'Inclusion' statement leaves some out

26th July 2013 at 01:00

Call me pedantic, but am I the only one confused by the new national curriculum's statement on inclusion? It kicks off with: "Teachers should set high expectations for every pupil." That's great, I agree that we should have high hopes for every student.

It then states: "They should plan stretching work for pupils whose attainment is significantly above the expected standard." I agree again - the most able should be stretched. But it then goes on to add: "They have an even greater obligation to plan lessons for pupils who have low levels of prior attainment or come from disadvantaged backgrounds."

"Greater obligation"? Just how does one square exercising a greater obligation to one section of students with a duty to every student? Hardly inclusive. Surely the first statement is what we should strive for: to achieve the best for all children, irrespective of background or class?

Perhaps ministers could exercise this "greater obligation" to the disadvantaged by ensuring that all students in England are funded to a similar degree to children in private education, where many of them spent their formative years and now send their own children?

Steve Cleave, Headteacher, Compton CofE Primary School, Plymouth.

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