1. Introduction and Legislative Compliance
1.1. This policy sets out Astrea Academy Trust’s expectations for all our schools and those regularly joint working with parents, local authorities and social care partners, as well as external agencies and community groups who continually work together to ensure pupils in our care receive the best educational experience.
1.2. All schools must ensure that all pupils; including those with protected characteristics, as defined by the Equalities Act 2010, are able to flourish and thrive within the school community.
1.3. The protected characteristics in which pupils must not be discriminated against are: age; disability; gender reassignment; race; religion or belief; sex; sexual orientation.
1.4. As a result, inclusion is a term used to describe the process of ensuring equity of learning opportunities for all children and young people. It is a process of identifying, understanding and breaking down barriers to participation and belonging. Inclusion is about the quality of their experience; how they are helped to learn, achieve and participate fully in the life of the school.
1.5. The inclusion focus for Astrea is concerned particularly on those groups of pupils who may have been marginalised historically or who have underachieved or who are currently underachieving when compared to their peers.
1.6. In this respect, this policy is concerned specifically for pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND), those experiencing disadvantage – either through socioeconomic or care factors, those who are More Able (MABLE), those who speak English as an additional language (EAL) and those who are identified as a minority ethnic group (MEG).
1.7. Inclusion does not mean that all pupils necessarily learn in the same way or together, but that practices are adapted to take account of all learners’ needs, and without discrimination against any identified protected characteristics; this is equity in learning.
1.8. All pupils, including those identified as having SEND, have the same common entitlement to a broad and balanced academic and social curriculum, which is accessible to them, and enables them to be fully included in all aspects of school life.
1.9. All schools must operate in accordance with the law as set out in the following:
- The Education Act 1996
- The Children and Families Act 2014
- The Special Educational Needs and Disability regulations 2014
- The Special Educational Needs (Personal Budgets) regulations 2014
- The Equality Act 2010
1.10. All schools in England must have regard to the Code of Practice (2015) as it provides statutory guidance on duties, policies and procedures relating to Part 3 of the Children and Families Act 2014 and associated regulations. Schools must fulfil their statutory duties towards children and young people with SEN or disabilities in light of the guidance set out.
1.11. Under the Equality Act (2010), all schools have duties towards individual disabled children and young people. They must make reasonable adjustments, including the provision of auxiliary aids and services required by disabled children and young people to prevent them being put at a substantial disadvantage.
1.12. The Teachers’ Standards (2012) makes clear the expectation for all teachers to “adapt teaching to respond to the strengths and needs of all pupils”. Teachers must “have a clear understanding of the needs of all pupils, including those with special educational needs; those of high ability; those with English as an additional language; those with disabilities; and be able to use and evaluate distinctive teaching approaches to engage and support them.” (Standard 5)and services required by disabled children and young people to prevent them being put at a substantial disadvantage.
1.3. Some may also have special educational needs (SEN) and may have a statement or Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP); where this is the case all schools in England must have regard to the Code of Practice (2015) as it provides statutory guidance on duties, policies and procedures relating to Part 3 of the Children and Families Act 2014 and associated regulations. Schools must fulfil their statutory duties towards children and young people with SEN or disabilities in light of the guidance set out.
1.4. Therefore, this policy should be read in conjunction with the following Trust-wide and Academy policies: Inclusion policy, SEND Information Report, Safeguarding Policy, Off-Site Visits Policy, Complaints Policy.