Tuesday, 5 January 2010

Why agree to speak at the Inclusion Conference?

I was delighted to be asked to contribute to the Pre-School Alliance conference as I am always keen to share the ideas that make progress towards fuller inclusion possible for all children. Over the past few years I have been working with Early Years teams across the country, facilitating workshops on inclusive practice, and gaining a good idea of the changes that have been successful and the new challenges ahead. Over the past 10 years the situation has changed significantly regarding the types of changes that are enabling more children to be included fully. Unfortunately, many still face tenacious obstacles, which means practitioners now have different needs in terms of the expertise they require to remove them. As shared experience on the path towards full inclusion grows, we still need to concentrate efforts on those still at risk of being marginalised. I have seen most teams respond well to achieving the first two outcomes of Every Child Matters (Be safe and be healthy), however for many the outcomes that define wellbeing (Enjoy & Achieve, Make a positive contribution and Economic wellbeing) can be difficult to address when it comes to the most vulnerable children. It is good to remember that these outcomes are equally important to the lives of children whose life chances are threatened, but the skills required to achieve them may be of a different nature to those that protect from harm. Every child has an equal right to the opportunities that will enable them to flourish. And settings need to improve outcomes for all young people equally, by enabling practitioners to gain the skills and confidence that impact on their own wellbeing through their own learning and practice development.

;-p mole 5/1/10