Improving inclusive practice

Essex Approach to Equality and Diversity: Supporting Inclusion in Schools Essex County Council, £125 (including Audit Tool and DVD) – free to Essex Schools ISBN 1 8419 4055 1

The Supporting Inclusion resource/guidance has been developed by a multi-agency group of lead professionals in Essex, and is designed to help schools promote and sustain inclusive practice. It is premised on a view of inclusion that encompasses communities ‘beyond the school gate’ and the importance of integrated service provision and support. It is also designed for use within the Every Child Matters policy and practice framework.

The guidance is organised in three sections: 1. An audit tool (hardcopy and ICT based) – this aims to guide schools in a consideration of the breadth of issues related to inclusion and is organised around the themes of vision and culture, policies and plans, and implementation. The tool also provides support with action planning, and encourages schools to engage in critical self-reflection and evaluation. In doing this it is well matched to current requirements of the Ofsted inspection framework which emphasises the importance of self-evaluation and the use of ‘SEF’ forms as an integral part of school development planning and inspection preparation. 2. Guidance documents for schools – this material provides practical information about service support for a wide range of vulnerable children and young people. Although written from an Essex perspective, the material could be used as a basis for disseminating information in other local authorities, and it also draws upon Ofsted guidance on included/excluded groups that apply nationally. 3. Celebrating inclusion – this DVD based material illustrates a wide range of inclusive practice in Essex schools. Examples of this practice include provision for children from ethnic minority groups, for traveller children and children with medical needs. Other examples focus on issues such as boys’ under-achievement and successful education phase transfer.

The resource/guidance is well designed, thorough and very up to date. It also lends itself to use in a wide range of schools, and the Essex-specific content can be adapted for use in other contexts.

Supporting Inclusion can be ordered from: Electronic Information Services, PO Box 11, Chelmsford, Essex CM1 1LX
Email:pubs@essexcc.gov.uk
Tel: 01245 436821

Creative arts
Creating Chances: Arts Interventions in Pupil Referral Units and Learning Support Units Richard Ings, with photographs by Adrian Fisk, £6.00 + P&P. Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation ISBN 1 903080 01 0

This book explores the impact of creative projects on the work of pupil referral units (PRUs) and learning support units (LSUs) around England. During 2003, the author, Richard Ings, visited a dozen centres that participated in First Time Projects, a programme devised and funded by the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation and Arts Council England.

Many of the ‘good practice’ examples also show how arts-based interventions can provide children and young people with inclusive social and educational experiences. The examples also illustrate the intrinsic worth of getting involved in arts-based activities, and this is particularly well captured by Adrian Fisk’s photographs.

Motor impairment
Developing School Provision for Children with Dyspraxia: A Practical Guide Nichola Jones (Ed), £ 17.99

ISBN 1 4129 1038 2

This is an accessible overview of issues pertaining to the inclusion of children and young people with dyspraxia / developmental coordination disorder (DCD). Nichola Jones has drawn together contributions from a wide range of experts in the dyspraxia field and produced a coherent account of how the needs of children can be met in ways that move beyond a focus solely based on individual interventions.

Definitions and the assessment of dyspraxia are discussed in early chapters of the book and linked to a consideration of how needs can be met effectively within schools and through the advice and support of visiting professionals. Other chapters focus on key aspects of motor learning and the integration of these within the curriculum and the demands it places on children (eg handwriting activities and physical education).

The book concludes with chapters on collaboration with therapists, parental and pupil perspectives. The list of references and general bibliography provide readers with excellent information about where to seek out further information.

At first glance, readers might think that the book is based on a collection of conference talks, and yet another ‘how to do it’ text about dyspraxia. In fact, because it has been well edited, a coherent overall argument is presented, and it is one that shows how good quality provision for children and young people with dyspraxia can and should be embedded within systematically developed and well supported inclusive practice.

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