Published date : 03 Nov 2017


The Scottish Government has launched a consultation into the presumption of mainstreaming in education.


Deputy First Minister John Swinney made the announcement to Parliament as he reaffirmed the government’s commitment to mainstreaming as a central pillar of inclusive education.


He said: “The Scottish approach to inclusion is already unparalleled, our legislative and policy commitments are amongst the most extensive in the world. However, we must improve the experience of inclusion for all children and young people, whether that is in mainstream, special or shared settings, if we are to deliver on the promise of such an ambitious framework.


“That is why we are launching a consultation on new guidance on the presumption of mainstreaming. It aims to bridge the gap between legislation, policy and day-to-day experience and to ensure that local authorities have the tools they need to support their decision making in applying the presumption of mainstream education.


Jenny Gilruth MSP and Parliamentary Liaison Officer to the Cabinet Secretary added:


‘In my previous experience as a teacher, mainstreaming can work. But we should also look critically at how pupils can be excluded from their education informally. I think this is of particular importance when you consider internal exclusions in our secondary schools - where a pupil is sent out of class or sits in a school base isolated from others’


‘I hope the Government will consult widely outwith the education bubble, by talking to Health and Social Work too. All too often ‘at risk’ children fall through the gaps between services; we need to make sure our teachers are empowered to meet the needs of their pupils by trusting them as professionals’.  


The consultation will seek views on refreshed guidance to support decision making. It will take place alongside independent research into the experiences of children, parents, school staff and education authorities. Both will be used to inform future policy development and reporting.


Jan Savage, ENABLE Scotland Executive Director of External Affairs & Strategic Development, commented:


“ENABLE Scotland was pleased to work with the Scottish Government in the development of this guidance which, seventeen years on from the inception of the legal presumption to mainstream, goes beyond the right to be present, to the right to be genuinely included.  


“It recognises the need to ensure that all children and young people have equitable opportunities to participate as fully as possible in all aspects of school life, including school trips, games and extracurricular activity. Our award-winning campaign, #IncludED in the Main?!, highlighted the need for this focus – and evidenced that this is something which teachers, young people and parents have waited a long time for.”





Local Reporters, East Fife Mail, Glenrothes Gazette, Courier (Fife), EDUCATION
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