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     Phase I Research Network:

Understanding and Developing Inclusive Practices in Schools

This project has now completed. Major outputs include:


Prof Mel Ainscow (University of Manchester)
Prof Tony Booth (Canterbury Christ Church College)
Prof Alan Dyson (Newcastle Upon Tyne)

Initial Project Summary

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 by pupils?
  • 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 schools?

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 improvement plans.
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 practice.
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.

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