Learning support an essential part of International Schools
As a Deputy Head Teacher Pastoral, I often ask myself how inclusive is our school? When we talk about providing a holistic education that inspires each student to achieve personal excellence as a valuable member of our global community, do we really mean every single child?
The debate on how best to provide for students with Special Education Needs and Disabilities (SEND) stretches back over several decades. At its simplest, it may be described as a choice between separate provision in special schools or inclusive provision in mainstream and independent schools. At Hillcrest, we believe that providing opportunities within our school for students with SEND is the way forward. We believe that inclusion results in development across all areas of school life including academic progress, co-curricular involvement and pastoral development. We are not alone in adopting this philosophy especially as globalization means that our student population is transient and we enroll students from diverse curricula, cultures and who are speakers of a variety of languages.
As education within the international sector progresses towards and inclusive environment, school leaders are making conscious decisions to recognize that every student is a valued member of the school community. This said, provision must be made to include the diverse learning needs of that school community from the gifted and talented to those who have learning differences. Visionary leadership is key. Leaders need to drive a culture where the provision for SEND is support for staff, student and parents.
Therefore, how does one determine whether we have an inclusive culture at Hillcrest? It is by knowing that our range of learners with diverse learning needs are all unique but equally important.
By Tiffaney Algar