Managing Special and Inclusive Education


Steve Rayner

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  • Front Matter
  • Back Matter
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  • British Educational Leadership, Management & Administration Society

    Published in Association with the British Educational Leadership, Management and Administration Society. This series of books published for BELMAS aims to be directly relevant to the concerns and professional development needs of emergent leaders and experienced leaders in schools.

    Titles include:

    How Very Effective Primary Schools Work (2006)

    By Chris James, Michael Connolly and Gerald Dunning

    Educational Leadership: Personal Growth for Professional Development (2004)

    By Harry Tomlinson

    Developing Educational Leadership: Using Evidence for Policy and Practice (2003)

    By Lesley Anderson and Nigel Bennett

    Performance Management in Education: Improving Practice (2002)

    By Jenny Reeves, Pauline Smith, Harry Tomlinson and Christine Ford

    Strategic Management for School Development: Leading Your School's Improvement Strategy (2002)

    By Brian Fidler

    Subject Leadership and School Improvement (2000)

    By Hugh Busher and Alma Harris with Christine Wise


    View Copyright Page

    About the Author

    Steve Rayner (PhD) is Director of Postgraduate Research Degree Studies in the School of Education at the University of Birmingham, UK. Research interests include the study of individual differences in learning, pedagogy and special educational management. He has more than 70 publications across this field, including key texts such as Riding and Rayner (1998) Cognitive Styles and Learning Strategies, and Rayner and Ribbins (1999) Headteachers and Leadership in Special Education.


    • ADD – Attention Deficit Disorder
    • ADHD – Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
    • AERA – American Education Research Association
    • ASD – Austistic Spectrum Disorder
    • AST – Advanced Skills Teacher
    • BELMAS – British Educational Leadership, Management and Administration Society
    • BERA – British Education Research Association
    • BSP – Behaviour Support Plan
    • CA – Change Agent
    • CMT – Change Management Team
    • CPD – Continuing Professional Development
    • CAF – Common Assessment Framework
    • CAMHS – Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services
    • BEST – Behaviour and Education Support Team
    • CSIE – Centre for the Study of Inclusive Education
    • DES – Department of Education and Science
    • DfE – Department for Education
    • DfEE – Department of Education Employment
    • DfES – Department of Education and Skills
    • DH – Department of Health
    • EBD – Emotional Behavioural and Disorders/Difficulties
    • EBSD – Emotional, Behavioural and Social Difficulties
    • ECM – Every Child Matters
    • EP – Educational Psychologist
    • EFA – Education for All
    • ESRA – Extended Schools Remodelling Adviser
    • ERA – Education Reform Act
    • ESL – English as a Second Language
    • EWO – Education Welfare Officer
    • FAS – Funding Agency for Schools
    • FINE – For Inclusion North East (SEN Regional Partnership – North East England)
    • HLTA – Higher Level Teaching Assistant
    • HMI – Her Majesty's Inspector (Schools Inspectorate)
    • HOC – House of Commons
    • ICT – Information Communication Technology
    • IEP – Individual Education Plan
    • IQEA – Improving Quality of Education for All
    • ITE – Initial Teacher Education
    • LA – Local Authority
    • LEA – Local Education Authority
    • LSA – Learning Support Assistant
    • MI – Multiple Intelligences
    • MISE – Managing Inclusion and Special Education
    • MDA – Multi Disciplinary Assessment
    • MLD – Moderate Learning Difficulties
    • NAHT – National Association of Headteachers
    • NASEN – National Association of Special Education Needs
    • NCIE – National Center of Inclusion and Education
    • NCSL – National College of School Leadership
    • NGA – National Governors Association
    • NSPCC – National Society for the Protection of Children against Cruelty
    • NUT – National Union of Teachers
    • OECD – Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development
    • Ofsted – Office for Standards in Education
    • PAT – Pupil Achievement Tracker
    • PPA – Planning, Preparation and Assessment
    • PMLD – Profound and Multiple Learning Difficulties
    • PSE – Personal and Social Education
    • PSLD – Profound and Severe Learning Difficulties
    • QA – Quality Assurance
    • SAI – Schools Access Initiative
    • SEF – School Evaluation Form
    • SEN – Special Educational Needs
    • SENCo – Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator
    • SENDA – Special Educational Needs Disability Act (2001)
    • SIP – School Inspection Partner
    • SLD – Severe Learning Difficulties
    • SMT – Senior Management Team
    • SW – Social Worker
    • SSD – Social Services Department
    • SSE – School Self-Evaluation
    • TA – Teaching Assistant
    • TDA – Teaching and Development Agency for Schools
    • TQM – Total Quality Management
    • UNICEF – United Nations International Children's Education Fund
    • UNESCO – United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization
    • VfM – Value for Money


    I want to thank Eileen for her patience, understanding and support during the writing of this book. I am also grateful to Michael, James and Helen for critical friendship and proof reading.

    A note of thanks should also go to countless colleagues, but especially Helen Gunter and Steve Armstrong, who have each in their own way influenced so much of my thinking over the past few years. The responsibility for the perspective in this book, however, is entirely mine.

    A final word of thanks should go to Kevin Rowland, Dave Traxson, Ann Scarsdale and many other colleagues for their work in partnership running the Birmingham University MISE Course (2000–2005). Its demise is yet further evidence that we are now moving beyond the ‘special or inclusion’ debate toward a new era of a personalized and integrative provision for SEN policy.



    The topic of this book is the management of special and inclusive education. It is written for all those who are interested in leadership and the management of personal diversity in education.

    To be effective, a manager requires an understanding of context, a clarity of purpose and an appropriate application of knowledge. Educational leadership requires an integrative aspect that by default involves the management of change, learning and growth. Managing inclusive or special education is further complicated by an evolving definition and understanding of special educational needs (SEN), as well as an awareness of the contested debate surrounding a system of special or inclusive education. Understanding and developing educational leadership or management is also in itself far from straightforward. It is, however, an even more complex subject when reapplied to the SEN context.

    The prospect of writing this book has therefore been both a daunting challenge and an almost impossible task. By definition, inclusive education seems quite literally all embracing and at many levels of policy statement, simply a call for humanity in sound educational provision. In an ideal world very few would defend discrimination, exclusion, alienation or restrictive practice based upon individual differences. In education, the irony of such practices existing in deeply embedded social and professional cultures, and reflected in personal attitudes or educational systems, is profound. The irony deepens, if we accept that educationists are motivated by a desire to make a difference, help pupils grow, succeed, or develop and most of all learn.

    The school workforce, similarly, is by and large engaged in and motivated to making this educative process happen. To be concerned with inclusive and special education, therefore, is to continuously work with the fundamental issues surrounding the management of learning and teaching, and the core purposes of schooling (Ainscow, 1991; Croll and Moses, 1998; Rosenholtz, 1989). It is a deepseated concern for the learning needs of every child that drives an endeavour to ‘seek to leave no child behind’. In the English educational context, this core professionalism reflects many of the ideas underpinning the agenda of Every Child Matters (DfES, 2003d) and the future of an inclusive and special education.

    The Book

    The book is organized into three major parts with three chapters in each and a conclusion in the final section. While the immediate focus is education in the UK, much of the content will contain ideas and argument relevant to the international setting. Case examples of policy management and special educational provision are drawn from international contexts as well as the UK.

    Part I is a critical review of SEN policy and the present inclusion imperative with its implications for an evolving model of strategic leadership, planning and provision. The book, finally, offers a re-casting of theory to present the notion of inclusive leadership fuelling an approach and operation of a model for managing special and inclusive education (MISE). The MISE model is deliberately used as a conceptual framework for the structure of this book.

    Part II is an exploration of managing inclusive education and SEN provision in the educational organization and the wider setting of a local community. The focal point for this discussion is knowledge associated with an inclusive form of leadership, implementing change management, workforce remodelling and integrating policy in provision. It offers a way forward for managing the Every Child Matters policy agenda in the UK which is reflected in similar initiatives in other countries (for example, No Child Left Behind in the USA).

    Part III is a discussion of how to approach managing SEN provision, inclusive learning and teaching in institutional contexts. The focal point for this discussion is professional learning and leadership knowledge applied to the practice of managing educational inclusion. This will include a consideration of learning, teaching, behaviour management, pedagogy and the curriculum. It examines the ideas behind personalized education and the tensions inherent in managing diversity and differences in the school community.

    Continuing Professional Development Material

    At the beginning of each chapter is a summary outline of its contents. This generally includes a brief thematic précis of content and a set of key concepts or implications for leadership and management. The reader, depending upon their own motivation and purposes, may well wish to look at this before deciding what parts of the book should be first read.

    At the beginning of each part of the book is a brief discussion of key themes found within that section and a set of materials (for presentation/workshops) devoted to developing an agenda for MISE in the institutional context. This is offered as (CPD) Continuing Professional Development material, the powerpoint material can be downloaded from: It may be photocopied and is intended as a prompt for planning and organizing work. The conceptual framework used in this material is one of inclusive leadership and an integrative management of SEN policy. The material is structured in the form of a presentation or handouts, intended for individual or group activity, or workforce teams focusing upon leadership, management and SEN/inclusion policy planning and development.

    Series Editor's Preface

    For ten years BELMAS has been collaborating with Sage Publications to produce new books in educational leadership and management that are both informed by innovative, recent research, and inspired by a profoundly critical understanding and commitment to best practice. Hugh Busher and the late Harry Tomlinson have been distinguished Series Editors during that period and have produced and helped others to contribute to a series of books that inspire teachers and all engaged in educational work to identify the best that can be achieved in a particular field – as a basis for developing their own work in support of learners. Readers of the series owe each of them a debt, though it must be recorded with great regret that Harry Tomlinson died in 2005, before this latest new work could appear. Hugh Busher recently resigned as editor and so, as Publications Coordinator for BELMAS, I find myself with the privilege of introducing this latest addition to the series.

    I have been very fortunate – as any reader of this new book will soon discover. Steve Rayner is surely right to identify his topic as a ‘complex’ and ‘daunting’ task – that of enabling readers to understand, apply and develop leadership and management in the context of making the ‘educative process’ happen for children and young people, in all their limitless diversity. This important new contribution to the field of inclusive and special education will not only benefit practitioners, but should also be read carefully by providers and policy makers in the recently enlarged arena of Children's Services. The author summarises the most significant antecedents to current provision, and exposes often irresolvable conflicts and dilemmas which persist in their train. In mapping the links between managing and learning, he challenges and sets out an alternative to the influential, often taken to be inevitable, implications of working with learners in a managerialist culture that mistakes conviction for justification, expediency for reason and justice, and too often advocates narrowly instrumental strategies based on ‘short-term utility and kite-marking’.

    Steve Rayner never loses sight of the need for deep commitment to ‘making something worthwhile happen’ in the lives of learners, which he proposes as the overriding purpose of educational leadership and management. His conception of how such an aspiration can be achieved for those young people whose diverse particularities are too often unrecognized or overlooked, is indeed complex. Drawing upon Aristotelian constructs of knowledge and ethics, he provides a key-stone foundation for reconstructing and utilizing praxis as a way of making the ‘learning community’ part of the ‘learning leadership’ endeavour. His central model, successfully tested and applied over five years in the West Midlands, becomes operational through realizing the full implications of what it is to learn and work in a ‘learning community’. Practitioners are shown how clarifying intentions and identifying tasks can be carried out systematically, within a multi-disciplinary setting, through an integrated and reflective process of learning and managing, in which meaning and purpose are never allowed to drift apart. The educational goal here is termed ‘transformative learning’, a practice emphatically distinguished from the rhetorical flourish known as transformational leadership.

    This book is richly imbued with insight and knowledge, and organized so that it can readily be used as CPD material. It is warmly recommended – a valuable addition to the literature and a welcome and overdue enlargement of the series' professional and educational range.

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