Comparative Education
Online ISSN : 2185-2073
Print ISSN : 0916-6785
ISSN-L : 0916-6785
Challenges with Mainstreaming as Inclusive Education: A Case Study of Pupils with Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) in Scotland
Shun ITO
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2019 Volume 2019 Issue 59 Pages 2-22


  The aim of this research is to explore the challenges of mainstreaming as inclusive education through case study in Scotland. As a result of the conclusion of the Salamanca statement which aims to include all pupils in mainstream classes and the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, establishing inclusive educational systems has become a trend throughout the world. However, there is no clear definition of inclusive education and each country constructs its inclusive educational system depending on their historical and cultural backgrounds. In Scotland, since its parliament was founded, the government has promoted mainstreaming as inclusive education, which makes all pupils go to mainstream schools regardless of special educational needs. By virtue of promotion, the number of pupils in special schools are decreasing and previous research deals with the Scottish case as good practice in inclusive education. However, in the survey of this research, it turned out that teachers faced the challenge of including pupils with Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) such as any kind of abuse or neglect. This research focuses on pupils with ACEs and educational systems and practice around these pupils for exploring the challenges of Scottish inclusive education.

  For collecting data, we review government documents which are related to inclusive education in Scotland, and conducted an online questionnaire and interview survey with teachers experienced in promoting mainstreaming as inclusive education. This research analyses the data of two teachers who worked at primary schools and have worked as teachers for over 15 years.

  As a result of document review, ACEs were found to have been neglected in Scotland until recently. These days, the government suggested the importance of decreasing of any risks which stem from ACEs. For example, to prevent ACEs, they recommend (someone) to intervene in abuse, and if it has already occurred, ask schools for support for pupils with such experiences. They recognized that all pupils have risks to have ACEs and we need to set up support systems to achieve this. Thus, all pupils who have educational needs are assessed, and schools establish support networks to respond their needs. However, all pupils with ACEs can choose supporters such as social workers and medical doctors by themselves.

  In analysing data from our interview survey, this research focused on three aspects: (1) what is the teachers’ perception on pupils with ACEs, (2) how teachers support pupils with ACEs and (3) what are the challenges to include pupils with ACEs into mainstream schools.

  First, teachers recognize ACEs and have experience to educate such pupils. Pupils learned in mainstream classes based on government recommendation; however, teachers thought that they could not respond to pupils’ needs and that pupils could not communicate with other pupils in mainstream classes. Moreover, it seemed to teachers that there are unsafe situations for pupils with ACEs in mainstream schools. Second, although teachers thought mainstream school is not suitable for pupils with ACEs, they support all pupils to communicate with other pupils. For example, teachers taught other pupils’ names to those with ACEs, then the pupils told other pupils only their names. In addition, if necessary, teachers assess pupils whether they need additional support needs for getting reasonable accommodation. Third, teachers thought pupils with ACEs should go to a special school rather than a mainstream school because if pupils with ACEs made deviant behavior without reasonable accommodation, other pupils couldn’t concentrate on learning. This situation is not equitable for other pupils. However, the priority of special schools are pupils who need medical support for severe or multiple disabilities. Thus, before pupils with ACEs gain (View PDF for the rest of the abstract.)

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