Introducing Belonging in School: a school-level resource for developing inclusive policies
The free Belonging in School resource offers tools that schools and educators can use to revise or develop policies for educational inclusion, particularly as they pertain to learners with neurodevelopmental differences. It covers strategies for developing, implementing, and measuring inclusive policies, focusing on mainstream primary schools in the UK’s education systems. It’s widely agreed that national inclusion policies in the UK nations are not working for far too many learners and their families—or for increasingly overstretched educators. Individual schools and educators can’t change the picture on national policy or on funding, but positive, school-level changes to inclusion are still possible. Those everyday changes to school policies and attitudes can massively impact learners’ and staff members’ lives.
Every school has unique circumstances, so what “inclusion” and “inclusive policy” look like will be unique too. Belonging in School is not about telling schools a list of things to do, but supporting a process of reflecting, planning, and implementing policies that will make sense for your school community. This resource is for teachers, senior leadership teams, and anyone else involved in the provision of teaching and care in a school setting.
Belonging in School incorporates contributions from a wide range of practitioners, researchers and community members as part of two inclusive education policy workshops in 2022-23. Find out more about how we created this resource.
Watch an introduction to Belonging in School
The Belonging in School webinar is a free, 40-minute introduction to the resource and its key ideas. Get an overview of what the resource is about and who it is for, plus a quick tour of the action cycle and four planning approaches. This video can give you or your school/organisation an idea of what to expect in the documents—but doesn’t go into all the details. In the coming months we will be producing a version of the video with closed captions, so please bear with us!
Looking for an even quicker overview? Try our 5-page Executive Summary.
How to cite the Belonging in School resource
Thank you for crediting Belonging in School if you use or quote our content. We ask that you would please cite the resource documents as follows:
Zdorovtsova, N., Alcorn, A. M., & Astle, D.E. (2023). Belonging in School Executive Summary: School-level approaches for developing inclusive policy. Medical Research Council Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit, University of Cambridge.
Alcorn, A.M., Zdorovtsova, N., & Astle, D.E. (2023). Belonging in School Part 1: An Introduction to School-level Approaches for Developing Inclusive Policy. Medical Research Council Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit, University of Cambridge.
Alcorn, A.M., Zdorovtsova, N., & Astle, D.E. (2023). Belonging in School Part 2: A Practical Guide to Inclusive Policy Planning. Medical Research Council Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit, University of Cambridge.