Last week Somerset County Council hosted the first Inclusion Summit. The summit was an opportunity to act on the outcomes of the Inclusion Inquiry; with people from health and social care, schools, parent carers, young people and the County Council all invited.

Outcomes of the summit included:

  • A commitment to cross system collaboration
  • A commitment to the vision of Inclusive schools
  • Ownership that inclusion is a priority for allGaby and Alice at the Inclusion Summit

The summit was an opportunity to share thoughts, ideas and inform the future of inclusion. The day also provided time to network with providers and hear from young people. We had a keynote speech from Mel Ainscow, who is internationally recognised as an authority on the promotion of inclusion and equity in education.

The SEND Participation team attended Somerset’s first Inclusion Summit last week. Nicole Tucker, longstanding Unstoppables member and our previous SEND Young Person’s Champion (YPC) did a fantastic talk on her experience of Inclusion.

Our current YPC Gaby has written a snippet about her day and how she felt as a young person with SEND attending our event.

Gaby’s view of the summit:

The inclusion summit on Thursday 20th October. This was my first conference since starting as the SEND young person’s champion.  I found it to be very straight forward and interesting.

The first presentation was by Mel Ainscow this presentation was about Equity in education: a pathway to excellence. The overall theme that I could pick up on was that the presentation was about how we can all come together to make school and the classroom more equal to the students that need help or support. The presentation also showed us the education sector in places that there is a higher poverty rating.  Mel Ainscow went on to explain how one school in poverty joined partnership with an all-girls private school and not just the school that was in poverty improved but the private school also did too. This is something we can all learn from! Equality starts by looking out for everyone no matter your authority.

After the break we went on to see the Exclusion video and questions and answers. I found this video very hard because I, myself have been in that judgment bracket of nearly being excluded within my college years. But overall, I found it to be very impactful. We want to help young people have better education and experience. I feel if I could go back to a time when I was in college I would have reached out and made my voice heard. I feel young people want to be listened to.

After this we did the world café, we had three questions to answer these were

  • ‘What is inclusion and why does it matter?’,
  • ‘What are the main barriers to inclusion?’
  • ‘What is working well that can be built upon?’

This was an opportunity to meet new people because for every question we moved tables. I remember being interested in one of the questions, what are the main barriers to inclusion? As I am the voice for the young people, I knew I needed to get my point across. My point was that there is almost a wall put up in some aspects of education for example when I was in school my target grades and my lessons were judged upon my ability in English. The problem with this was that my talents or skills were misjudged and therefore was not taken into account because my English grade was so low. I think in further experience a child or young person’s talents should be taken in more consideration it will also help to improve their confidence and respect for education.

Our next Unstoppables meeting is the first Saturday of November – 5th of November 11-3pm in Yeovil.

If you or a young person you know wants more information about how they can join the Unstoppables or be part of our work, you can contact us via email (SENDParticipationTeam@somerset.gov.uk) or via phone/What’s App (07976 809 773).

You can also follow us on social media:Nicole giving her speech at the Inclusion Summit

Facebook @sendparticipationteam

Instagram @sendparticipation

To follow information about all youth voice activities across Somerset follow:

Facebook @SomersetYouthVoice

Instagram @somersetyouthvoice

Twitter @SomerYouthVoice

Gaby and Alice at the Inclusion Summit

General information

October 31, 2022

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