Hand-out 4B - Principles of Inclusive Education

The Salamanca Statement, second paragraph:

Every child has the fundamental right to education, and must be given the opportunity to achieve and maintain an acceptable level of learning.

Every child has unique characteristics, interests, abilities and learning needs.

Education systems should be designed and educational programmes implemented to take into account the wide diversity of these characteristics and needs.

Those with special educational needs must have access to regular schools which should accommodate them within a child cantered pedagogy capable of meeting these needs.

Regular schools with this inclusive orientation are the most effective means of combatting discriminatory attitudes, creating a welcoming communities, building an inclusive society, and achieving education for all; moreover they provide an effective education to the majority of children and improve the efficiency and ultimately the cost effectiveness of the entire education system.

Historical Development
1948 - Declaration of human rights: Every individual has the right to education.
1990 - Universal declaration on education for all: Education is a right for all regarding individual differences.
1994 - Salamanca Statement: Education is a right for all within the mainstream education system.

Why Inclusive Education?
Inclusive education is better education for all, decreases the percentage of failing and increases achievements of all. Inclusive education promotes the implementation of a wide range of teaching methodologies and therefore uses the wider abilities and talents of students and teachers. Inclusive education paves the way to a more tolerant society and therefore fights prejudism.

Framework to Achieve Inclusive Education
Policies and organisation (educational policies, legislation, attitudes).
Schools (flexibility of curriculum, educational methodology, resources).
Employees of the educational system (attitudes, skills, knowledge).
External support (services, training, special education).

*Adapted from:

UNESCO (1994) Final Report. World Conference on Special Needs Education: Access and Quality . Salamanca, Spain.

Hegarty S. Educating Children and Young People with Disabilities . UNESCO


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