It was really refreshing to read this truthful insight into inclusion and exclusion. There are many senior teams with the same issues, and are addressing them, but keep tightly lipped. Well Done to Tom for having the confidence to broach this subject out aloud. From my experience and practice I think we must always think about the other 27/28/29 in the class. Their parents have sent them to school and expect the best and would be horrified if they saw exactly what went on in their child’s classroom/playground, by these few known individuals. On top of this many in the classes/groups do want to learn academically and socially and get frustrated at having their efforts thwarted daily. For them, we need to show that we are doing our best for them as well. So whilst considering what to do ‘ with a small handful of students. Most of them are in Year 9 but sadly one is in Year 7 … do all you can… but equally weigh up the impact on the other children they deserve as much of our attention as well.
I think the idea of looking outside the institution for help and support is also very brave and hope that the community and other professionals support you all in this.
I’ve just read Nancy Gedge’s excellent, powerful blog ‘Battle Weary’ about her son’s experience of school and the challenges of parenting a child with Down’s Syndrome. It encapsulates a range of issues around inclusion and the extent to which schools truly embrace the concept. Since arriving at Highbury Grove, inclusion is something I’ve thought about a great deal, in different contexts. Here are some of the issues we’ve been wrestling with:
This is a daily challenge. We are trying to set very high standards as part of our drive to secure ‘impeccable behaviour’ across the school. I firmly believe that educating all children how to behave well is an inclusive agenda. However, our system has some strong sanctions and a built-in process that removes students from lessons and, if necessary, the mainstream school if their behaviour has an unacceptable effect on others. That’s non-negotiable, in…
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