Course Overview

Creating an Inclusive School is a course that highlights the skills, attitudes and values that schools need to foster to be able to support learners with diverse needs. It takes as a starting point the fact that inclusive teaching is the responsibility of all teachers, not just those with special training, and draws heavily on the UNICEF ‘wave model’ for inclusive education to highlight what teachers and other stakeholders can do collectively to support inclusivity.

In this course, participants will focus on the characteristics of an inclusive school and the practical activities that need to take place in order to promote an inclusive ethos. It will consider the systems and processes that create an inclusive ethos including: sharing information, managing behaviour, listening to pupils, the practicalities of school-based teacher development, how to monitor inclusivity in a school, and how to work with families, community groups and other stakeholders.

The course is practice-focussed, and task-based giving participants the opportunity to apply new concepts to their own teaching and to reflect on their practice with  other participants.

Target audience

  1. Teachers in the primary or secondary phase
  2. School leaders
  3. Teacher educators in colleges or universities
  4. Government officers responsible for professional development for in-service teachers


Learning Outcomes

After completion of this course, the participant is expected to be able to:

  • Describe and explain the ‘wave model’ for thinking about inclusive education
  • Understand the ethos, attitudes and values of an inclusive school
  • Be familiar with a range of structures and processes that support inclusivity
  • Plan how to organise school-based teacher development in their school
  • Understand the importance of monitoring inclusivity and have considered some tools that could be used to do so.
  • Plan how to work with local stakeholders and agencies to build an inclusive school
  • Articulate the ways in which this course has modelled the principles of inclusivity in its design and delivery

Week 1: What are the features of an inclusive school?

During the first week, participants will:

  1. Explore the characteristics of an inclusive educational environment and identify prevailing attitudes that may hinder inclusivity.
  2. Consider the various elements involved in establishing an inclusive school.
  3. Reflect on the concept of 'school ethos' and the formation of 'school cultures'.
  4. Examine the roles and influences of different stakeholders in a school.

Week 2: Creating an inclusive ethos and culture

During the second week, participants will:

  1. Consider what is meant by ‘an inclusive ethos’
  2. Consider the role of data and information sharing in creating an inclusive ethos
  3. Explore how school policies, systems and behaviour management policies can support an inclusive ethos
  4. Plan professional development activities based on inclusive attitudes and values

Week 3: Creating a learning organisation

During the third week, participants will:

  1. Engage with ideas about professional learning.
  2. Consider models for School-Based Teacher Development (SBTD) and review various resources.
  3. Learn about examples of how SBTD can support change.
  4. Explore ways in which a school could be monitored for inclusivity.

Week 4: Working with communities, families and stakeholders

During the fourth week, participants will:

  1. Learn to develop connections within the community by understanding the roles and experiences of stakeholders such as parents, carers, and children.
  2. Gain skills in collaborating with both internal and external stakeholders, including community members and external agencies, to build stronger relationships and networks.
  3. Acquire knowledge on the management of stakeholders in the context of inclusive education, particularly in relation to managing change.
  4. Integrate the week's learnings to enhance their ability to create and support more inclusive schools and educational environments