‘Identify a policy and evaluate its impact on your practice, reflecting on the effect the policy has on outcomes for children and young people’
This essay will consider the policy of Inclusion, from a national and localised perspective, providing an appropriate understanding of policy and legislation, giving clear guidance of its evolution and relevance to practice. On researching policy and legislation through the decades there will be analysis of the way political and philosophical principles underpin contemporary social policy in our society, drawing on theory and practice to illustrate how social policy affects professional practice and outcomes for all children. There will be a critique of social policy initiatives that will illustrate different perspectives, whilst considering the effectiveness of contemporary social policies and their potential future challenges for the chosen sector. The word inclusion often has different meanings to different people; this causes confusion due to practitioners not understanding its correct meaning. It is important to give a clear definition of inclusion as it is often confused with the term integration. According to Rusteimer (2002) inclusive education can be defined as All children and young people – with and without disabilities or difficulties –learning together in ordinary settings. Similarities to this can be found in Chadha’s (2000) definition of inclusion Providing to all children (irrespective of the kind and degree of disability equitable opportunities, to receive effective education services with needed supplementary aids and support services in age appropriate classes (cited in Singhal 2005:335). It can be suggested that the two definitions propose the simplicity that providing suitable resources means that all children can learn side by side and this is inclusion. Disagreeing with this Nutbrown and Clough (2006:3) suggest that inclusion is A drive towards maximal participation in and minimal exclusion from early year’s settings, from schools and from society. This suggests that inclusion should be seen as a fluid term that will further develop and evolve and therefore must not be considered as a fixed term. It is of great importance that we consider the negativity that comes with the lack of understanding of the term inclusion is considered, alongside impacts on practice and considering what barriers this will create. The provision of inclusion policy within education can perhaps seem to be relevantly new agenda. When researching the history of inclusion the first appearance of the term according to Wyness (2006) was in 1988 in Canada. However, through the construction of segregation the development of inclusion can be traced back to the 18th century. The changes brought by the industrial revolution altered the way in which society expected people to be more developmental in order to achieve the skills to master more complex chores (Wyness 2006). The introduction of these new expectations on people and compulsory education steered society to brand the least able, which was the beginning of the Special Education Needs construction (SEN). Through Darwin’s theories of evolution attention was drawn to the way in which people deemed as useless or defective were managed (Clough 1998). The pinnacle point of segregation by ability within society seems to appear in 1886 through the Idiots Act was the future of producing an able society was questioned if these people were allowed to breed, which led to the definition of idiots and imbeciles, with idiots being registered to an institution or hospital and segregated by gender (Clough 2006). The recognition of ‘mentally handicapped children’ was drawn up in the Royal Commission (1889) and distinguished between ‘feeble minded’, ‘imbeciles’ and ‘idiots’ (Messer and Meldrum 1995). The Royal Commission stated that these terms were in reference to mental handicaps with different levels of severity however, the...
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