The Scottish Government has a consultation open on ‘Excellence and Equity for All: Guidance on the Presumption of Mainstreaming.’ We’ll be submitting our own response, but we encourage other parents, especially if you have children who have Additional Support Needs, to make your own voice heard before 9 February 2018.
Aims of the Consultation
The consultation is asking for views on draft guidance for local authorities, teachers, and other education workers. While the guidance is aimed at people working in education, it will also feed into guidance that will then be written for parents and carers.
What is Mainstreaming?
Mainstreaming is the legal requirement for local authorities to work on the basis that they will provide education for all children in a mainstream school, though there are three exceptions to this:
- If it would not suit the ability or aptitude of the child;
- If it would negatively impact the efficient education of other children in the school
- If it would be too expensive, resulting in unreasonable public expenditure
What Does It Say?
The consultation states that ‘an inclusive approach, with an appreciation of diversity and an ambition for all to achieve to their full potential, is essential to getting it right for every child and raising attainment for all.’
To do this, the consultation looks at four areas:
What the features of an inclusive school environment are. This means that not only is the pupil present and learning at the school, but is also supported to be able to take part in the school community.
How to decide on the right provision for a pupil.
When to make exceptions to mainstreaming.
Guidance on delivering inclusion in schools. 8 key areas are identified to deliver inclusion:
- Constructive challenge to attitudes
- Evaluation of planning process
- Capacity to deliver inclusion
- Parental and carer engagement
- Early intervention, prevention and strong relationships
- Removal of barriers to learning
These include examples of how individual schools have managed to do so.
You can view and respond to the consultation at the Scottish Government’s consultation website. It closes on 9 February 2018.