit uncertainties, schools can find it difficult to implement systemic change.
However, with a good knowledge of these challenges and how to mitigate them, you’ll be able to continue providing valuable education and support for pupils. That’s why we’ve created a guide to help with these challenges. It’s specifically written with higher education in mind, but still contains a lot of useful guidance for education specialists of all levels.