Inclusion and the standards agenda: Negotiating policy pressures in England

Mel Ainscow, Tony Booth, Alan Dyson

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    This paper reports on some aspects of a collaborative action research project involving teams from 25 schools in England working with researchers from three universities in an attempt to understand how schools can develop more inclusive cultures, policies and practices. Unusually in this field, the schools were not selected because of any exceptional and explicit commitment to 'inclusion'. A common process of development emerged across the schools, which started with the disturbance of existing practices and was nurtured by a range of institutional and external factors that included ideas about inclusion. The national 'standards agenda' was a major force shaping the directions taken by schools. Whilst it constrained inclusive development it also provided that development with a particular focus and led schools to consider issues that might otherwise have been overlooked. The paper concludes that inclusive developments albeit of a highly ambiguous nature are possible even in apparently unpromising circumstances and that there may be specific ways in which these developments can be supported. Encouraging such developments may be a necessary complement to the continued radical critique of current educational polices.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)295-308
    Number of pages13
    JournalInternational Journal of Inclusive Education
    Issue number4-5
    Publication statusPublished - 2006


    Dive into the research topics of 'Inclusion and the standards agenda: Negotiating policy pressures in England'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this