Inclusion 'does not drag classes down'

3rd June 2005 at 01:00
Placing children with learning or behavioural difficulties in mainstream classes does not drag down the education of other pupils, according to a government-funded study.

The Manchester university report concludes that schools have no reason to fear that the Government's "inclusion agenda" is damaging standards.

The researchers looked in depth at 26 studies on the impact of including pupils with special needs in mainstream education, mostly carried out in primary schools in the United States.

These reports produced 40 findings. Of these, 21 showed that inclusion had made no difference to other pupils, nine that it had a positive academic or social impact, six a negative impact and four a mixed effect.

The researchers warned inclusion only had positive effects if schools received proper support.

"Successful inclusion doesn't occur in a vacuum," the report said.

"Parents, teachers and pupils need to be fully committed to the idea, programmes of work have to be carefully planned and reviewed regularly and support staff need to receive appropriate support and training."

Chris Keates, general secretary of the NASUWT, Britain's second largest teaching union, said: "We have never been opposed to inclusion when children with special needs have been given the support they need. "The problems come when that support is not there, and teachers use up their time and expertise helping a single child leaving the rest of the class to their own devices."

The impact of population inclusivity in schools on student outcomes is at

Log-in as an existing print or digital subscriber

Forgotten your subscriber ID?


To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers


Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar,, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today