Publication - Advice and guidance

Presumption to provide education in a mainstream setting: guidance

Published: 26 Mar 2019
Directorate:
Learning Directorate
Part of:
Education, Equality and rights
ISBN:
9781787811157

Guidance to education authorities on their duty to provide education in a mainstream setting unless certain exceptions apply.

28 page PDF

617.0 kB

28 page PDF

617.0 kB

Contents
Presumption to provide education in a mainstream setting: guidance
2 Key Features of Inclusion and Developing Inclusive Practice

28 page PDF

617.0 kB

2 Key Features of Inclusion and Developing Inclusive Practice

9. Inclusive practice is important whatever the setting, whether it be within a mainstream or special school. There are four key features of inclusion which can be used to set expectations and evaluate inclusive practice in schools and early learning and childcare settings. These are present, participating, achieving and supported. Together these four features support the delivery of inclusive learning environments for all children and young people that enable them to reach their full potential.

10. Some aspects of the four features may interlink. For example, children and young people must be present in order to participate, as a result, elements of practice associated with the key features may also overlap.

Inclsion, Present, Participating, Achieving, Supported

Present

Key expectations:

  • All children and young people should learn in environments which best meet their needs
  • All children and young people should be fully engaged in the life of their school, through the inclusive ethos, culture and values of the school
  • All children and young people should receive a full time education including flexible approaches to meet their needs

11. The presumption of mainstreaming enshrines the right of all children and young people with additional support needs to learn in mainstream schools and early learning and childcare settings. Children and young people must be present, in person or engaged via virtual means, in order to benefit from learning. Presence is a fundamental requirement of inclusive practice.

12. Presence is also evidenced by attendance at school. Included, Engaged and Involved – Part 1: Attendance in Scottish schools provides guidance to education authorities and schools on the promotion of attendance and reduction of absence. The guidance explores attendance in relation to a range of circumstances, including additional support for learning and absence due to ill health. The use of technology may assist where a child is unable to attend school due to ill health or other factors, Guidance on the education of children unable to attend school due to ill health provides further guidance. Presence is also evidenced by a reduced level of exclusions from school, where exclusion is the last resort in the context of promoting positive relationships and behaviour. Education authorities and schools are guided in this by Included, Engaged and Involved Part 2: A Positive Approach to Preventing and Managing School Exclusions.

13. The wellbeing indicators within the Getting it Right For Every Child approach are of particular relevance to practitioners in this context. The wellbeing indicator 'Included' reflects the need for children and young people to have the opportunity, and be encouraged, to play an active part in the communities in which they live and learn. The 'Achieving' Indicator is also relevant, enabling children and young people to be supported to help them to progress and develop the skills, ambition and know how that will help create a positive future for them.

Evaluation
14. The How Good is Our Early Learning and Childcare? and How Good is Our School? (4th edition) Quality Indicators provide a framework for the evaluation of the effectiveness of educational establishments on improving outcomes for children and young people. The Quality Indicators 2.4 Personalised Support and 2.5 Family Learning are particularly relevant in relation to presence. They focus on how well children and young people are supported to overcome barriers to learning and how families are engaged in learning. Quality Indicator 3.1 Ensuring Wellbeing, Equality and Inclusion is of key importance due to its focus on fulfilment of statutory duties and the impact of the school's and early learning and childcare setting's approaches to wellbeing to support inclusion and equality.

15. How Good is Our School part 2 helps children and young people to have a say in how well their school is helping them be fully engaged and is relevant across all the key features. Theme 5 is especially helpful: Our relationships includes friendships, relationships with teachers and other adults who support us, opportunities to influence things, equality and fairness, ethos and culture, feeling supported and cared for.

Participating

Key expectations:

  • All children and young people should have their voices heard in decisions about their education. Including decisions on where they learn
  • All children and young people will have the opportunity to participate and engage as fully as possible in all aspects of school or early learning and childcare life, including trips and extracurricular activity
  • All children and young people should be enabled and supported to participate in their learning
  • Children and young people with additional support needs, who are aged
    12-15, also have extended rights within the ASL framework to use rights on their own behalf to affect decisions made about them

16. Participation does not only refer to school work, homework and involvement in subjects which may pose challenges for individual children and young people. Participation is also about addressing involvement in the wider school and local community; it is about feeling included as a peer, forming firm relationships and friendships and developing the skills for lifelong learning and success. Participation is full involvement in the life of the school through events, trips, school plays, sports and community events; it is about finding an avenue for children and young people to contribute and feel that their contribution is valued. All opportunities to participate in the life of the school should be available to all pupils, including those requiring additional support, and these should be appropriately supported.

17. In schools and early learning and childcare settings, learner participation is core to a good education. As part of all educational experiences, it is a child and young person's right to have a say in matters that affect them. It is intended that children and young people have the opportunity to learn about participation; participating through expressing their views; help shape educational provision; participating in decisions leading to meaningful impacts and outcomes, and monitor and evaluate their participation and impact. Education Scotland have developed Learner Participation in Educational Settings (3-18) to guide practice in this area.

18. Article 12 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child sets out children's rights to respect for their views. The Children and Young People's Commissioner Scotland has developed resources to support the participation of children and young people. The 7 Golden Rules for Participation are a set of principles that anyone working with children and young people can use to ensure that children and young people's participation is meaningful.

19. Within the Getting it Right For Every Child approach the Wellbeing Indicators 'Included' and 'Respected' are relevant. In addition to being encouraged to play an active part in the communities in which they live and learn, children and young people should be being treated with dignity and respect, feel listened to and taken seriously by those around them and be treated as individuals in their own right with their own needs, expectations and aspirations.

Evaluation
20. Quality Indicators 2.4 Personalised Support and 2.5 Family Learning from the How Good is Our Early Learning and Childcare and How Good Is Our School? 4 are relevant to the Participating feature of Inclusion. These indicators focus on the provision of high-quality support to enable all children and young people to achieve success and how well their outcomes are improving as a result of participation in family learning. Quality Indicator 3.1 from these frameworks is important both in relation to the fulfilment of statutory duties and inclusion and equality.

Achieving

Key expectations:

  • All children and young people should be achieving to their full potential
  • All children and young people should have access to a varied curriculum tailored to meet their needs

21. This guidance is very clear on the ambition the Scottish Government has for each and every child and young person in Scotland – all children and young people should receive the support that they need to reach their full potential, in learning, life and work. Curriculum for Excellence sets out children and young people's entitlements to education through both the Broad General Education and the Senior Phase. These entitlements apply equally to all children and young people, including those who have additional support needs. The Education (Additional Support for Learning) (Scotland) Act 2004 (as amended) ("the 2004 Act") and the Experiences and Outcomes of Curriculum for Excellence enable a tailored approach to meeting the learning needs of all pupils. The delivery of the experiences and outcomes are supported by the Curriculum for Excellence Benchmarks which set out clear statements about what learners need to know and be able to do to achieve a level across all curriculum areas. Children and young people can also have their learning recognised through approaches to wider achievements. This includes approaches such as the Duke of Edinburgh Award and ASDAN which contribute to children and young people's learning achievements as part of Curriculum for Excellence.

22. Within the Getting it Right For Every Child approach the Wellbeing Indicators 'Achieving' and 'Respected' are relevant. The Achieving Indicator is about enabling children and young people to be supported to help them progress and develop the skills, ambition and know how that will help create a positive future for them. The Respected Indicator is about children and young people being treated with dignity and respect, feeling listened to and taken seriously by those around them and be treated as individuals in their own right with their own needs, expectations and aspirations.

Evaluation
23. Quality Indicators 2.2 Curriculum, 2.3 Learning, Teaching and Assessment and 3.2 Raising attainment and achievement from the How Good is Our Early Learning and Childcare and How Good Is Our School? 4 are relevant to the Achieving feature of Inclusion. QI 2.2 focusses on learning pathways and skills for learning, life and work; this is complemented by QI 2.3 which focusses on learning and engagement, effective use of assessment, and planning, tracking and monitoring. QI 3.2 evaluates learners' attainment, quality of learners' achievements and equity for all learners.

Supported

Key expectations:

  • All children and young people should benefit from the ethos and culture of the school, inclusive learning and teaching practices and relationships
  • All children and young people should be given the right help, at the right time, from the right people, to support their wellbeing in the right place
  • All children and young people should be supported to participate in all parts of school life
  • All children and young people should be supported to overcome barriers to learning and achieve their full potential

24. Support is primarily about how children and young people are enabled to achieve their full potential. To achieve their full potential, barriers to learning must be identified through robust assessment and addressed for all children and young people through the provision of flexible learning pathways and to enable them to participate in all parts of school life.

25. In order to support the wellbeing of all children and young people it is important to consider the wellbeing indicators of Safe, Healthy, Achieving, Nurtured, Active, Respected, Responsible and Included. Children and young people's wellbeing needs should be considered against these indicators and appropriate support provided. The 2004 Act requirements to identify, provide for and to review the additional support needs of children and young people aligns well with this framework. Whilst the Getting it Right For Every Child approach is focussed on the wellbeing needs of the child or young person, the 2004 Act focusses on the support needed to overcome barriers to their learning arising from disability or health; family circumstances; learning environment or social and emotional factors.

26. Within the Getting it Right For Every Child approach all eight of the wellbeing indicators are relevant to the 'Supported' feature.

Evaluation

27. The How Good is Our Early Learning and Childcare? and How Good is Our School? (4) Quality Indicators provide a framework for the evaluation of the effectiveness of educational establishments on improving outcomes for children and young people. The Quality Indicators 2.4 Personalised Support and 2.5 Family Learning are particularly relevant. They focus on how well children and young people are supported to overcome barriers to learning and how families are engaged in learning. Quality Indicator 3.1 Ensuring Wellbeing, Equality and Inclusion is of key importance due to its focus on fulfilment of statutory duties and the impact of the school's and early learning and childcare setting's approaches to support inclusion and equality.

Inclusive Practice

28. The core expectations of our inclusive approach in Scotland focus on children and young people being present, participating, achieving and supported. To support practitioners, Education Scotland have developed a free online learning module 'An introduction to Inclusive Education'. The module is relevant for all educational practitioners and also supports teachers to meet the General Teaching Council for Scotland (GTCS) standards for registration, Career-Long Professional Learning, and Leadership and Management; as well as supporting the Professional Update process.

29. There are eight key areas that are crucial in helping to develop inclusive practice in schools and early learning and childcare settings:

  • Inclusive school values and ethos;
  • Leadership;
  • 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.

30. Inclusive school values and ethos are essential to the delivery of inclusive educational practice. Values and ethos which recognise and value diversity and include a strong commitment to enabling and supporting all children and young people to learn and be part of school life are fundamental.

31. Strong Leadership is needed to promote inclusive ethos and values throughout the school community. Leadership does not only rest with the Headteacher or Manager in an early learning and childcare setting – distributed leadership at all levels is needed to deliver change and progress. Staff must be empowered and challenged to use their knowledge of the children and young people to drive inclusive practice. As the classroom leader, or ELC practitioner, their approach, their attitude and their vision will be the one predominately experienced by the children and young people in their class.

32. Constructive challenge to attitudes is essential to ensure that inclusion and equality lead to improved outcomes for all children and young people and that diversity is understood, valued and celebrated. It is essential that high expectations are in place for all pupils.

33. Evaluation of planning process is fundamental to ensuring improved learning outcomes for all pupils. Tracking and monitoring of learning outcomes over time, aligned to review of support and teaching and learning strategies will ensure progress in learning for all pupils.

34. Capacity to deliver inclusion is an important focus across education, not just in the context of mainstreaming and inclusion. Working with partners to deliver joint training and services builds capacity of those in schools and other services. Special schools can provide key support to their mainstream colleagues through experience of a range of highly personalised approaches including personalised learning, behavioural strategies and tailored support which may be beneficial for all pupils.

35. Parental and carer engagement supportsimprovement in learning and achievement. Strong, positive relationships are essential to this work – not only between partners but with families themselves. Just as the voice of children and young people should be listened to in their learning plans, 'families should be consulted in a meaningful way when staff are looking at progression from their service.' The National Improvement Framework driver of Parental Engagement reflects further on how to engage parents and carers.

36. Early intervention, prevention and strong relationships can have a positive impact particularly as regards the impact of socio-economic circumstances. Staff, in tandem with partners, should be informed and proactive, working to mitigate the impacts of socio-economic circumstances as part of removing barriers to learning.

37. Removal of barriers to learning are essential to ensure that all children and young people reach their full potential. All children with a disability, health issue or social or emotional needs benefit from high-quality targeted support. Schools and early learning and childcare settings working in partnership with others in the community can enhance support for families and, therefore, enhance outcomes in key areas. Partners are crucial in this process to provide targeted and specialist support in all environments and to ensure the improvement work being undertaken in school and early learning and childcare is also being supported at home.


Contact

Email: supportinglearners@gov.scot