Inclusion and SEN
Here at Castle Hill we believe that Inclusive Practice is at the core of all we do to support children with special educational needs as defined by the code of practice. We know that what is good practice for children with SEN is often good practice for all children.
The dictionary defines inclusion as “the action or state of including or of being included within a group or a structure”. In a school or education setting, this means that every child and every adult who learns and works in a school is valued and whose educational and personal needs are met. Inclusion is also about parents and the community in which the school exists. It is not about integration, which has a whole different meaning and context. It is not about treating everybody the same, instead, it’s about meeting individual needs, being prepared to be different. It’s about equality of opportunity and an inclusive framework that carries through all policies and actions. In an inclusive school, everybody’s voice is heard, encouraged and valued.
Strong relationships are the key to an inclusive school but it is important to say that these relationships won’t just happen… they have to be nurtured and cultivated so that they can evolve and be flexible to ever-changing demands and needs.
Inclusion is about all staff as well as all pupils. It is about parents, governors and the extended community.
An inclusive school does not try to put children into ready-made boxes. It is about looking at their individual needs and breaking down any barriers to their learning – academic, social and emotional. Inclusive schools care for ALL their staff, whatever their designation and make sure that they are supported in order to be fully effective in their roles. Professional learning for staff will be ongoing and be designed to develop and grow their skills and their practice.
Inclusion is not automatic, but organic. It requires real commitment from all members of the school’s community. Provision of necessary resourcing can be challenging and take time to research, monitor and acquire. Ensuring inclusive practice, however, is our responsibility and it is the right of each and every person within their scope of responsibility. It is the right thing to do.