Inclusion Pocketbook

28th January 2005 at 00:00
Inclusion Pocketbook

By Niki Elliot, Elaine Doxey and Val Stephenson

Teachers' Pocketbooks pound;6.99

The latest in the Teachers' Pocketbooks series squeezes a huge subject into a small package, and does it very well. Right from the start we're introduced to what inclusion is and is not: it isn't only about special needs, or making plans, for example; it is about running a school that suits the pupils, and it is everyone's responsibility.

Then there's guidance about putting together a policy. Here the book does what others in the series do well, which is to unravel the jargon; explaining the differences, for example, between vision, mission, principles and aims.

Particularly valuable is the section on evaluating inclusion (too often we just assume we're doing fine) with guidance on how to gather and interpret data. And, as you'd expect, there is basic information on legislation and sources of advice.

Most importantly, the book points out that the SEN model as we have it is incomplete, based as it is on the notion of supporting a child in the mainstream. We should rather be thinking of making our schools inclusive for all children - and adults - in line with the Unesco 1994 "Salamanca Statement", which says: "Education systems should be designed and educational programmes implemented to take into account the wide diversity of characteristics and needs."

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