An inclusive education conference which took place this week has formed part of the ongoing work to improve the inclusivity of Jersey's education system.
On Monday, headteachers and Special Educational Needs Coordinators (SENCOs) from all schools attended the Education4Everyone conference at Highlands College to "share best practice" and learn more about inclusive education in Jersey and the UK.
A 2019 review of inclusive education and early years conducted by the National Association for Special Educational Needs (nasen) made 50 recommendations on how the Island can better support all children and young people and ensure they have access to the learning and social activities to reach their potential.
These recommendations included appointing an "Inclusion Minister", creating a more "flexible" curriculum, reconsidering merit-based school selection, and defining inclusive education in a way that is accessible to all Islanders and stakeholders. Since January, over 900 people have take part in workshops or responded to a survey which works toward this goal. Further focus groups taking place later this year will culminate in a "shared vision" of inclusive education, to be shared in time for the new academic year.
In response to the nasen review, £6.1 million has also been proposed in the Government Plan 2023 to 2026 for inclusion in schools.
Children's and Education Minister Inna Gardiner thanked all the headteachers and SENCOs who "took time out of their busy weeks" to attend the conference.
Children's and Education Minister Inna Gardiner said staff are "already working hard" to improve inclusivity.
She added: "Many of our staff are already working hard to make sure that their children and young people feel welcome and included. [The] conference aimed to give staff the chance to share best practice so that we can support all children and young people throughout their education."
Other speakers included the Director of Education, Seán O'Regan, the independent chair of the Inclusion Review Delivery Board, Kate Briden, Inclusion and SEN specialist Margaret Mullholland, and representatives from East Midlands Academy Trust.
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