Welcome to Inclusive Education.


The role of the board of trustees

http://inclusive.tki.org.nz/guides/the-role-of-the-board-of-trustees/

As a board you are responsible for ensuring that:

  • education practices are fully inclusive of all students
  • families and whānau are represented effectively in planning and decision-making
  • your school provides a safe physical and emotional environment for all its members.

This guide provides information on inclusive education, on processes for identifying students’ learning and social needs, and on how schools can effectively support the learning and achievement of all students.

Categories

Specifically about
Governance
Highly relevant to
Leadership
Also related to
Assessment
Parents, whānau, and community

Understanding what inclusive education means

An inclusive school is one where all children and young people are engaged and achieve through being presentparticipating, learning and belonging

School leaders talk about leading inclusive schools. They reflect on the impact of investing capacity on developing more inclusive cultures and practices.

Source:  IHC (NZ)

 

No captions or transcript available

Suggestions and resources

Creating an inclusive school (NZ) (video)
What is an inclusive school?

The views and aspirations of New Zealand families and educators

Closed captioning available in player

Source: Ministry of Education (NZ)

Creating an inclusive school (NZ)
How inclusive schools work

The Ministry of Education describes inclusive schools as schools that:

  1. welcome all students who are entitled to enrol

  2. have strong leaders who lead with moral purpose, communicate and model clear values, and have high expectations for every student

  3. have good systems and processes for enrolling ALL students and identifying their diverse learning and wellbeing needs and strengths

  4. work effectively with parents, whānau, and their wider communities

  5. adapt to the student rather than making the student adapt to the school

  6. support the professional development of their teachers

  7. have robust processes for identifying and supporting the diverse learning needs and aspirations of Māori and Pasifika students 

  8. foster the identity, language, and culture of every student

  9. have effective self-review processes to ensure ongoing improvement of policies and practices

Source: What an inclusive school looks like, Ministry of Education

How inclusive schools work
The principles of inclusive schools

Education Review Office (ERO) describes the most inclusive schools as having three key principles:

  1. ethical standards and leadership that build the school culture

  2. well-organised systems, effective teamwork, and constructive relationships that identify and support the inclusion of all students

  3. innovative and flexible practices that ensure environments and experiences are inclusively designed and meet the diverse learning needs of all students 

Source: adapted from Including Students with High Needs (2010)

The principles of inclusive schools
Inclusive Practices Tool (image)
A diagram of the concepts and practices that underpin an inclusive school
A summary of areas of development in inclusive schools

A self-review tool developed by NZCER supports schools to find out how the school community feels about their school.

The concepts in the tool summarise what makes a school inclusive.

Source: New Zealand Council for Educational Research (NZCER)

Inclusive Practices Tool
Commitment to inclusion (video)
Shared vision for inclusion

Board of Trustee chairperson at Berhampore School talks about their expectation that every child will be included socially and in the learning.

Closed captioning available in player

Source: Ministry of Education, inclusive education videos (NZ)

Commitment to inclusion

Resources and downloads

What an inclusive school looks like

This Ministry of Education information sheet describes what an inclusive school looks like and feels like. Use it to help reflect upon and review the inclusive values, policies, and practices in your school.

Supporting your school to be inclusive

This list of questions was compiled by New Zealand’s Inclusive Education Action Group to help boards of trustees evaluate the inclusiveness of their schools.

Index for Inclusion: Indicators

This is a set of materials to support the self-review of all aspects of a school setting.

Inclusive Practices Tools for self-review

The Inclusive Practices Tools provide schools with ways to engage staff, students, and their communities in the review of their inclusive practices.

Inclusive education video series

A webpage holding nine short videos from Alberta Education’s new inclusive education video series. Topics include valuing all students; changing how we talk about disabilities; using differentiated instruction to support all learners; making sense of Universal Design for Learning; using assistive technology to support learning; scaffolding for student success; using a positive behaviour approach to support learning; rethinking the role of educational assistants; and making sense of response to intervention. Each of the nine videos comes with a conversation guide.

Including students with high needs (June 2010) – Appendix 3: Evaluation indicators

This Education Review Office report evaluates how well mainstream schools include students with high needs. It includes a series of indicators ERO look for when reviewing your school’s inclusive practices.

Including students with high needs (June 2010) – Appendix 4: Self-review questions

This Education Review Office report evaluates how well mainstream schools include students with high needs. It includes a set of self review questions that schools can use to evaluate their inclusive practices.

Inclusive philosophy, Onslow College (NZ) (video)
Developing inclusive practice

John Robinson, HoD Learning Support, explains the philosophy that underpins inclusive practice at Onslow College.

No captions or transcript available

Source: Ministry of Education, Inclusive education videos (NZ)

Inclusive philosophy, Onslow College (NZ)
Universally designed (image)
What benefits people with special needs benefits everyone
Maximising opportunities, minimising barriers

Clearing the ramp is a universal approach. Everyone's needs and potential barriers are identified at the outset. Solutions maximise access and opportunity for all.

Consider how to build universal solutions and approaches into your school’s culture, systems, policies, and practices at every level.

 

Source: Michael Giangreco

Universally designed
Creating a school where everybody’s in (video)
Inclusive learning: Everyone’s in – overview

How do we create a school where everybody’s in and not excluded intentionally, by design, or unintentionally?

Closed captioning available in player

Source: Edmonton Public Schools (Canada)

Creating a school where everybody’s in
Student experiences of discrimination (image)
Students experiences of non inclusive schools
The impact of non-inclusive environments

Students can feel disempowered and sidelined by schools when diversity is perceived negetively.

Source: Adapted from Leadership in the development of inclusive school communities by Dr Jude McArthur, Senior Lecturer, Massey University School of Education

Student experiences of discrimination
Parent experiences of discrimination (image)
Parents experiences of non inclusive schools
Inequitable access to learning

Parents describe some of their experiences in non-inclusive schools, where their children have been denied equitable access to learning in safe and supportive environments.

Source: Adapted from Barriers to inclusive education: The identification and elimination of exclusion from within school by Alison Kearney (Chapter two of Inclusive education perspectives on professional practice 2013, Centre of Excellence for Research in Inclusive Education, Massey University)

Parent experiences of discrimination

Resources and downloads

Leadership in the development of inclusive school communities

An overview in Leading Lights magazine, Edition 3, 2013, of the research of Dr Jude McArthur and others into the experiences of young people with additional learning needs in schools. Key themes are connected to what school leaders can do to develop their schools as inclusive communities.

Creating culturally safe schools for Māori students

This article presents findings about ways to create culturally safe classrooms. It focuses on ways teachers and schools can create inclusive environments for Māori students.

Universal Design for Learning (UDL) at a glance

An introductory video to the research-based approach called Universal Design for Learning (UDL). A useful starting point to support the selection of digital tools and resources to meet the diverse needs of students.

Responding to community concerns (video)
No excuses: TV and radio commercials

Boards may face competing demands from the school community. Some parents may fear that including students with disabilities will negatively affect their children’s learning. Mediate these issues by addressing misconceptions.

Closed captioning available in player

Source: Canadian Association for Community Living (Canada)

Responding to community concerns
Talking about the benefits of diversity (video)
Inclusive society

"If we want to make a more inclusive society, one that is equitable and just, ...

if you want your son or daughter to be more empathetic, to be a full human, she or he needs to be exposed to difference."

Mark Spooner

 

No captions or transcript available

Source: inclusiveed (Canada)

Talking about the benefits of diversity
Mediating parental concerns (image)
Responding to parent concerns2
Responding to parents’ concerns

Identify questions from the community that staff may need support to negotiate.

Develop a shared understanding of your school’s inclusive practice.

Source: Ministry of Education

Mediating parental concerns
Supporting your staff

The board of trustees is responsible for ensuring the school has the capacity and capability to meet the needs of all students who are entitled to enrol at the school by:

  • making sure every board member understands the board’s legal and ethical obligations to provide a high-quality education for all students who choose to enrol at the school 
  • developing realistic goals and strategies for the school through the school charter and the school’s strategic and annual plans 
  • monitoring the performance of the principal to ensure that they are meeting the school’s legal obligations and the board’s goals 
  • communicating with parents and the local community to ensure that their experience of the school is positive and that their needs are being met
  • budgeting for adequate resources to enable the principal to effectively meet the goals and objectives the board has set
  • supporting the principal to seek help and advice from the community, other professionals, the Ministry, or other stakeholders as required to ensure that every student enrolled at the school experiences an education that meets their individual needs.
Supporting your staff
Understanding the principal's role

The principal is responsible for building teachers’ skills, expertise, and confidence by:

  • giving teachers release time to connect with others and build their knowledge
  • connecting your teachers with in-school supports, including other teachers who know the student well or have experience of working with a student with similar needs
  • connecting your teachers with outside agencies and experienced external colleagues and encouraging them to work in partnership with these people
  • connecting your teachers with parents – they are the experts on their child
  • forming clusters with other schools to facilitate staff training and development
  • supporting collective responsibility for all students in your school
  • supporting your teachers to share classroom practices, learn from each other, and problem-solve together.
Understanding the principal's role

Resources and downloads

Education for All

This video, from the Ministry of Education, looks at how a number of New Zealand schools have worked collaboratively within their communities to meet the diverse needs of the students. The educators and families involved talk about their journeys and reflect on what they continue to learn.

Learning better together research DVD

This video outlines aspirations for school communities for the inclusion of all students in their schools.

FAQs on schooling for disabled children and young people

New Zealand’s Inclusive Education Action Group has developed this list of questions and answers about schooling for students with additional needs.

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Meeting your planning, monitoring, reviewing, and reporting obligations

As a board of trustees you are responsible for ensuring that your school is planning, monitoring, reviewing, and reporting on its progress towards full inclusion. As a board you will require both evidence of student achievement gains for all students and evidence of a robust school-wide self-review process.

This webinar has been developed to support boards of trustees in their leadership role to meet the needs of students with special education needs.

Source: Ministry of Education School Trustees Association webinar: Training materials for school trustees (NZ)

 

Suggestions and resources

What to put in your charter

Your school charter is the key planning document for your school. This includes how your school plans to become more inclusive and meet the needs of students with special education needs.

For your charter to meet the requirements of the Education Act 1989, you must include your school’s plans, aims, and targets for all students, including:

  • what your board of trustees wants to achieve for students identified with additional learning support needs (outcomes)
  • how you intend to achieve the stated outcomes for these students; for example, teaching strategies and how you are going to use your resourcing
  • what success will look like for students (how you will know the outcomes have been achieved)
  • how you will evaluate and assess progress towards meeting the aims and targets set out in your charter 
  • how you will report this in your analysis of variance.

Examples of inclusive school charters:

What to put in your charter
Setting strategic aims and targets (image)
Example of a strategic aim
Example of strategic aims

This diagram shows the alignment between a school’s strategic aims, its annual aims, the targets associated with these aims, and the planned actions for each target.

Source: Charters and analysis of variance: Guidance for supporting students with special education needs. 2013, Ministry of Education p 17

Setting strategic aims and targets

Resources and downloads

Makauri School charter

Ormond School charter

Charters and Analysis of Variance and Reporting: Guidance for schools using National Standards

This document is for schools with students in years 1 to 8 that use The New Zealand Curriculum. It provides suggestions and examples about how your board can:
develop the strategic and annual planning sections of your charter; analyse different types of student achievement information so you can set targets to improve student progress and achievement; report your student progress and achievement using National Standards, including information on how to report on students with special education needs, English language learners, and gifted and talented students; and develop and report your analysis of variance.

Charter and Analysis of Variance: Guidance for Secondary Schools

This document has an emphasis on increasing the number of young people leaving school with at least NCEA Level 2 or an equivalent qualification. This resource is primarily for schools with students in years 9-13.

Student learning support registers

Make effective use of your register to identify areas where students may need to access additional learning support.

  • Use your register to coordinate support across the school.
  • Focus on learning needs to meet the goals of the New Zealand Curriculum, to meet National Standards, or to achieve the National Certificate in Educational Achievement (NCEA).
  • Consider any additional social and emotional support that students may need and consider support students and parents may need at home.
  • Think beyond the student to wider school changes that can be made to support learning, such as professional learning and development, inclusive teaching approaches, and cross-school programmes and initiatives.
  • Establish a process and timeframe for monitoring and evaluating the progress of each student on the learning support register.
  • Take a “beyond school” approach and consider supports students will need as they transition from school to work, study, and participation in the community.
Student learning support registers
Collaborative planning (video)
Inclusive learning: Everyone’s in – Collaborative planning

Principals in Edmonton schools talk about the importance of committing time and resources to collaborative planning and teaching to support inclusive practices.

Closed captioning available in player

Source: Edmonton Public Schools (Canada)

Collaborative planning
Partnering with experienced professionals

School improvement evidence tells us that persistent and widespread disparities in achievement are best tackled through partnerships between leaders in schools and external expertise. 

The teacher professional learning and development best evidence synthesis found that school-based change, supported by capable external expertise, was a pattern found in many highly effective interventions.

Seek out expertise in inclusive practices from:

  • within your school
  • past students and families
  • resource teachers
  • local and national services with a specialist or disability focus
  • regional Ministry offices
  • professional learning and development providers and consultants
  • online networks and communities
  • local and international conferences.

Source: School leadership and student outcomes: Identifying what works and why (page 64)

Partnering with experienced professionals

Resources and downloads

Everyone’s included on the Rolly Express

Rolleston School Principal, Andrew Morrall, and Learning Support Coordinator, Kaye Cook, discuss why the school has decided to release the Learning Support Coordinator role from class teaching.

Managing the special education grant: A handbook for schools

NZ schools are allocated the Special Education Grant to enable them to best meet the needs of their students. This handbook is a guide for schools on managing the grant.

Inclusive practices tools (IPT) (image)
Cover image for Well-being@School toolkit
A self-review toolkit

The IPT support a school to review how they include and equitably meet the learning and wellbeing needs of all students and how diversity is respected. 

All members of the community are involved.

Source: Wellbeing@School

Inclusive practices tools (IPT)
Wellbeing@ School (image)
Cover image for Well-being@School toolkit
Reviewing your school environment

The Wellbeing@school self-review tools explore how different layers of school life contribute to creating a safe and caring climate that deters bullying.

Source: Wellbeing@School

Wellbeing@ School
Inclusive practices matrix (image)
A diagram of the concepts and practices that underpin an inclusive school
Interconnected areas for self-review

The inclusive Practices Tools provide materials to support schools to review their effectiveness in each area of the matrix.

These include tailored surveys for students, staff, and the community.

Source: New Zealand Council for Educational Research (NZCER)

Inclusive practices matrix
Family-centred approaches (image)
An unsuccessful family-centred approach
Design flexible, inclusive processes for self-reviews.

Discuss with families ways of working together that respect diversity, are culturally responsive, and recognise individual needs.

Source: Michael Giangreco

Family-centred approaches
Authentic partnerships with parents

We are true partners when:

  • you listen to what I have to say
  • you acknowledge my intelligence
  • you want to learn more about my ways
  • you don’t judge me
  • you engage me in genuine dialogue
  • we make decisions together
  • you show that my child matters to you
  • you include my experience, knowledge, and viewpoints with yours.

Source: Partners in learning: Parents’ voices 2008 (p 123)

Authentic partnerships with parents

Resources and downloads

Partners in learning: Parents' voices (September 2008) – Parents of children with special needs

This ERO report summarises evaluations of partnerships between schools and parents of children with special education needs.

Partners in learning: Parents voices (September 2008) – findings from Māori parents and whānau

This ERO report summarises evaluations of partnerships between schools and parents and whānau of Māori students.

Partners in learning: Parents voices (September 2008) – findings from Pasifika parents and families

This ERO report summarises evaluations of partnerships between schools and parents of Pasifika students.

Determining learning needs

Determining learning needs of students who need additional support

Students working at or above the curriculum level for their age
Students who need teaching adaptations and/or individualised support to access the curriculum and achieve at or above the curriculum level. They are likely to have access to a range of special education services and resources.

Students working at level one of the curriculum for most (possibly all) of their schooling
Some students will learn within level 1 for most of their schooling in some or all of the learning areas. Others may not be learning at the same level as most of their peers but are learning within levels 1–8. An individual student may be working at different curriculum levels across different learning areas. Regardless of the level, all learning must be valued and recognised as progress. These students are likely to have Individual Education Plans and may be the recipients of ORS funding.

Students who need additional support to work at the curriculum level for their age
Students who need effective teaching and accelerated teaching programmes to access the curriculum and achieve at the curriculum level for their age. They are likely to need short-term access to some special education services and resources.

Source: Ministry of Education

Determining learning needs
The national administration guidelines requirements

National administration guideline (NAG) 1 requires all schools to identify their students who are at risk of not achieving

NAG 1c Each board, through the principal and staff, is required to, on the basis of good quality assessment information, identify students and groups of students:

i. who are not achieving
ii. who are at risk of not achieving
iii. who have special needs (including gifted and talented students), and
iv. aspects of the curriculum which require particular attention.

NAG 1d Each board, through the principal and staff, is required to develop and implement teaching and learning strategies to address the needs of students and aspects of the curriculum identified in (c) above

Source: The national administration guidelines (NAGs)

The national administration guidelines requirements
Using a learning support register

Suggestions for developing a register and monitoring student progress

  • Be clear about its purpose, how it will be used, how its information will be confidentially shared, and how and by whom it will be managed. 
  • Decide how you will identify students who need additional support and who, from within or outside the school, can help with assessing student needs.
  • Identify students within your school management system, if it supports this. 
  • Use your register to coordinate support across the school. Focus on learning needs to meet the goals in the curriculum, to meet National Standards or to achieve NCEA, social and emotional support, and support students and parents might need at home.
  • Think beyond the student to wider school changes that can be made to support learning, such as professional learning and development, inclusive teaching approaches, and cross-school programmes and initiatives.
  • Establish a process and timeframe for monitoring and evaluating the progress of each student on the register.
  • Avoid negative or disparaging language when identifying and writing about students with special education needs.

For more information read Guidance for supporting students with special education needs, page 2

Using a learning support register
Using the SMS and e-Portfolios (NZ) (video)
Supporting continuity of support and sharing progress

John Robinson reflects on the impact of using the school management system to share information about students among staff, and e-portfolios to share learning beyond the classroom.

Closed captioning available in player

Source: Ministry of Education, inclusive education videos (NZ)

Using the SMS and e-Portfolios (NZ)

Resources and downloads

Principals of inclusive schools (2005)

This article from the US Institute for Urban School Improvement looks at the role of the principal in creating the conditions in which inclusion can flourish and organisational change can occur.

Everyone’s included on the Rolly Express

Rolleston School Principal, Andrew Morrall, and Learning Support Coordinator, Kaye Cook, discuss why the school has decided to release the Learning Support Coordinator role from class teaching.

Charters and Analysis of Variance and Reporting: Guidance for schools using National Standards

This document is for schools with students in years 1 to 8 that use The New Zealand Curriculum. It provides suggestions and examples about how your board can:
develop the strategic and annual planning sections of your charter; analyse different types of student achievement information so you can set targets to improve student progress and achievement; report your student progress and achievement using National Standards, including information on how to report on students with special education needs, English language learners, and gifted and talented students; and develop and report your analysis of variance.

Charter and Analysis of Variance: Guidance for Secondary Schools

This document has an emphasis on increasing the number of young people leaving school with at least NCEA Level 2 or an equivalent qualification. This resource is primarily for schools with students in years 9-13.

Wellbeing for success: a resource for schools

This Education Review Office (ERO) resource has been developed to help schools evaluate and improve student well-being. It highlights the need for systems, people, and initiatives to respond to wellbeing concerns for students who need additional support.

Leading an inclusive school (NZ) (video)
Learning better together

Leaders talk about how they have supported the development of inclusive practices in their schools.

No captions or transcript available

Source: IHC (NZ)

Leading an inclusive school (NZ)
Universal Design for Learning (image)
3 principles of UDL based on the work of CAST Center of Applied Special Technologies
Become familiar with Universal Design for Learning (UDL)

UDL is a framework that supports the design of inclusive and flexible environments where barriers to learning are minimised and supports for all students are embedded at the outset.

For more information visit http://www.udlcenter.org

Source: Adapted from CAST UDL

Universal Design for Learning
Understand the principal's responsibilities

The principal is responsible for developing, maintaining, and reporting on an effective professional development and appraisal programme for all staff and for reporting this process back to the board of trustees.

  1. What educational outcomes are valued for our learners and how are our learners doing in relation to those outcomes (particularly our priority learner groups)?

  2. How can I as a professional leader improve my knowledge and skills to improve outcomes for learners?

  3. Engagement in further learning or development to refine my professional knowledge and skills.

  4. Engagement of learners and/or teachers in new learning experiences.

  5. What has been the impact of changed actions on our learners (particularly our priority groups)?

Source: Timperley, H. (2008). Teacher professional learning and development. In The educational practices series 18. Ed. Jere Brophy. International Academy of Education and International Bureau of Education: Brussels (page 26)

Understand the principal's responsibilities
Value and develop staff capacity

To build staff capacity and confidence in inclusive practices, the principal and leadership team will:

  • Create opportunities for staff to identify:
    • areas where students will need support based on ongoing data collection
    • immediate professional learning needs related to individual students, or teacher inquiry
    • areas of personal experience and knowledge that they are happy to share with colleagues
    • preferred learning pathways, for example, workshops, large meetings, one-to-one conversation, coaching and mentoring.
  • Investigate the breadth of community expertise, including present and past students, parents and whānau, local agencies.
  • Identify where there is synchronicity of need and experience and discuss ways to facilitate effective resourcing in partnership with staff.
  • Identify gaps in your school’s collective expertise and possible solutions, for example access to professional learning, support from an outside agency, or a whole school inquiry focus.
Value and develop staff capacity

Resources and downloads

Charters and Analysis of Variance and Reporting: Guidance for schools using National Standards

This document is for schools with students in years 1 to 8 that use The New Zealand Curriculum. It provides suggestions and examples about how your board can:
develop the strategic and annual planning sections of your charter; analyse different types of student achievement information so you can set targets to improve student progress and achievement; report your student progress and achievement using National Standards, including information on how to report on students with special education needs, English language learners, and gifted and talented students; and develop and report your analysis of variance.

Charter and Analysis of Variance: Guidance for Secondary Schools

This document has an emphasis on increasing the number of young people leaving school with at least NCEA Level 2 or an equivalent qualification. This resource is primarily for schools with students in years 9-13.

Principals of inclusive schools (2005)

This article from the US Institute for Urban School Improvement looks at the role of the principal in creating the conditions in which inclusion can flourish and organisational change can occur.

Everyone’s included on the Rolly Express

Rolleston School Principal, Andrew Morrall, and Learning Support Coordinator, Kaye Cook, discuss why the school has decided to release the Learning Support Coordinator role from class teaching.

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This is a Ministry of Education initiative

Building a world-leading education system that equips all New Zealanders with the knowledge, skills, and values to be successful citizens in the 21st century.