The journey travelled: a view of two settings a decade apart

Parry, John; Rix, Jonathan; Sheehy, Kieron and Simmons, Katy (2013). The journey travelled: a view of two settings a decade apart. British Journal of Educational Studies, 61(4) pp. 385–399.



Inclusion is generally recognized as an ongoing, active process which reflects shifts in policies, practice and values as well as political choices made over long periods of time. Although intended as a transformative concept it can also represent a messy compromise between congealed policy positions and contradictory practices. Against this background of compromise and dissatisfaction, this study aims to examine how two schools with clear inclusive aspirations and intentions have weathered the last decade. Drawing upon two research visits ten years apart in which the schools were filmed and members of the school community were interviewed, this study reports on their perception of the journey travelled. Data from the study shows that in both cases there was a shift away from practices which were previously seen as being a route towards greater inclusion. The causes for these shifts were political, economic and social factors underpinned by the pervasive influence of the special education and medical model on the two schools’ practice and principles.

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