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What is Inclusion

"Inclusion is a principled approach to education, it is concerned with the quest for equity, social justice and participation.  It is about the removal of all forms of barriers of discrimination and oppression and it is about the well-being of all learners."

 Inclusion is about increasing participation for all children and adults. It is about supporting  schools to become more responsive to the diversity of children’s backgrounds, interests, experience, knowledge and skills.‘Ainscow & Booth, 2012’


Inclusion is a process.  That is to say, inclusion has to be seen as a never-ending search to find better ways of responding to diversity.  It is about learning how to live with difference, and, learning how to learn from difference.  In this way differences come to be seen more positively as a stimulus for fostering learning, amongst children and adults.

Inclusion is concerned with the identification and removal of barriers. Consequently, it involves collecting, collating and evaluating information from a wide variety of sources in order to plan for improvements in policy and practice.  It is about using evidence of various kinds to stimulate creativity and problem-solving,

Inclusion is about the presence, participation and achievement of all students.  Here ‘presence’ is concerned with where children are educated, and how reliably and punctually they attend; ‘participation’ relates to the quality of their experiences whilst they are there and, therefore, must incorporate the views of the learners themselves; and ‘achievement’ is about the outcomes of learning across the curriculum, not merely test or examination results.  

Inclusion involves a particular emphasis on those groups of learners who may be at risk of marginalisation, exclusion or underachievement. This indicates the moral responsibility to ensure that those groups that are statistically most at risk are carefully monitored, and that, where necessary, steps are taken to ensure their presence, participation and achievement within the education system. (Ainscow & Miles, 2009 )