Children with learning difficulties “not detrimental” to achievement of schools

Children with learning difficulties “not detrimental” to achievement of schools

An award-winning book has challenged the perception that children with learning difficulties have a negative effect on the achievement of other pupils.

Achievement and Inclusion in

Schools, published by Routledge, argues that inclusion and academic achievement

are not necessarily incompatible and looks at strategies to make both happen.

Co-authored by University of

Aberdeen Professors Lani Florian and Martyn Rouse with Kristine Black-Hawkins

from the University of Cambridge, the book recently won the nasen/TES Special

Educational Needs Academic Award at a ceremony in London.

Professor Martyn Rouse,

Director of the University's Inclusive Practice Project, said: "There is a

widespread belief amongst policy makers and practitioners that the presence of

children with additional support needs has a detrimental effect on the

achievement of other children.

"Our research challenges this

assumption and we would argue that in some schools high levels of inclusion are

entirely compatible with high levels of achievement and that combining the two

is not only possible but essential if all children are to have the opportunity

to participate fully in education."

The book examines national

data on achievement and features vivid case studies that explore the benefits

and tensions of inclusion for children and schools. Areas explored include:

  • The nature of the

    relationship between the inclusion of some children and the achievement of all


  • Strategies which can raise

    the achievement of all children, whilst safeguarding the inclusion of others

    who are more vulnerable


  • The changes a school can make

    to ensure high levels of inclusion as well as high levels of achievement for

    all its children


At the book awards ceremony

in London the

judges praised the book for its robust research base and its clear guidance on

how to improve practice in schools for the benefit of all children.

nasen (National Association

for Special Educational Needs) aims to promote the education, training,

advancement and development of all those with special and additional support needs.

Now in its sixteenth year, the nasen/TES Awards represent excellence and best

practice in books and resources for special educational needs. 

This is the second time that

Professor Lani Florian, Chair in Social and Educational Inclusion at the University of Aberdeen, has won this prestigious

award.  In 1999 she was a winner for her

co-edited book 'Promoting Inclusive Practice', also published by Routledge.

Professor Florian added: "We

were all delighted to be recognised by nasen. We believe the book offers an

up-to-date analysis of current issues, provides practical guidance for

practitioners and policy-makers, and we hope it will be of interest to anyone

passionate about inclusive education and children's learning and participation."

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