CfESEND blog: Derby College get into the festive spirit with their Twelve Stages of Inclusion

Blog by Sarah Le-Good, Inclusion Director and CfESEND Curriculum Project Lead at Derby College Group (DCG), for the Centres for Excellence in SEND programme.

At DCG, we are committed to working inclusively with all our learners on their journey to work or live meaningful lives. Our mission is to “enable everyone” to transform their perception of themselves and see their potential for positively impacting on their circle of support, their wider community and prospective employers!

We market the approach as “From SEND to Inclusion @DCG”. This statement indicates our focus on how the language we use during a learner’s time with us can be hugely influential on how they engage with our curriculum, their learning, their aspirations for future, their communities, employers and society as a whole.

As we know all individuals are different and once you have met one person with a diagnosis, you have met just that: one person. This means that it is imperative that inclusion becomes an approach and not a system or a process i.e. we don’t just “go through the motions”. We follow a unique path with each learner, working with them to express and share what they are good at, what support they need and how their strengths, appropriate support and planning can facilitate solutions where barriers once were.

We follow the Social Model of Disability and aspirationally call it the Social Model of Inclusion. This is the approach of looking at the environments and contexts that we require individuals to work within, assessing where barriers to access and/or learning exist and making plans for barriers are adjusted, so they no longer create a barrier for the individual, or (where possible) removing them completely for all. This is an alternative to the Medical Model of Disability which focuses on deficit or disorder, symptom and cure and is focussed on the barriers within the individual, rather than the environment/context.

For a learner with inclusion needs to feel included and engaged in this way there are various steps and considerations that need to be taken so that an environment can be created to ensure their success.

With all the above mind, in respect of the time of year and wanting to have a bit of fun, we have created our ‘Twelve Stages of Inclusion‘ (to the tune of Twelve Days of Christmas):

  1. At the first stage of inclusion, my provider shared with me all relevant information accessibly.
  2. At the second stage of inclusion, my provider worked with me on impartial CEIAG.
  3. At the third stage of inclusion, my provider worked with me to visit and apply, checking mutual suitability.
  4. At the fourth stage of inclusion, my provider worked with me on differentiation and supporting strategies.
  5. At the fifth stage of inclusion, my provider enrolled me and gave me my learner ID.
  6. At the sixth stage of inclusion, my provider explained to me “Hands, Face, Space” for everybody’s safety.
  7. At the seventh stage of inclusion, my provider worked with me on induction and familiarity.
  8. At the eighth stage of inclusion, my provider introduced to me the staff who would be supporting me.
  9. At the ninth stage of inclusion, my provider worked with me on the top tips of working with assistive technology.
  10. At the tenth stage of inclusion, my provider worked with me to understand modification and adaptivity.
  11. At the eleventh stage of inclusion, my provider worked with me on being well and working mindfully.
  12. At the twelfth stage of inclusion, my college worked with me on recognising progress and achievement individually.

Derby College Group logo with Christmas hatsAs we prepare for a break in December and the Centres for Excellence in SEND create their new year plans, we invite you to come along to our monthly Communities of Practice session – an informal, agenda-less hour of supportive discussions and collegiate planning.

If you would like to discuss and develop any of the Twelve Stages of Inclusion, review your curriculum offer and work with us to develop a change plan for you as an individual practitioner, your team or your wider provision please get in touch.

Wishing you all a restful and safe December and Christmas break!

The DCG CfESEND Project Team

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