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Making space in the standards agenda: developing inclusive practices in schools

Lookup NU author(s): Frances Gallannaugh, Alan Millward



In spite of the focus on inclusive education in recent years, there is a relative dearth of studies which explore the complexities of the move towards greater inclusion. This article seeks to redress this situation by reporting some interim findings from a three-year study of schools’ attempts to develop more inclusive practices, involving teams of researchers from three higher education institutions working in partnership with 25 schools, in three local education authorities. The development took place within a national policy environment which focused heavily on the issue of ‘standards’ narrowly defined. This article reports the way that this context helped to form schools’ responses to inclusion and the ambiguities in these responses. It argues, however, that the view of schools’ actions as entirely determined by this external agenda is as erroneous as the image of them battling heroically against it in the name of inclusive values. Rather, to a greater or lesser extent, schools tried or were impelled to find spaces within the ‘standards agenda’ where different values and priorities could be realised. The article outlines some of the factors which made this process more or less likely to occur and offers an important new way of thinking about the development of inclusive education.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Dyson A, Gallanaugh FJ, Millward AJ

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: European Educational Research Journal

Year: 2003

Volume: 2

Issue: 2

Pages: 228-244

Print publication date: 01/01/2003

Date deposited: 10/10/2007

ISSN (print): 1474-9041

Publisher: Symposium Journals