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and inclusion
Adult showing a card to a girl in
                  a wheelchair

Since 1988, the issues of first integration and then inclusion have exercised the thoughts and writings of many commentators. A very large number have felt that inclusion ought to be put at the heart of curriculum development (Byers and Rose, 1994; Evans, 1997; Sebba and Sachdev, 1997; Rose, 1998 for example). Some have felt that the whole issue of separate education (never mind separate curriculum development) was anathema.

A special national curriculum?

The creation of special education as a separate system was in part a response to the exclusion of pupils with disabilities from mainstream schools. Thus, special education was an exclusive field of study originated in an act of discrimination which now supports a profession.

Florian, 1998

Rather than risk continuing to confuse the special education of SLD/PMLD learners, perhaps it is time to consider the need for a discrete national curriculum in this sector, together with a meaningful framework of assessment, based on what teachers in SLD schools really ought to be teaching their pupils. The current national curriculum remains only a relatively small part of the taught curriculum for these learners and yet the PMLD maintains a distinct lack of interest in evaluating the quality of teaching and learning within the bulk of the SLD/PMLD whole curriculum.

Aird, 2009

Separateness and difference

To what extent does the label special educational needs and the concepts of integration and inclusion reinforce separateness and difference?

To what extent are the principles and values that underpin good practice in special education applicable to all curriculum design and
classroom practice?

The personalisation agenda has changed the terms of
reference for curriculum planning. Whereas inclusion could be conceptualised as making special provision for learners with special needs, personalisation is relevant for all learners because it challenges schools to develop learning pathways centred on the needs, aptitudes, interests, learning styles and aspirations of all learners.


Read the following articles to give you background
on this subject.

What does personalisation mean
in your school?

Where can you find evidence that this is happening effectively?

As local educational partnerships develop, how can special educators share their expertise with mainstream colleagues and schools?

Find out more (1)

Aird, R. (2009) A commentary on the National Strategies DCSF Special Education Needs/Learning Difficulties and Disabilities (SEN/LDD) Progression Guidance Project 2008-09. The SLD Experience. Issue 53.

Byers, R. and Rose, R. (1994) Schools Should Decide......
in Rose, R. Fergusson, A. Coles, C. Byers, R. and Banes, D. (eds) Implementing the Whole Curriculum for Pupils with Learning Difficulties. London. David Fulton.

Evan, P. (1997) Structuring the curriculum for pupils with learning difficulties in Pijl, S J. Meijer, C J W. and Hegarty, S. Inclusive Education: a Global Agenda. London. Routledge.

Florian, L. (1998) Inclusive practice : what, why and how? in Tilstone, C. Florian, L. and Rose, R. (eds) Promoting Inclusive Practice. London. Routledge.

Find out more (2)

Rose, R. (1998) The curriculum. A vehicle for inclusion or a lever for exclusion? in Tilstone, C. Florian, L. and Rose, R. (eds) Promoting Inclusive Practice. London. Routledge.

Sebba, J. and Clarke, J. (1991) Meeting the Needs of Pupils within History and Geography in Ashdown, R. Carpenter, B. and Bovair, K. (eds) The Curriculum Challenge. London. Falmer Press.

Sebba, J. and Sachdev, D. (1997) What Works in Inclusive Education? Ilford. Barnardos.