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Celebrating the success of the annual Inclusion Conference

Last Friday saw the return of CTE’s annual Inclusion Conference. Inclusion is at the heart of everything we do as teachers and this significantly important day sits at the heart of our spring term curriculum, with its focus on adaptive teaching.

This year the event welcomed trainees from all our courses. Primary, Secondary, PGCEi and iQTS trainees joined together to consider the importance of inclusion in our school environments. We were incredibly fortunate to be able to host expert guest speakers, as well as speakers from CTE, who offered a wide range of sessions for trainees to engage with. For example, Ian Thompson and Alice Tawell from Oxford University presented a seminar detailing their research on school exclusion through the Excluded Lives project, Karen Wright and Hannah Cockburn from Warwickshire Integrated Disability Services ran sessions on adapting teaching to meet the needs of children with hearing loss and Bridget Thornhill from the Nottinghamshire Cognition and Learning team gave a seminar on identifying and supporting learners with dyslexia. Other sessions focussed on supporting neurodiverse learners, inclusion and the more able, using LGBTUA+ terminology, exploring radical pedagogies, and supporting learners who have experienced trauma, to name but a few.

The tone for the day was set by the keynote lecture and this year we were privileged to welcome Kulbir Shergill, Director of Social Inclusion for Warwick University, as our keynote speaker. Kulbir introduced themes around the importance of inclusion in education, the positive impact of inclusion in wider society and the need for constant care in our relationships with others, in order to promote inclusive values in all our interactions. At the close of the conference, trainees were given the opportunity to evaluate sessions and to reflect individually on the ways in which ideas and strategies from the sessions they attended both challenged them and will feed forward into their pedagogies, underpinning their values-based teaching.