Developing Inclusive School Cultures From Within
Chapter 6. The Index for Inclusion
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The Index for Inclusion is the most widely used and research-validated whole-school framework in the world today.1 This in itself does not make it the only choice for school reform. School communities around the world are experimenting with culture audits, indicators, and whole-school programmes as the link between the culture of a school and the successful implementation of inclusion is more strongly embedded in the consciousness of the international community. Schools are attempting to restructure their service provision and internal systems within the constraints imposed from outside. They are now in a better position to recognise aspects of our educational systems, national policies, and societal values when they act as barriers to inclusive practices, and they are strong enough to try new methods.
The ground is fertile for what Thomas (1997) referred to as, “the implementation of planned programmes of inclusion” (p. 106), and what Dewey referred to as “method.” Indeed, the opportunity presented today through whole-school approaches towards inclusive change can be the means to build sustainable inclusive practices and values in our schools.
Wide usage throughout the world has encouraged revisions to the Index to make its language and framework more accessible. Writing in 2001, Index developers Booth and Black-Hawkins (2001) reflected on that as being a key feature:
There isn’t a version of the Index which is the authorised version—an Index is created in the process of translating it to a particular setting. An Index is what each learning centre,...
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