What were the main aims of the initiative?

At the University of Winchester, UK, all Initial Teacher Education (ITE) students engage with a module about pupil progress in an inclusive environment. As part of the module, students develop a critical understanding of their teacherly role in supporting children described as having additional needs.


The aim of the programme of work is for student teachers to:

  • develop a research informed understanding of inclusive practice;
  • critically analyse research informed approaches which remove barriers to learning for individual learners;
  • analyse their own inclusive classroom practice.


Location, setting, Scope, key events etc.

Approximately 350 students annually take part in a series of lectures/seminars on the topic of removing barriers to learning. Following the seminars, all students then carry out a ‘case study’ by working with one child or young person. The focus of this work is on removing barriers for the individual within an inclusive approach. The case study of one child builds on approaches developed and disseminated by Brahm Norwich and the team at Exeter University (UK).


What issues/challenges does the example address?

The module was implemented as a means to engage student teachers in research informed analysis of their own inclusive practice. Through a consideration of removing barriers for one child, student teachers are required to:

  • notice the features of an inclusive school/classroom;
  • develop their own research informed inclusive practice which promotes pupil progress;
  • remove barriers for an individual described as having additional needs;
  • develop and articulate their own understanding of inclusive teaching practice.

All students are introduced to the British social model of disability and Booth and Ainscow’s (2011) Index for Inclusion.



How was the Initiative implemented?

The approach has been phased in at the University of Winchester over the past four years. Initially the module involved one hundred and twenty five students in fifteen hours of taught input, and three weeks practice in school. As the approach has developed, various permutations have evolved; for example, one group of students have nine hours taught input, followed by nine weeks in school, another group have fourteen hours of input, followed by three days in school.

The lecturing team have a research and practice based understanding of inclusion and the removal of barriers for children described as having additional needs. By additional needs, the team refer to disabled children/young people, and children/young people who are described as: having ‘special educational needs’, learning English as an additional language and being of high ability.


What where the key Outcomes? What impact/added value did they prove? What were the biggest challenges?

The impact of this work has been measured through the gathering of pupil progress data. Student teachers have contributed to records detailing the progress made by the individual children that they have worked with.

In addition, module evaluation data indicates that students have valued both the taught input and practice based elements.


Has the initiative been evaluated or are there plans for this in the future?

The work is evaluated annually and this includes the monitoring of impact data, students’ grades and feedback. Challenges arise due to the large numbers of students involved, and the varied needs of the children whose progress they are promoting. As a means to support students, the use of an intranet forum has been very successful.


Have any plans been made for future direction of the initiative?

As the number of students has increased, the team has successfully developed the use of electronic surveys as a means to gather and collate key information.

As the team considers inclusion to involve the whole school community (children, staff, parents, governors, etc), and the concept of ‘additional needs’ to be broader than ‘special needs’, success has been found in approaches which involve a broad range of experts.


What are the main learning points?

As the approach requires students to establish their own perspectives around the topic of inclusion, the team have found it useful to discuss varied models for inclusive practice.


Are there further information about supporting materials?

Armstrong, A., Armstrong, D., Spandagou, I. (2010) Inclusive Education, International Policy and Practice, London: Sage

Armstrong, F. (2011) ‘Inclusive education, school cultures, teaching and learning’ in G. Richards, F. Armstrong, (Eds) Teaching and Learning in Diverse and Inclusive Classrooms, Abingdon: Routledge, pp.7-18

Atkinson, D., Jackson, M., Walmsley, J. (1997) Forgotten Lives: exploring the history of learning disability, Kidderminster: BILD

Booth, T. (1998) ‘The poverty of special education: Theories and the rescue’, in C. Clark, A. Dyson, A. Millward (Eds) Theorising Special Education, London: Routledge, pp.79-89

Booth, T., Ainscow, M. (2011) Index for Inclusion, Developing Learning and Participation in Schools, Bristol: Centre for Studies on Inclusive Education

Brisenden, S. (1986) ‘Independent living and the medical model of disability’, in T. Shakespeare (1999) The Disability Reader, Social Science Perspectives, London and New York: Cassell, pp. 20-27

Cheminais, R. (2010) Special Educational Needs for Newly qualified teachers and teaching Assistants 2nd Edition, Abingdon, Rutledge

Clark, C., Dyson, A., Millward, A. (1998) ‘Theorising special education: Time to move on?’, in C. Clark, A. Dyson, A. Millward (Eds) Theorising Special Education, London: Routledge, pp. 156-173

Collinson, C. (2012) ‘Dyslexics in time machines and alternate realities: thought experiments on the existence of dyslexics, dyslexia’ and ‘Lexism’’ British Journal of Special Education, 39:2

Department for Education and Department of Health (2015) The Special Educational Needs and Disability Code of Practice: 0-25 years London: DfE and DoH

Duncan, J (2012) ‘Students with hearing loss’ in Peer, R. Gavin (Eds) Special Educational Needs: A guide for inclusive practice, London: Sage

Egan, K. (2002) Getting it Wrong from the Beginning: our progressivist inheritance from Herbert Spencer, John Dewey, and Jean Piaget, New Haven: Yale University Press

Farrell, M. (2012) Educating Special Children: An Introduction to Provision for Pupils with Disabilities and Disorders, London: David Fulton

Farrell, M. (2012b) New Perspective in Special Education, Contemporary Philosophical Debates, Abingdon: Routledge

Farrugia, J., O’Keefe, J. (2012) ‘Speech and language’ in L. Peer, R.Gavin (Eds) Special Educational Needs: A guide for inclusive practice, London: Sage

Gallagher, D. (2004) ‘Entering the conversation: The debate behind the debates in special education, in D. Gallagher, L. Heshusius, R. Iano, T. Skrtic (Eds) Challenging Orthodoxy in Special Education: Dissenting Voices, Denver, CO: Love

Hughes, L., Cooper, P. (2002) Understanding and Supporting Children with ADHD: Strategies for teachers, parents and other professionals, London: Paul Chapman

Lewis, A., Norwich, B. (2005) Special Teaching for Special Children? Pedagogies for Inclusion, Maidenhead: Open University Press

Liasidou, A. (2012) Inclusive Education, Politics and Policymaking, London: Continuum

Loreman, T., Deppeler, J., Harvey, D. (2010) Inclusive Education, Supporting Diversity in the Classroom, Abingdon: Routledge

O’Regan F, (2005) ADHD, London: Continuum

O’Regan, F. (2002) How to Manage Children with ADHD, Wisbech: LDA

Oliver, M. (2004) ‘If I had a hammer: The social model in action’, in J. Swain, S. French, C. Barnes, C. Thomas (Eds) Disabling Barriers Enabling Environments, London: Sage, pp. 7-12

Ravenscroft, J. (2012) ‘Visual impairment and mainstream education: beyond mere awareness raising’ in . Peer, R. Gavin (Eds) Special Educational Needs: A guide for inclusive practice, London: Sage

Rose, R. (2010) ‘Understanding inclusion, interpretations, perspectives and cultures’, in R. Rose (Eds) Confronting Obstacles to Inclusion, International Responses to Developing Inclusive Education, Abingdon: Routledge, pp.1-6

Sage, R. (2006) Supporting Language and Communication, London: Paul Chapman

Soan, S. (2010) The SENCO Handbook, 2nd Edition, London: Optimus

Thomas, G., Loxley, A. (2007) Deconstructing Special Education and Constructing Inclusion, Maidenhead: Open University Press

UPIAS (1976) Aims and Policy Statement,

Westwood (2011) Commonsense Methods for Children with Special Educational Needs, Abingdon: Routledge


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Dr Geraldene Codina

Senior Lecturer, Co-ordinator for Additional Needs Education

Lisa-Marie Martin Senior Lecturer

Joanne Parish Senior Lecturer

Miriam Walker Senior Lecturer

Julie Wharton Senior Lecturer

The University of Winchester

Faculty of Education, Health and Social Care

Department for Teacher Development

Sparkford Road, Winchester, Hampshire, England SO22 4NR

Tel: +44 (0) 1962 827342

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