Centre for Studies on Inclusive Education

supporting inclusion, challenging exclusion

news & events

One of a kind

08 October 2015

Gerv Leyden

CSIE mourns the sad loss of Gerv Leyden, tireless supporter of inclusive education and CSIE Trustee since 2007.

For most of his professional career Gerv had worked as an educational psychologist with children, parents and schools in respect of the education of children with significant needs or who found themselves in vulnerable or challenging circumstances. His focus throughout had been on improving systems and arrangements to support all children more effectively in mainstream settings. In pursuit of this he was also involved in the training of teachers and EPs in order to improve their skills, and understandings, and working at the systems level with schools and local authority services, to develop their capacity to include and meet the needs of all children.

Gerv had also been a member of the National Executive Committee of the Association of Educational Psychologists, Member and subsequently Chair of the British Psychological Society’s Training Committee and a Board member of the Marsha Forest Centre, Toronto.

A ray of sunshine for many whose lives he touched, Gerv’s wit, gentleness and wisdom will live on in our memories and in our stories. Watch Gerv, addressing delegates at the Toronto Summer Institute in 2008. To echo a comment on YouTube in response to this video clip: “How cool is this guy? My inspiration, love ya Gerv xx"

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Out in the open

20 July 2015

CSIE’s successful workshops were recently delivered in schools in Kent and Sunderland. Pupils aged 13-16 took part in disability awareness workshops, engaging in conversation and exploring disability from alternative perspectives. These workshops have been developed in direct response to the Equality and Human Rights Commission’s recommendation that schools should do more to help pupils understand disabled people, the social model of disability and the prejudices disabled people face (“Out in the open”, EHRC, 2012).

During these workshops pupils were encouraged to explore the literal and acquired meanings of particular words, including notions of “normality” and “disability”. Participants heard from numerous disabled people, through video clips or short extracts of selected writings, and were encouraged to consider what disability is and how it arises, the difference between disability and impairment, and to reflect on what similarities and differences exist between people and what weight these are given. Through various real life examples, pupils were helped to recognize common assumptions about disability and to understand how disabled people do things differently.

These workshops have been consistently rated very highly by pupils and staff: feedback has once again been overwhelmingly positive. 88% of participants (pupils and staff) in Kent and 98% in Sunderland said that they found the workshop helpful. Some of the reasons they gave for this were:
“It made me think of disability in a different way”;
“It changes your own perspective on everyone. On humanity and equality”;
“I have learnt that even if people have differences you should not judge their ability to do things”;
“It has showed me to not take pity just because people are different”;
“I now know that not all physically disabled people are mentally affected and that some are able to learn at the rate able people are”;
“It made me think.”;
“It made me look at disabled people differently”;
“It opened my mind to different points of view”;
“I now see disability in a different light”;
“It made me think more about disabled people ”;
“It was inspiring to me and others”;
“It has made me feel that I should not judge people from their appearance”;
“It made me think differently and outside of the box”;

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We’re on a roll!

28 June 2015

CSIE turns 33 today and has many reasons to celebrate!

Founded on 28 June 1982 as the Centre for Studies on Integration in Education, CSIE took on its current name in the 1990s. The Centre has continued to evolve, has expanded its remit to cover all aspects of equality in education, and has remained at the forefront of developments in inclusive education. Some of our most recent achievements are listed below.

CSIE has worked with eight schools to produce Equality: Making It Happen, a succinct and user-friendly guide for schools to address equality holistically. The guide was recently piloted in schools across the country and attracted overwhelmingly positive feedback, for example:
“Stunning contribution”;
“Excellent document, practical and useful”;
“Very impressive”;
“An absolutely amazing resource”;
“Easy to use and extremely well designed”;
“Very thought-provoking”.

A series of Equality Workshops, linked to Equality: Making It Happen, has recently taken place and will continue to be offered in the autumn. The workshops have also attracted overwhelmingly positive feedback, with comments such as:
“Excellent; experienced delivery, v good knowledge in the field of equality”;
“Excellent speaker. Inclusive. Relevant info to use and be active. Inspiring.”;
“A lot of v practical and v useful information”;
“Eloquent & informative presentation”;
“Excellent content and awareness of legal framework”.

CSIE has recently developed a new strand of work, delivering disability awareness workshops for pupils in schools, in response to the Equality and Human Rights Commission’s recommendation that schools should do more to help pupils understand disabled people, the social model of disability and the prejudice disabled people face (“Out in the open”, EHRC, 2012). These workshops have been highly valued by pupils and staff, who made comments such as:
“It helped me see disability from a new perspective”;
“Now I know not to judge by first appearance”;
“It encourages everyone (teachers included) to challenge their perceptions/beliefs about disability".

Alongside all these exciting achievements, recognition from others continues to grow. Recent examples include an invitation to chair a national advisory group on Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, which was recently set up as part of the Expert Subject Advisory Groups and an invitation to speak at two conferences in Prague, at a key juncture of the Czech Republic’s journey towards a more inclusive education system.

Happy Birthday CSIE, we all wish that you keep going from strength to strength and continue to be valued for achievements at the cutting edge of educational change!

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International recognition

11 June 2015

Prague Conferences

CSIE has been honoured to be invited to deliver keynote presentations in two conferences in Prague, one for school staff and parents, the other for senior officers. The invitation, from popular Czech NGO People in Need, came with the recognition of CSIE “as an excellent professional platform with a deep knowledge of inclusive topics”.

More than 300 people attended these two events, which took place on 9 and 10 June. CSIE director Artemi Sakellariadis was the only foreign presenter invited; she spoke of the value of inclusion and ways to strengthen inclusive school development, assisted by interpreters in Czech spoken and sign language.

The two conferences took place in connection with the end of the two-year project “System Changes for Inclusive Education in the Czech Republic”, and in response to a recent change in education law in the Czech Republic which now requires all schools to become more inclusive.

At the event for senior officers the other presenters included the Czech Republic’s Deputy Minister of Education, Chief Inspector of Schools, Vice President of the Association of Elementary School Head Teachers and representatives from the Ministry of Social Affairs and Palackż University.

CSIE looks forward to opportunities for discussions at this level within the UK as well.

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Equality workshops

04 June 2015

Following a successful crowdfunding campaign, CSIE is offering two free workshops on equality: in Bristol on 25 June and Manchester on 26 June. We remain grateful to everyone who backed our crowdfunding campaign and helped make these workshops a reality.

The workshops are for primary and secondary school teachers, inclusion managers and other senior leaders who want to build on understanding and addressing all aspects of equality in school. More than simply helping schools fulfil their legal duties or do well in an Ofsted inspection, these are practical, "hands on" workshops designed to be engaging and constructive.

Both events are free to attend but places are limited and advance booking is recommended. To book one or more places on the Bristol workshop please visit https://making-it-happen-bristol.eventbrite.co.uk and for places on the Manchester workshop please visit https://making-it-happen-manchester.eventbrite.co.uk.

The workshops are framed around CSIE’s new go-to guide "Equality: Making It Happen", a succinct and user-friendly set of reference cards to help schools address equality holistically. The guide offers simple and practical advice, as well as links to sources of further information and support. The workshops will explore how schools can best respond to their legal equality duties and ensure that all protected characteristics covered by the Equality Act 2010 are reflected positively in the curriculum and in everyday school life.

In addition to these workshops, CSIE offers bespoke equality training for school staff and governors. To find out more or to make a booking please contact training@csie.org.uk.

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Fabulous opportunity

28 April 2015

This is a significant moment in CSIE’s life and we are calling on all our friends and allies to help us continue the good work that we have started.

The pilot edition of Equality: Making It Happen, recently published by CSIE, is a succinct and user-friendly set of reference cards. “Seductively practical”, the guide provides equality audit tools, key information, suggested activities, examples of good practice and sources of further information and support. It has been created with primary and secondary schools, in direct response to teachers’ requests for a resource to help address equality holistically. The new guide has received a very warm welcome, including fantastic feedback from NASUWT Equality Officers who described it as: “Brilliant”, “Very impressive”, “Stunning contribution”, “Excellent”, “Well laid out, easy to access” and “Very thought-provoking”.

CSIE is planning a series of free workshops to help schools better understand and address all aspects of equality. The workshops will also show how Equality: Making It Happen can enable schools to ensure everyone is safe, included and learning, ultimately benefitting those at risk of bullying or discrimination. We know of no other initiative addressing all aspects of equality in schools in such an effective and user-friendly way. It will take a long time for our new guide to make an impact on the lives of all pupils in all schools, but for those that it reaches the effect can be decisive.

The number of workshops we run will depend on funding available. We have launched a crowdfunding campaign with a view to running at least two, and as many as ten, workshops. We invite everyone interested in advancing equality in schools to give generously and help us help schools make equality real. Thank you!

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Most helpful workshops

24 March 2015

Last week CSIE delivered disability awareness workshops to pupils, with ages ranging from 11 to 16, in schools in Oxford and Glasgow. In each group 95-100% of participants (pupils and staff) said that they found the workshop helpful. A handful who said that they found it unhelpful, commented that it did not add to what they already knew. Some of the reasons pupils and staff gave for finding the workshops helpful were:

I have found this workshop helpful because…

…it’s changed my views on disabled people in society.
…it helped me to know that disabled people can do things in their own way.
…I didn’t realise how intelligent and smart disabled people could be. It is amazing.
…it encourages everyone (teachers included) to challenge their perceptions/beliefs about disability.
…I now know that no matter how your body works you are the same as everyone else.
…I now understand disability more.
…it shows a different side to disability.
…I have learnt a lot about what it is like for disabled people.
…now I know not to judge by first appearance.
…I now see disabled people differently.
…the way in which disabled people are presented is unlike other presentations; it does not present them as victims we must feel sorry for, but instead people who are very similar to us and are not that different.
…it has opened my eyes and mind a lot.
…I have understood the value of inclusive education.
…it opened up my mind to new perspectives and helped me to understand more about disability.
…now I will think more about how the disabled person feels.
…it made me think behind my thoughts on disabled people.
…it shows you not to make fun of disabled people and to try and get a different perspective to see them.
…it helped me understand disability from the point of view of disabled people.
…it breaks barriers.
…it was not used to preach or ‘re-educate’ but to reflect on perspectives.
…I was very interested to hear about the difference between disability and impairment and hear what disabled people think about changes regarding them.
…it has given me a valuable, interesting and complex perspective on disability.
…it helped me see disability from a new perspective.
…it has made me think differently about disabled people.
…I found out disabled people are not much different from us.
…as a class teacher I found the content very informative and relevant.

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Pilot materials available

06 March 2015

Making It Happen

The pilot edition of Equality: Making It Happen is now available from CSIE. The materials have been developed in close collaboration with five primary and three secondary schools, in direct response to teachers’ requests for a succinct, user-friendly resource to help challenge prejudice and advance equality in schools

The new materials were presented yesterday, Thursday 5 March, at the NASUWT Equality Officers’ Briefing in Birmingham and received a very warm welcome from those present. Comments included: “Brilliant”, “Very impressive”, “Stunning contribution”, “Excellent”, “Well laid out, easy to access”, “Very thought-provoking”.

The pilot will run until early June; schools and other interested parties can leave feedback via a simple online form available at www.csie.org.uk/feedback.

CSIE will run a series of equality workshops throughout the country, details of which will be announced after Easter. In addition, CSIE is offering bespoke equality training for school staff and governors. To find out more or to make a booking please contact admin@csie.org.uk.

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Equality: Making It Happen

26 January 2015

We are very excited as we prepare to launch the pilot edition of “Equality: Making It Happen”, a practical and accessible guide for schools to make sure everyone is safe, included and learning. This has already attracted a strong interest in the sector and we look forward to sharing the new materials more widely.

We are now looking for primary and secondary schools, clusters of schools, local authorities, academy chains and initial teacher education (ITE) institutions interested in taking part in the pilot, which is due to begin after half term.

Participation involves engaging with the new materials for up to three terms and offering feedback to CSIE via a simple online form. How to engage with the materials is entirely at the school’s discretion and can involve any of the following: inviting staff, pupils or parents to complete equality monitoring questionnaires as part of a school audit; reading through the guide and noting any opportunities for school development; or consulting the guide during staff meetings, when reviewing the school development plan or simply as the need arises.

CSIE is offering equality workshops to groups of schools piloting the materials, to support their work and to facilitate group discussion; you may want to talk to other schools near you and encourage them to take part in the pilot too. We are still exploring funding options but may have to make a small charge to help cover our costs.

Schools, local authorities and other settings contributing to the pilot phase will be named in the final resource pack and be entitled to a discount on their first order of the first edition.

Please contact the CSIE office if you have any questions or to express an interest in taking part in the pilot. We look forward to hearing from you!

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Page last updated: Tuesday 10 November 2015

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