"Commitment to inclusion must be reinforced at every level"
Children in Scotland has warned that the goal of delivering truly inclusive education is not just the responsibility of schools or individuals but must be reinforced at national and local level.
Responding to the Scottish Government’s consultation on Excellence and Equity for All: Guidance on the Presumption of Mainstreaming, we welcome the vision for inclusive education in Scotland but warn that there are important issues needing to be addressed.
- Warn against assuming inclusive education and mainstream education are the same thing
- Suggest the inclusion of an additional principle that recognises children and young people’s right to be active participants in the decisions made about their lives (in accordance with Article 12 of the UNCRC)
- Request that more thought is given to children unable to be physically present at school
- Raise concern about structural issues that may be a barrier to mainstream education, such as funding for support staff.
In our response we also highlight the shared responsibility, at all levels, to ensure inclusive education is delivered in every sense of the word, particularly when considering that some children may access education in multiple establishments. We call for clarity as to a strategy for inclusion and how partners would feed into this.
We also call for more emphasis on meaningful engagement and participation with young people directly.
Children in Scotland’s Chief Executive Jackie Brock said:
“Children in Scotland believes that inclusive education goes beyond the placement of a child in a mainstream setting. Inclusive education should be multifaceted and encompass all education settings. A whole school ethos of inclusion will be to the benefit of all, as well as taking into account the individual needs and views of children as an ongoing process.”