The importance of inclusion in schools

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Here, Tom Cash talks about the magnitude of inclusivity in schools and how it can impact students

Tom Cash from The English College Dubai talks to Yalla about how important inclusivity is in schools nowadays and how significant it is for students overall


Raising the bar


Perhaps the thing most often thought about when we hear the word ‘Inclusion’ within an educational setting is providing support to a small minority of students. However, with the ever-increasing spotlight on inclusion within schools, developing inclusive practice can have a far wider-reaching impact on all students.

Here, I would like to explore how some of these are effective techniques, once predominantly used to support inclusion, are now bettering provision for all.


Students as individuals


Knowing students and their individual needs well within the classroom setting is vital to support a truly effective and inclusive classroom culture. Teachers need to know where to seat students in the class, how to provide appropriate challenges, where they need to break down tasks to help them achieve their goals and which interventions to implement – the list could go on.

Ensuring this means that the high-quality teaching the school provides allows students to obtain a healthy educational diet in the class.

Providing this level of service links directly to the school having to obtain key information about students. How do they achieve this? By having open, transparent and positive working relationships with both the parents and students themselves.

Regularly working together to ensure they have the key knowledge around how best to facilitate effective learning for the student, these relationships are built in The English School not only to allow the school to gain the information needed but also to support parents and students in building a feeling of belonging, a vital element when looking at inclusion and beyond.

Sharing this information with the team is another integral part of creating a fully bespoke learning package. The use of emerging online platforms and new creative systems are particularly effective in supporting staff with the dissemination of this information.

As the culture of inclusive practice within schools develops, more and more students receive this level of bespoke learning. Within the UAE, there is leading practice on the expectations of data to capture around all students regarding their abilities and needs.

Schools are then monitored based on how effectively they use this data to support student progress. This ensures all young people become individualised and their journey within the school is watched more closely, with appropriate intervention where needed to ensure maximum potential is reached for the students.


Positive relationships


I spoke earlier about the need for positive relationships, this has great carry over from inclusive practice into all areas of a successful school. Schools are increasingly implementing this fundamental and basic technique into all elements of their provision, ensuring again that students feel understood and have a truly positive experience at school.

Knowing students well feeds into a positive relationship between the student and the school, treating them as individuals and knowing what makes them unique. This level of understanding students leads to them feeling more individualised and very much a part of their school community. Schools are looking to be able to guide their students effectively down their chosen paths.


Bespoke education


More schools are now heading towards this high standard of tailored practice being incorporated into their teaching and learning strategies. When monitoring the quality of teaching and learning, more emphasis is put on whether all students have obtained the core knowledge, are engaged in the learning and have made the necessary progress as a minimum.

This emphasis on knowing students as an individual allows teachers to really hone in on ensuring they make the progress that is appropriate for them.

These essential practices and systems, once just dedicated to inclusive practice, are now more widely being implemented for all. Allowing that which has been developed over time to support inclusion to now ensure everyone receives a better education.

Ultimately, this is the true purpose of education, with students being treated as an individual and schools helping them harness their full ability to open as many doors as possible.


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Image source The English College Dubai

Shane Reynolds