All the areas of legislation are ever-changing however it is important to be able to identify current and relevant aspects of those which promote equality and value diversity. (Burnham & Baker, 2010)The every child matters act 2003 and the children act 2004 that was updated in 2010 to help children to achieve more:
Enjoy and achieve
Other current legislations and codes of practice that are in place:
Human rights act
UN convention on the rights of the child 1989
Equality act 2010
SEN code of practice 2001
All children and young people have the right to participation of all areas of the national curriculum; it is important to promote these rights, with the advent of the every child matters framework and the focus on personalised learning in all sectors of education has also made it high on the agenda (Burnham & Baker, 2010). There are multiple reasons for these, which are:
Human rights these are all the rights that everyone on the planet is entitled to.
One of these rights are that all children have the right to learn and play together. This mean that all children are therefore entitled to an education as well as socially interact and play with one another, this is a basis stating they have a right to participate in all that goes on within educational practice from classroom work to physical education. Children also have the right to not be discriminated against for any reason, meaning that all have a right to equal opportunities education regardless of culture, religion, etc.
Also inclusion is concerned with improving schools for staff as well as the pupils, as if staff arent also given the opportunities to participate in school activities and equally access certain things then the pupils will not be receiving these things either as it would not be in full practice throughout the school.
Equal opportunities in education it has been proven that children when working in an inclusive setting do better both academically and socially. This is important as Schools provide the context for a childs first relationship with the world outside their families, enabling the development of social relationships and interactions. Respect and understanding grow when students of diverse abilities and backgrounds play, socialize, and learn together. ( When it comes to the thought of separation of pupils to achieve adequate educational provision, it should not happen as Separate, special education provides no guarantee of success for children who need special attention; inclusive schools that provide supportive, context-appropriate conditions for learning demonstrate far better outcomes. ( Therefore meaning that an inclusive education is a more efficient use of educational resources.
Social opportunities – inclusion in education is just one aspect of inclusion in society, this is as children need to be involved and integrated with all their peers in school. This is important socially as it is what they will use to build friendships and working partnerships with others, therefore seeing who they share similarities with and who they also can work well and effectively with. Leading on from this, children should be allowed to work with their peers in any given opportunities, this is as they can share knowledges and learning styles with one another which can help to boost participation as seeing a way to learn in another way can peak interests of subjects. This can also then link into a better use of teaching time for teachers as they will be able to develop and make teaching groups and pair those who learn best with each other in order to improve their leaning and deliver lessons much more effectively. With the children then in these situations children will feel more comfortable to voice their own views and opinions due to a development in confidence, social skills and self-esteem. From this teachers can then take on this feedback and put it into practice if it will have the biggest benefit to the pupils participation.
Schools will always be aware of the importance of valuing and promoting cultural diversity. Most schools will seek to actively include multiple strategies to ensure that all children from all cultures feel welcome in the school. These are:
Display signs that are in different languages an example of this in my school is that we are very French orientated and so have signs all over the school saying where you are in English but below this it is also said in French.
Other languages spoken in lessons e.g. French lessons, or during registration.
Learning about other cultures in lessons, books, displays from around the school, etc.
Pen pals or international linked schools
Festivals and celebrations from other cultures; being discussed and explored
Bringing family members into school to talk about their experience
Taking measure like these will bring a number of benefits to the children. One of the main benefits of these is that the children/ pupils will gain a knowledge of being in an environment that values cultural diversity and enables learning from one another. They will also create the benefit of creating comfort for when a child of another culture could be transitioning into their school or class even, which will help the new pupil to feel settled, secure; this I turn contribute to them being able to learn much more efficiently.
There are multiple different ways in which a child can experience prejudice and discrimination. An example of this is others commenting upon a childs appearance or the clothing in which they are wearing. In many schools there are multiple offences that could occur, one basic form of this is where one child wont play with certain children due to differences, e.g. them having a different religion or being of another race, etc. Another offence that can occur but on a minor side is that people might get excluded from things if they are simple girls or boys. A final way which this can happen is through general disagreements, for example whether Xbox or PlayStation is better.
The impact of that prejudice and discrimination can cause on children and young people can be broken down into three sections which can all have a negative effect on them. Depending on how long these o on for and the form of which it takes, will have a negatively affect the child in the following ways.
Self-esteem and social and emotional development if a child is discriminated against it will feel as if theyve lost value as a person and therefore will lose self-confidence in themselves. This may mean that they start to become more socially awkward as they remove themselves from social situations, which can then have a toll on all their future relationships.
Learning If a child does not feel to be part of the class and their peer group due to discrimination or prejudice then they will not be happy or settled in school. Therefore meaning that there overall learning is affected.
Relationships with others If a child lacks confidence and therefore doesnt join in with activities with others will result in a smaller development of positive relationships with others. Meaning that they will struggle in seeking help in education.
Your own attitudes, values and behaviour can have quite a substantial impact on your work, this is as you could be treating pupils differently due the inbuilt ideas that you have, which may have been with you since birth and based upon your parents values etc. However you should always be conscious of this due to the impact that it may have on pupils, this is as by the pupils we are seen as role models and so they will pick up the slightest attribute that you have and could adapt them to be their own. Therefore we must always have a positive outlook about everything so that the children may too. In religious and cultural terms this may be harder however, as many religious beliefs clash between regions and many refuse to even learn about other religions at all. E.g. Jehovahs witnesses do not believe in celebrating Easter, Christmas, etc., which in many primary schools is made a large deal of, therefore you must find a way to adapt to this.
When in school there will be times where you come across some form of discrimination happening, in these moments you need to step in and handle it quickly and professionally. In schools all members of staff should be promoting anti-discriminatory practice, this can be done as topics in lessons where they teach acceptable ways to speak to people as all are equal, however they should also be taught what unacceptable ways to speak to those that are different to yourself are so that they are conscious of what the wrong ways are. Another way in which to promote anti-discriminatory practice is just to have all aspects of the school that children can access open to all, this will show to the children that no matter what your background is that they are still able to join in with things like afterschool sports club, ICT clubs, etc. proving that all are equal and many share similarities to you even though they are part of another race, religion, etc.
However if discrimination still does occur then you must always challenge it and you must record and report these events whether it is discriminatory behaviour or comments to the correct people i.e. SENCO officer, head teacher, etc. After the evens have been logged and recorded the children involved must have their parents contacted in order to discuss the events and how the child/ children may have come to act this way. In some cases the children could have found these things out from the parents or other people they are around outside of school life; then bring this behaviour/ opinions into schools, however the original person(s) may have not of had a great knowledge of what they were saying which then means that the child could not tell the wrong from right. This then where it links back to where we teach the children that everyone should be treated equally and that no one should be treated differently just because of how they look or what they believe in.
Inclusion is about making sure all pupils within schools are able to participate in the curriculum no matter their background or situation. All schools should have codes of practice and policies around equal opportunities and inclusion (Burnham & Baker, 2010).
There are multiple barriers that can affect young peoples participation within school, these are:
Physical barriers lack of access to participate in sports, lack of equipment to carry out sports or resources for sports, things such as money.
Organisational barriers these are things such as school policies that may prevent them from doing certain things in school, lack of training of staff members, lack of diversity in the school curriculum.
Attitudes within the school community attitudes of staff; such as they may not feel comfortable of teaching certain sports due to a lack of knowledge that they have on said sport. Parents having their own personal beliefs and other pupils preventing you from participating.