Understanding inclusion and exclusion in the english competitive education system

  • Booth T
  • Ainscow M
  • Dyson A
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In this article the processes of inclusion and exclusion are explored in one secondary school. The interplay between processes within the school and the competitive changes within the English education system that have increased exclusionary pressures on some students are examined. The school includes students with visual disabilities and others categorized as having 'severe learning difficulties'. The emphasis, however, is on how the school responds to the diversity of all its students, the variations in their participation, the account taken of difference within lessons, how students are selected for 'special support' and the form this takes. The multiplicity of 'organizational responses to diversity', by categorizing students, dividing them by age, attainment, behaviour and interest, are analysed. We question the extent to which diversity of students is seen as an organizational problem rather than a potentially vast resource to support learning.

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