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Online education and school inclusion

Online education and school inclusion
Father teaching son at the kitchen table

“By continuing to study the National Curriculum online and take GCSE and A Level exams, students can slot back into school and society in the future. This makes the inclusion of students who cannot attend school the ultimate goal of online schooling, if not the method.”

This blog covers:

  • School inclusion in the UK
  • Barriers to inclusion for young people
  • How can online schooling help?

School inclusion in the UK

School inclusion aims to ensure that every young person, regardless of their background, academic ability, disability, or special educational needs are included and catered for at school. Students with and without special needs spend time in the same classes to the greatest extent possible. This approach values and accepts diversity, tailoring learning to meet an individual child’s needs so that everyone can access education. Inclusion programs may include one-to-one support staff, a tailored personal education plan, or adaptations to and teacher education regarding special needs.

All definitions of inclusive education generally follow these key themes:

  • Placement in natural typical settings
  • All students taught together for instruction and learning
  • Supports and modifications regarding materials  within general education to meet appropriate learner outcomes
  • Preventing prejudice
  • Promoting social justice
  • Belongingness, equal membership, acceptance of different identities and religions, and valuing difference
  • Collaborative integrated services by education teams
  • Systemic philosophy or belief system
  • Meshing general and special education into one unified and adapted system.

Barriers to inclusion for young people

Some young people within state education can, however, experience barriers to their learning and therefore attendance at their particular school can be a challenge. Issues such as bullying, anxiety, depression, SEN, behavioural problems, risk of exclusion, or geographical challenges can make it difficult for children and young people to attend school.

Some interesting UK statistics surrounding inclusion:

30,000 the number of school-aged children being homeschooled.
6,700 the number of children permanently excluded from schools in 2015/16
14.4% the percentage of children in the UK with Special Educational Needs
1.5 million   the number of children in the UK that have been bullied at school.
33,000 the number of children missing in education in the UK
60% the rise in the number of children having counselling for anxiety.

The Education Act 1996 places a duty on parents or caregivers to ensure that their child of compulsory school age receives a suitable education either by regular attendance at school or otherwise. It is also the responsibility of schools and Local Education Authorities to ensure that school-aged children receive a full and inclusive education.

Parents are often forced to withdraw students from mainstream schools due to their particular needs. This means that their parents are responsible for educating them at home. For many parents this is a significant challenge to juggle alongside full-time work and other commitments. Many also find it hard to plan and deliver the quality of lessons that young people received in school. For young people who wish to study for their GCSEs and A Levels, this reduces their chances of achieving good grades and a National Curriculum education.

How can online schooling facilitate future inclusion? 

My Online Schooling Ltd. provides online full-time, National Curriculum education. All our lessons are delivered live, by fully qualified British teachers through an interactive virtual classroom. Our lessons are taught by subject specialist teachers from KS2 level to A-levels. We run regular assessments of our pupils and support families to enrol their children for iGCSE examinations at their nearest school or exam centre. We work with a number of LEA's and we pride ourselves on providing an outstanding alternative pathway to school education for young people who do not, or cannot attend school for a variety of reasons. This ensures that leaving mainstream school does not have to disrupt a child’s education, they remain included in the British education system and the opportunities it can bring.

Online school does not include children of all abilities in the same class as inclusive education prescribes. It thereby doesn’t provide opportunities for socialisation, but for many parents homeschooling is their only option. Socialisation can occur in many other areas of a child’s life, while they receive help and support at home. By continuing to study the National Curriculum students can slot back into mainstream school much more easily in the future if they wish. It means that they continue to participate in online classes with other students and interact in real time with their teachers. They can take exams and gain GCSEs and A Levels, meaning that they are more employable and able to participate in wider society in the future This makes the inclusion of students who drop out of school the ultimate goal of online schooling, if not the method.

If you are a school or Local Education Authority that has young people that could benefit from an online education, please get in touch with us today to discuss the possibilities of cost-effective online schooling.

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