Manchester Inclusion Strategy Toolkit

Written by the inspirational Educational Psychology team, find out how the Inclusion Strategy Toolkit has helped schools and other settings to promote inclusion in all its forms.
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Introduction

Recognising the important role that children and young people have to play in achieving a bright and sustainable future, inclusion lies at the heart of Manchester’s mission to become a world-class city by 2025. To ensure all pupils are able to reach their full potential, the Local Authority has partnered with agencies across the city, working together to diminish barriers to learning and create better opportunities for young people.

Sharing the ambition to build a more progressive and equitable future, the Educational Psychology team at One Education has been proud to work alongside the city council, supporting schools and other settings to promote inclusion in all its forms.

Pooling together their collective knowledge and experience, our EP team has developed the Manchester Inclusion Strategy Toolkit, helping schools build on their practice and provision to ensure every child has a sense of belonging; feels respected; and is valued for who they are.


Background

Three years ago, reflecting on the rising rate of school exclusions, the Local Authority came together with multi-agency partners to develop a strategy for inclusion. The Manchester Inclusion Strategy aims to support early years settings, schools, post-16 providers, and other services to support children to achieve the best possible educational outcomes.

As part of the inclusion strategy, schools were promised a toolkit of advice and resources. Written by the One Education EP Team, the toolkit aims to highlight the key qualities of good inclusive educational practice.

“The toolkit is so helpful and practical. From a place of scepticism, I was entirely won over!”

About the toolkit

The Manchester Inclusion Strategy Toolkit provides readers with “quick links” to useful information, resources, and support, ensuring all practitioners are prepared to effectively meet the needs of the children and young people they work with. Crucially, the toolkit also sets out guiding principles to inform practices and policies across Manchester, laying the foundations for a city-wide approach to inclusion.

Recognising the excellent practice and strong leadership that is evident in schools, the toolkit seeks to build on what is already in place – complementing rather than replacing documentation, policy, and advice already provided by the Local Authority.

Importantly, the toolkit aims to establish a common language between schools and other services, promoting a shared understanding of what constitutes good inclusive practice and inspiring collaboration to create positive outcomes for all children.

“It looks like a really useful tool that can be used effectively in school to support staff and increase their knowledge.”

What’s next

After writing the toolkit, our Educational Psychologists spent the last academic year sharing the document with schools and delivering introductory workshops. All schools should have received their copy of the toolkit by the end of July 2022 and it is now available to download for free from the One Education website.

One Education’s EP Team (in partnership with Manchester City Council) are also providing free training for schools linked to the key information, skills, and SEND needs highlighted in the toolkit. In the Autumn term of 2022, for example, the following training was provided:

  • Understanding and Supporting Emotional Regulation with Universal and Targeted Approaches

  • The Covid Legacy: Supporting schools, children, and families (specifically in relation to complex communication/ASC needs)

The team are also looking to broaden their reach, sharing the toolkit with social care, M-Thrive, Youth Justice, and speech and language services, with plans to create another supporting document specifically for parents and carers.

We are delighted that the toolkit has been so well-received by schools. We are especially pleased to hear that the toolkit has helped staff across the whole school, supporting them with the incredible work they already do and giving them the confidence to grow.

“I really liked the interactivity of the toolkit and the universal empathy extended to staff as well as teachers.”


We are immensely proud of the Educational Psychology team at One Education. The Manchester Inclusion Strategy Toolkit is truly a testament to their wide-ranging knowledge and dedication.

A huge thanks to our Senior Education Psychologist, Carrie Bray, as well as her colleagues, Senior EPs Ria Fayette and Amy Burns, whom each played such a vital role in making the toolkit such a vast and valuable resource.

We would like to thank every member of the EP team who gave up their own time to work on the project, sharing their expertise on a variety of issues, from bullying and bereavement to different diagnosed conditions. And thank you to Helen Marriott, our Head of Inclusion, who contributed chapters on supporting learners with SEND.

We are sure that the toolkit will make a huge difference to schools and their communities, helping them in their mission to prevent exclusion and improve the life chances of thousands of pupils.

“The toolkit is an amazing resource that will help us so much on many different levels. Thank you!”

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