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How can inclusive environments enhance children's learning opportunities?

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Welcome to TTS Talking: Neurodivergence in Education

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Join the TTS Talking Neurodivergence webinar to hear a renowned panel of experts discuss the importance of inclusion by design in education.

Neurodivergence in education

Neurodivergence is a term used to describe how people learn, interact and think differently from others. In recent years, there have been increased discussions around the topic of neurodivergence in education. Therefore, it is important for educators to adopt a more inclusive approach in the classroom.

The TTS Talking Neurodivergence in Education webinar aims to explore how we can create a forward-thinking blueprint in which barriers are removed to enhance learning opportunities for all.

What is meant by Neurodivergence?

An article by Structural Learning explains the concept of neurodivergence as “the viewpoint that brain differences are normal and acceptable, rather than deficits. In other words, the natural neurological difference between how a person’s brain functions, and processes information represents neurodiversity.”

Inclusion by design

In order to provide more inclusive learning environments for children, we need to understand the changes that will make the most significant impact. The term inclusion by design is becoming more commonly referred to by teachers, SENCOs, caregivers, and parents. 

It is described by the Sensory Trust as “Inclusive design ensures that places and experiences are open to all people, regardless of age, disability, and background. It benefits everyone.” 

Annamarie Hassall, CEO at NASEN (National Association for Special Educational Needs) and a panellist on the TTS Talking webinar, is an advocate of schools leading with inclusion by design

In an ideal education system, we would start with an assumption that schools would be inclusive by design, rather than inclusion on demand. The inherent variability in all learners would be accommodated and understood, increasing the sense of belonging. 

This would mean not having to retrofit differentiation into the classroom, as this reconfirms that when the “main” lesson was being designed it was only being designed for some pupils. If we reached that point, most children and young people would not require anything additional to, or different from, that which is provided to others.” 

By breaking down the barriers often noticeable within school settings, we will help all children to thrive and feel a sense of empowerment. This will ultimately support their transition through to adulthood.

Creating a forward-thinking blueprint

By taking a different approach to the way we support learners with special educational needs, we will make fantastic strides in creating a more inclusive society.

A simple solution to achieve this shift is by encouraging society to view things from a different perspective. An article from the National Autistic Society, references the importance of adopting a neurodiversity model in mainstream schools. It explores how this shift would not only benefit children with SEN but everyone involved.  

“It is about realising differences in brain function are a normal and natural aspect of human variation to be expected and accepted. It is about anticipating and preparing for a neurodiverse student population even before pupils set foot through the door.”

Hear from industry experts: 

  • Professor David Daley, Professor of Psychological Intervention and Behaviour Change  
  • Andrew Whitehouse, Consultant and Speaker specialising in neurological diversity   
  • Annamarie Hassall, MBE, Chief Executive at Nasen (National Association for Special Educational Needs)  
  • Beccie Hawes, Head of Service at Cadmus Inclusive and TTS Talking Webinar Host.

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