Inclusive education is the right of all students, including students with any and all forms of disability regardless of severity. It is underpinned by international human rights law through the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) and national legislation, specifically the 1992 Disability Discrimination Act and the Disability Standards for Education 2005.
Achievement of an inclusive education system requires a fundamental shift in the conceptualisation and delivery of education to move from a mainstream + parallel special education model to one comprehensive system based on full and effective participation, distributed expertise, universal access, reasonable adjustments, respect for human dignity, and consultation with students and caregivers.
Genuine inclusive education is informed by the social model of disability and the recognition that attitudinal, environmental, financial, pedagogical and physical barriers affect students’ access, participation and achievement. Inclusion and Exclusion is a key focus area for C4IE because we need to know how best to address these barriers through the development and use of inclusive practices.
Researchers in C4IE’s Inclusion and Exclusion Program focus on:
- Effects of education reforms, policies and practices on the educational experiences and outcomes of priority equity groups, including Indigenous students and students with disability
- Development of evidence-based measures, interventions, and inclusive teaching practices and strategies
- Discipline policy and the use of suspensions and exclusions
- Disproportionality and intersectionality
- Funding allocation methods, including the Nationally Consistent Collection on Data for School Students with a Disability (NCCD)
- Gatekeeping, use of in/formal suspension and exclusion, partial enrolments, and segregation
- Inclusive school culture, ethical school leadership, school improvement and systemic reform
- Multi-element and multi-tier systems of support
- Teacher education and professional development for inclusive education
- Universal approaches to curriculum, pedagogy, assessment and school environments