Inclusivity has long been an important topic of concern in the field of education, with many disciplines and entire schools being devoted to understanding and providing for the educational needs of children with special requirements, such as those with physical or intellectual disabilities, developmental disorders like autism, or behavioral issues like ADHD. The objective of any inclusive education would be to break down the barriers of learning for these differently-abled children, allowing them to experience similar quality education as any other, as well as promote awareness and acceptance among the community.
The Dubai Inclusive Education Policy Framework, launched by the KHDA just late last year, represents a powerful effort to promote greater inclusion in the private education sector. Swiss International School Dubai’s own inclusion policy includes the promotion of successful inclusion, which is handled by awareness at all levels of leadership. SISD also has a new Head of Inclusion, Ms. Adriana de Groot, who believes that inclusion is offering the child an education that fits the child’s interest, learning style and ability, that best allows them to succeed. I believe that every child, no matter their ability, has the capacity for genius in some fashion – they simply need the encouragement and the guidance to find out what it is, and a framework that uplifts them to a level that allows them to work.”
SISD’s approach to identifying how students who experience SEND may be served is best characterized by the “graduated response,” which dictates that in general, all students receive high quality education; that some students receive a targeted response for small-group intervention to help them catch up with their peers; and that recommendations for specialist support with students who aren’t able to maintain essential progress will be available at parents’ expense.
The ultimate goal of the SISD Inclusion Policy is best summarized as, “Successful inclusion should result in every student feeling safe, confident and happy at school. Successful inclusion should see every student making the best progress towards achieving their potential and enjoying their time at school – be that in lessons, during their play or lunchtimes or when involved in any of our school excursions and extra-curricular activities.”