Here you will find a series of tools co-designed through the Inclusive School Communities Project. They have been developed as practical tools that schools, students and families can use to advance inclusive practice in the education environment.
They have four main sections:
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This tool is intended as an introduction to accessibility and Universal Design (UD) for school staff. UD is a way of thinking about environments and curricula that schools can apply to maximize access and participation of all students in high quality inclusive educational experiences. This tool discusses the application of Universal Design for Learning (UDL) to curricula and eliminating barriers. Schools are encouraged to use this information to shape the way they think about and design their environments and curricula to meet the needs of all students.
Appreciative inquiry (AI) is a strengths-based, collaborative approach to organizational change which focuses on understanding the ‘positive core’ of an organization and how this can be strengthened. This tool provides an introduction to AI including the principles and cycle. School leaders may use AI as an approach to manage change with inclusive school development.
AI has been applied in many different organisational settings and disciplines including in the education sector. The current tool presents examples of how AI has been applied to guide change in schools at different organisational levels.
AI is underpinned by five core principles, all of which are relevant to, and can influence pedagogical practices . AI is consistent with constructivist theories of learning and is compatible with pedagogical approaches that focus on active learning, collaboration and asking questions, such as inquiry-based learning. This tool discusses AI as a teaching approach in schools, and how it can be applied to enhance learning and teaching.
School staff want up-to-date, evidence-based information and regular opportunities to explore practice issues with peers. We want to make it easier for schools to access quality professional learning (PL) around inclusive practices and disability. We have prepared a catalogue of PL for school staff in South Australia relevant to inclusive practices and working with students living with disability. This is a starting point for schools to explore and engage with PL relevant to supporting inclusive school communities.
This tool is an overview of the Model of Citizenhood Support 2nd Edition; a framework for advancing people’s life chances and moving people into good, valued lives. This tool has been developed because the Model of Citizenhood Support is relevant to school staff working with young people who may be at risk of being excluded because of their circumstances.
This tool is an introduction to terminology and concepts relevant to disability and inclusion. It is designed to assist school staff to understand the various perspectives of disability and the importance of countering ableism through using Universal Design for Learning (UDL) and a social justice perspective within the curricula. School staff need to have shared beliefs on what inclusion is and how this can be achieved for it to be successful and for all students to be genuinely included, regardless of ability and identity.
Models of disability affect beliefs, values, attitudes and behaviours toward people living with disability. School staff require an understanding of the models of disability in order to provide quality teaching and learning experiences for students living with disability. This tool focuses on the social model of disability, which is about removing barriers to inclusion, and its application in schools. Foundational concepts within disability studies that are relevant for school staff are introduced in this tool.
Schools need quality teaching and learning tools that are informed by evidence-based approaches and practices to facilitate positive academic and social outcomes for all students. This tool provides an overview of three approaches that can support school staff to apply the social model of disability and implement inclusive school policies and practices: strengths-based approach, growth mindset, and social capital.
Schools are encouraged to support their staff to examine their assumptions about disability, discuss relevant definitions and concepts, and reflect on the models of disability. This tool is designed to help school staff reflect on their beliefs about students living with disability and to discover which model of disability their worldview is most aligned with. The questionnaire provided in the tool can be used to stimulate critical self-reflection among staff and with clear guidance and support, a shared understanding of the school’s view towards diversity and inclusion.
This tool is designed to assist school leaders and staff to reflect on the meaning of school culture. It presents ways in which schools can establish and sustain an inclusive school culture through building community and establishing inclusive values. This tool considers inclusive culture at the whole of school level (rather than in individual classrooms) and looks at how school leaders can ‘set the tone’ for inclusive education.
School communities need to develop habits of inclusion to ensure students living with disability are not routinely excluded because they are perceived as ‘different’ or ‘other’. Perhaps the most critical factor in developing habits of inclusion is the role of the principal; they are central to facilitating systemic change and leading school staff to adopt attitudes and practices consistent with an inclusive school vision. This tool explores the mechanics of inclusive school leadership focusing on the pivotal role of school principals. This tool is intended for school leaders to evaluate and reimagine their role in driving whole-school change towards inclusive education.
Peer mentoring is an evidence-based way to create positive outcomes and build social capital among young people, including those with increased vulnerability. This tool outlines what mentoring involves and the benefits to those participating in mentoring relationships. The information contained in this tool will be helpful to schools considering designing and implementing a peer mentoring program.
This tool has been developed as part of the Inclusive School Communities Project, funded by the National Disability Insurance Agency. The project is led by JFA Purple Orange.
The introduction of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) along with the Chronic Disease Management (formerly Enhanced Primary Care or EPC) and Better Access to Psychiatrists, Psychologists and General Practitioners through the MBS (Better Access) initiatives has meant more allied health professionals are working with students in schools.
This tool is written for parents/carers and school staff about creating the conditions for a collaborative relationship from the start; specifically, how schools can learn from the student and family.
This tool is written for parents/carers to assist their selection of a school and support helpful conversations with school staff about engaging their child. Finding a school that believes in each child's capacity for success is essential.
This tool is written for parents/carers and discusses negotiating and compromising when it comes to getting the best for your child at school. Negotiating well and acknowledging that compromise, from both parties, is part of that negotiation will help create a strong relationship between the school and family and lead to the best outcomes for the child.
It is essential to inclusion that school staff (including leaders, educators, teacher aides, office staff, and other site staff) understand the various policies and laws and meet their legal (and moral and social justice) obligations to students living with disability and their families. This tool provides a brief overview of disability rights and inclusion policies relevant to education.
The Pygmalion Effect has significant implications in education. If an educator has positive expectations about student’s capacity, then the Pygmalion Effect means that student will respond by rising to that expectation. This tool discusses the Pygmalion Effect and its theoretical counterpart, the ‘Golem Effect’, focusing on how this research is relevant in schools. This tool is designed to assist educators to reflect on the expectations they carry about each student in their diverse classroom. While there is a range of ways that a student's learning can be supported, a key determinant is the expectation the educator carries about that student’s chances of success.
This tool is informed by the change management process undertaken by Pulteney Grammar School, an independent ELC-12 school in Adelaide, to shift from a withdrawal model to Response to Intervention (RTI). This tool introduces RTI including core features and examples of practice that schools can implement. This tool provides guidance based on Pulteney Grammar School’s experience and is useful for schools wanting to shift to RTI through a well-planned process engaging with school staff (leaders, teachers, teacher aides), students, and families.
Schools need to be proactive in creating a culture of inclusion in which all students feel a sense of belonging. This tool looks at how school staff can run a conversation or an activity that shows what inclusion is and how to do it; the idea is that it becomes a more natural thing around the school and creates an inclusive culture. Ideas for teaching students to be ‘includers’ are explored; that is to show students (and adults) how to perceive or respond to the unspoken needs of others.
For a school deepening its practice as an inclusive school community, the challenge is how best to support students with behaviours of concern so they can remain in the mainstream setting and in ways that advance their valued membership in the school community. This tool is designed to be a starter for thinking and action; it is not intended as a complete recipe for responding to behaviours of concern and it does not cover approaches such as Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA) and Positive Behaviour Support (PBS). This tool is designed to assist school staff (primarily educators) to reflect on their approach to supporting students of diverse ability, where aspects of a student’s behavior cause concern.
The Principles of Inclusion for Children and Students with Disability in Education and Care (Principles of Inclusion) were developed on behalf of the Minister for Education by the Ministerial Advisory Committee: Children and Students with Disability (MAC: CSWD). This tool presents the Principles of Inclusion and ideas for exploring them with school staff.
Values education involves teaching and learning about the ideals that a society deems important. This tool outlines the research on values pedagogy in schools and explores its relevance to developing inclusive school communities. School staff are encouraged to use this tool to expand their understanding of values education and the various ways it can be applied in classrooms, schools, and communities to support the holistic development of all students in an inclusive education setting.
For a school to deepen its practice as an inclusive community of learning, it needs to describe what it wants to achieve and why that is important. For the purpose of this tool, this is termed a ‘school inclusion policy’. Generating new policy content can be a difficult task for school leaders. This tool is designed to assist school leaders with the process of writing a new inclusion policy or reviewing and improving an existing one.