Orkney Islands Council
Working together for a better Orkney

Defining Inclusion

The term "inclusion" has a number of different meanings, often relating to disabled or disaffected children. Historically, it has often been used to mean either the moving of disabled children into mainstream schools, or reducing the exclusion of other pupils from school.

It is now acknowledged that inclusion involves changing policies, practices and attitudes within schools. It has been recognised that for inclusion to be successful, the child or young person and their parents or carers must play a full part in the process.

There are many examples of teachers and support staff working in an inclusive way across Orkney's schools. It is acknowledged, however, that work in the promotion, adoption and implementation of inclusive practices must continue. Setting the scene for inclusion is important. The responsibility for ensuring that the right of all children and young people to receive an education that meets their needs is realised, rests with everyone in the service.

Inclusion is the continuous process of increasing the presence, participation and achievement of all learners in education establishments. This requires schools to routinely and regularly review and reflect on their approaches for meeting the needs of those who are at greater risk of marginalisation, exclusion and underachievement in order to improve learning and teaching in a way which is a benefit to all. Through this process, which invokes a commitment to continuous improvement, the school accepts and learns from diversity and the uniqueness of the individual.