Every child, whatever their circumstances, requires an education that equips them for work and prepares them to succeed in the wider economy and society.
These words from Estelle Morris, Secretary of State for Education, express clearly the ultimate goal for education as viewed by the UK Government. For the teacher of pupils with special educational needs such a goal presents a challenge and during the post-16 phase it requires a focus upon the provision of a curriculum which will enable students to succeed in their post-school years. Consequently, in order to develop educational policies for effective inclusion it is necessary to look beyond the school years and to work closely with other agencies to ensure that all pupils participate fully in education, in employment, and in consumer and recreational activities that most of us take for granted (Inclusion International, 1996). For inclusion to succeed it is essential that a set of beliefs, values and principles are accepted by all the agencies responsible for supporting pupils towards the end of their years in formal education. Consultation is essential, therefore, with all stakeholders (staff, parents, students, governors, the careers service), who may be involved at the level of policy implementation. All must be determined to translate their collective beliefs into policies and their policies into practice.