chapter  13
39 Pages

Inclusion, Equal Opportunities and Diversity

Since the Sex Discrimination Act 1975, the Race Relations Act 1976 and the Warnock Report on special educational needs in 1978 the issue of equal opportunities has taken an increasingly central role in the educational and curricular debate. There has been a move towards increasing inclusion in schools, whereby social exclusion for whatever reason is minimised. Inclusion concerns being educated in an ordinary school, having access to the same curriculum, and being accepted by all, regardless of gender, ethnicity, or special needs.1 It involves being physically in the same place as other students and ‘social acceptance and belonging’. Norwich argues that inclusion has come to replace integration, the latter being seen simply as physical placement in the mainstream school but having to assimilate the ‘unchanged mainstream system’,2 the former implying that the mainstream system has to change to accommodate the learner’s needs, restructuring itself in order to accomplish this.