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Enquire Blog

Share your views: Presumption of mainstreaming

What is the presumption of mainstreaming?

The presumption of mainstreaming is the legal requirement for all local authorities in Scotland to provide education in a mainstream school, unless a mainstream school:

  • would not suit the child’s ability or aptitude
  • would negatively affect the learning of the other children in the school; or
  • would cost an unreasonable amount.

If any of these exceptions apply, then a child might be educated in a special school or unit.

Scottish Government want your views

The Scottish Government is asking for feedback on new guidance it has written to help local authorities apply the presumption of mainstreaming. The aim is to give clear guidance on when, why and how to apply the exceptions, and to encourage decisions about school placements to be focussed on the needs of each individual child.What is this consultation asking?

In his Ministerial Foreword, John Swinney MSP affirms the Scottish Government’s commitment to mainstreaming, but notes that the experience of inclusion in mainstream schools must be improved, and that

“being present in a mainstream school should not be the primary marker of successful inclusion”

For this reason, the guidance also sets out the key features of an inclusive school environment and contains guidance on how to improve inclusive practice in schools. As well as the consultation, the Scottish Government is also arranging independent research into the experiences of children, parents, schools and local authorities of inclusion and mainstreaming.

Who can respond to the consultation?

The guidance is aimed at local authorities, schools and others working in education, but the consultation is open for any person or organisation to respond to.

Further guidance is being developed for parents and carers, and we will promote this once it has been released.

How can I give my views?

You can view and respond to this consultation online any time until 9th February 2018. If you would like to give your views on the guidance, click here to go to the consultation website.

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