Valuable learning about inclusion for educators

Inclusion Forum in Whyalla: Bec Hillson from Education Standards Board, Natalie Gentle from Gowrie SA and Rhonda LIvingstone from ACECQA

Valuable learning about inclusion for educators

04 March 2019

More than 200 educators attended an Inclusion in Practice forum in SA last month. The sessions were run by Gowrie SA with support from ACECQA and Education Standards Board.

Participants developed their knowledge in how to support all children to participate meaningfully in education and care settings.

Topics such as myths about inclusion, how inclusion fits within the National Quality Framework, and creating a strategic inclusion plan were key parts of the half-day session.

Presenters explained that inclusion is not just about disability, nor treating everyone the same, and it’s not something that necessarily requires extra funding.

Instead it’s about everyone’s right to participate meaningfully in all aspects of community life, and all children can benefit from it.

Natalie Warner, assistant director at Whyalla Child Care Centre, attended the forum at Whyalla and said it was so valuable to have this training locally and the chance to network.

“We don’t often get a lot of opportunities for this type of training in Whyalla,” she said. “The opportunity to build stronger relationships with other centres was really positive too.”

The forum exposed her to a broad concept of inclusion and showed her that her service is doing quite a lot already to include all children.

“When inclusion was first talked about, it was solely about children with additional needs and children from multicultural backgrounds. But now it’s about everyone,” Natalie said.

“It was nice to get some reassurance that we’re on the right track.”

Forums were held in Whyalla, Hindmarsh, Munno Para and Hallett Cove.

Similar sessions have been run, or will run, interstate by local inclusion and regulatory agencies.

For more information, contact SA’s inclusion agency, Gowrie SA on 1800 129 606.