Repositioning of special schools within a specialist, personalised educational marketplace - the need for a representative principle.
International Journal of Inclusive Education, 15(2) pp. 263–279.
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This paper considers how notions of inclusive education as defined in the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Salamanca Agreement (1994) have become dissipated, and can be developed and reframed to encourage their progress. It analyses the discourse within a range of academic, legal and media texts, exploring how this dissipation has taken place within the UK. Using data from 78 specialist school websites it contextualises this change in the use of the terms and ideas of inclusion with the rise of two other constructs, the 'specialist school' and 'personalisation'. It identifies the need for a precisely defined representative principle to theorise the type of school which inclusion aims to achieve, which cannot be subsumed by segregated providers. It suggests that this principle should not focus on the individual, but draw upon a liberal/democratic view of social justice, underlining inclusive education's role in removing social barriers that prevent equity, access and participation for all.
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