Whether or not we agree with it inclusion is here, these thoughts are my own and do not reflect any official position.
Personally I have more of an issue with how inclusion is carried out than if it is carried out. I firmly believe that total inclusion is not only a bad idea but isn’t actually possible if all pupils are to be treated fairly.
Not all pupils with additional support needs can be included in a mainstream class nor should they be. If they can be included – as opposed to allowed to attend the same school- then I’m all for it, but geographical inclusion is not really inclusion. What I mean is that simply giving them access to the same building or campus is not inclusion. If they are really included then they are not in ‘special’ classes taught by different teachers and having different breaks etc. It is not only the pupil with additional support needs that inclusion affects, if that pupil has behaviours that are likely to distract other students and cannot control them then including them in a standard classroom is unfair on the other students.
Some pupils cannot be included in a large school simply because they cannot deal with that environment. Whether because they have social anxiety, previous experience in another similar environment which caused them to refuse to attend or even because, for them, that environment causes a sensory overload which makes it overly stressful. This is not, in my opinion, a reflection on either pupils, schools or even education authorities. It is simply differences in people and places that make it unfair to force either side to adapt to the other, because in that situation there are no winners.