Impossible to include

30th June 2006 at 01:00
I am increasingly angered by stories such as that of Jade "Growing pain of closed doors" (TES, June 16).

She was sentenced to being taught in isolation after having "lashed out" at another child in the playground.

Is this treatment not contrary to the disability discrimination Act? I am not surprised Jade's mother refuses to send her to that school.

My son, who has Down syndrome, is being successfully included in a well-run private nursery. When I was concerned about his tendency to act aggressively, his teacher's response was "We will be working on this with all the children, because they all need to learn about appropriate behaviour."

Inclusion has to be a whole-school effort and should be happening whether or not the school has a pupil with a noticeable disability. Inclusion begins by teaching children and staff about respecting difference.

Inclusive practices help all pupils and not just those with disabilities, because every pupil learns better if he or she feels valued as an individual.

To make inclusion work, schools need proper resourcing for staffing, equipment and training.

They also need to be given credit by Ofsted inspectors and government bodies when they offer a curriculum that includes rather than excludes, and uses group projects, creative work, and other activities to get pupils using all their senses and the whole of their bodies, rather than just listening to the teacher and working at desks.

Leonora Samuel 32 Haslemere Avenue London NW4

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