8.1 Spring 2017
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Dr Mike Wray
York St John University
This edition of the Journal of Inclusive Practice in Further and Higher Education brings together a range of articles from our annual conference, from academics and researchers and from practitioners in the field. I would like to thank everyone who submitted an article for publication and encourage readers to have a go at writing something from their own area of practice.
This edition is published during a time of great uncertainty but also of hope in the area of inclusive practice. In higher education in England recent announcements (Willetts, 2014; DfES 2017) from the previous and current Government mean that there have been significant changes made to the way support is funded for individual disabled students. A number of strands of support will no longer be funded, most noticeably support in the classroom such as note takers and for additional equipment such as printers and consumables. However, the Government has also announced that it expects higher education institutions to take responsibility for mitigating the reduction in funding through ensuring that they fulill their obligations under the Equality Act 2010 and that they promote inclusive practice.
There have been several key initiatives down the years in higher education which have brought us to this point such as the Quality Assurance Agencies section on disabled students in its quality code of practice (QAA, 1999, 2010) and HEFCE’s baseline review of support in 1999. The funding councils in the UK have provided HEIs with mainstream funding to support disabled students for a number of years as well funding as a series of projects to develop catalyst activitivies. Momentum seems to wax and wain though as the spotlight on inclusive practice is shone then moved away again depending on the political priorities at the time.
Perhaps the current policy focus heralds a tipping point (Gladwell, 2002) for the sector which will see HEIs fundamentally consider how they approach disability support. HEIs can learn much from the schools and further education sectors who have seem to have been moving towards inclusive practice at a much faster pace. Perhaps, HEIs will reconsider how they organise disability support with more emphasis being placed on the role of teaching staff. The role of SENCOs (Tissot, 2013; Cole, 2005) in schools may be a model of support which we could learn a lot from as these staff span the divide between the teaching professiona and specialisms provided by learning support personnel.
Cole, B. A. (2005) Missions impossible? Special educational needs, inclusion and the re-conceptualisation of the role of the SENCO in England and Wales, European Journal of Special Needs Education, 20 (3), 287 – 307.
Department for Education (2017) Inclusive teaching and learning in higher education as a route to excellence. London: DfE.
Gladwell, M. (2002) The tipping point. How little things can make a big difference. London: Abacus.
QAA (1999) Code of practice for the assurance of academic quality and standards in higher education. Section 3: students with disabilities (Gloucester: The Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education).
QAA (2010) Code of practice for the assurance of academic quality and standards in higher education. Section 3: disabled students (Gloucester: The Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education).
Tissot, C. (2013) The role of SENCos as leaders, British Journal of Special Education, 40 (1), 33 – 40.
Willetts, D. (2014) Higher Education: Student Support: Changes to Disabled Students’ Allowances (DSA). Written statement to parliament 7th April 2014. https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/higher-education-student-support-changes-to-disabled-students-allowances-dsa%20
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Pritchard, E. (2017) Body size and higher education: the experiences of an academic with dwarfism. Journal of Inclusive Practice in Further and Higher Education. Issue 8. Pp. 5-12. Word Download
Davies, L. (2017) Improving the support for disabled research degree students. Journal of Inclusive Practice in Further and Higher Education. Issue 8. Pp. 13-19. Word Download
Waywell, H. (2017) A narrative of the role of the learning support assistant (LSA): the impact on identity of working as an LSA in a creative arts university. Journal of Inclusive Practice in Further and Higher Education. Issue 8. Pp. 20-29. Word Download
Newman, I. & Conway, J. (2017) Busting the barriers to inclusive learning environments. Journal of Inclusive Practice in Further and Higher Education. Issue 8. Pp. 30-35. Word Download
Speller, A., Crabb, J. & Hyland, A. (2017) Peer-to-peer success… celebrating diversity! Journal of Inclusive Practice in Further and Higher Education. Issue 8. Pp. 36-39. Word Download
Karousou, R. (2017) Using the student voice to question the practice of inclusivity. Journal of Inclusive Practice in Further and Higher Education. Issue 8. Pp. 40-51. Word Download
Hewlett, K. (2017) The value of Dyslexic Culture within our society. Journal of Inclusive Practice in Further and Higher Education. Issue 8. Pp. 52-61. Word Download
Isgate, I. (2017) Book Review: Study Skills for Students with Dyslexia: Support for Specific Learning Differences (SpLDs). Edited by Sandra Hargreaves and Jamie Crabb. Third Edition. London: Sage. 2016. Journal of Inclusive Practice in Further and Higher Education. Issue 8. Pp. 62-64. Word Download