Equality, Education and Elephants

The Salamanca Statement (1994) endorsed the idea of inclusive education, contending that mainstream schools with an inclusive culture are ‘the most effective means of …..building an inclusive society and achieving education for all’. Raising the achievement of all learners by identifying and breaking down barriers to learning is a difficult challenge, particularly when education systems are struggling to collaborate rather than compete, to develop a consistency rather than uniformity of approach, and to raise and maintain quality standards in relation to outcomes for pupils. This paper looks at current practice in systems both in the UK and across Europe, and the major challenge facing those systems in identifying barriers, drivers and levers for change, and creating a sustainable framework for inclusive education.