A new framework aimed at encouraging inclusion in Scottish schools will be unveiled today (Monday, April 27).
The Scottish Teacher Education Committee (STEC) – the national body representing all seven of Scotland's teacher education universities – is holding its annual conference in Dundee.
The event will bring together researchers from Aberdeen, Dundee, Strathclyde, Edinburgh, Glasgow, West of Scotland and Stirling universities for a series of presentations, seminars and roundtable discussions on the issue of inclusion.
Educating all children in mainstream schools – irrespective of ability or social background – has been a priority of successive Scottish administrations.
At the conference, Fiona Hyslop, Cabinet Secretary for Education and Lifelong Learning, will give a keynote address to around 150 delegates, including representatives from the General Teaching Council for Scotland, (GTCS) Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Education (HMIE) and union, local authority and charity figures.
Sir Jackie Stewart, who has said that discovering he had dyslexia was like "being saved from drowning", will give a video presentation to the conference on the importance of inclusion. He will be backed by Carol Cutler, Principal Teacher at Barrhead High School, who will talk about her school's journey to becoming more inclusive.
The gathering will also see the launch of the new Framework for Inclusion and an extensive web-based resource, which will provide ease of access to relevant, high quality materials and information for all teachers and teacher educators.
Myra Pearson, Chair of STEC and Head of the School of Education at the University of Aberdeen said: "The new framework has involved colleagues from all teacher education universities in Scotland working together to develop a shared understanding of the issues around inclusion.
"What we have developed is a clear, easily accessible framework that identifies the values and beliefs, professional knowledge and understanding, and the skills and abilities in terms of inclusive education, for student teachers, qualified teachers and teachers with a leadership role.
"The launch of the Framework today represents an important step forwarding in embedding inclusion in all aspects of teacher education and moves us closer to ensuring that all children and young people in Scotland are successful learners, confident individuals, effective contributors and responsible citizens."