Aspiring to include versus implicit “othering”: Teachers’ perceptions of inclusive education in Wales

Cathryn Knight, Zoe Clegg, Carmel Conn, Matt Hutt, Tom Crick

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Abstract

Wales, one of the four nations of the UK, is currently undergoing major education system-level reform. From the curriculum, through to a new additional learning needs (ALN) system, there is a renewed focus on inclusive education. Research has shown the importance of teachers' attitudes towards inclusion in creating inclusive learning environments. This research study is based on data from a survey of teachers in Wales (n = 253) exploring their perceptions of inclusive education. Thematic analysis of open-text responses revealed that while teachers were able to articulate the ‘ideal’ of inclusion, these positive ideals were often caveated by both implicit othering of learners with ALN and by the explicit limitations of behaviour, training, and finance and resources. This article critically evaluates the implications of teacher perceptions of inclusive education in Wales, suggesting that without a change in teacher attitudes, the vision of an inclusive education system may be compromised.
Original languageEnglish
Article number12394
Pages (from-to)6-23
Number of pages18
JournalBritish Journal of Special Education
Volume49
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 12 Feb 2022

Keywords

  • inclusion
  • Wales
  • additional learning needs
  • special educational needs

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