This Network of researchers from three universities and 24 schools
in three LEAs used an action research methodology to facilitate
the development of practices to increase the participation and achievement
of often marginalised learners. This includes a range of groups
whose difficulties within the education system are usually treated
separately in respect of both policy and research.
The Network has worked with the notion of inclusion to address a
range of issues relevant in particular schools, around these questions:
- what barriers to participation and learning are experienced
- what can be changed to help overcome these barriers?
- do improved practices facilitate improved learning outcomes?
- how can such practices be encouraged and sustained in LEAs and
The Network has undertaken three interrelated research and development
projects with different Local Education Authorities which have made
a commitment to address issues of inclusion and exclusion in their
The research focused on classroom practice, the effective use of
support, and the creation of organisational conditions and cultures
which can lead to more inclusive policy and practice and therefore
to higher attainment.
Strong involvement of participating schools has been a key element
in the success of the Network, with staff supported in collecting,
analysing and using evidence for the purpose of strengthening inclusive
The Network has developed greater understanding of the process of
change by which more inclusive practice comes about, and related
this to policy and other contextual conditions.