Inclusive Education

True inclusion means being an active participant, with an equal voice, rights, and chances to succeed in an environment that takes you and your needs seriously.

'Inclusion’ has become one of those ‘buzz words’ that is used with great frequency but not universally defined. This is a problem because some understandings of inclusion are all but meaningless when it comes to important questions such as where children learn, what they learn, who teaches them, and how well they achieve?

Simply being physically present does not mean that you have been included in any meaningful sense; true inclusion means being an active participant, with an equal voice, equal rights, and equal chances to succeed in an environment that takes you and your needs seriously. 

We use research to explore the numerous ways in which different groups are excluded from equal opportunities and achievements, often through the daily routines of schools and universities. We also explore how this exclusion can be challenged and changed.  

The Autism Centre for Education and Research (ACER)

The Autism Centre for Education and Research  carries out extensive research into educational interventions for those on the autism spectrum. The recent Transforming Educational Practice in Autism project gathered together a community of researchers, policy makers and practitioners in the UK, Italy and Greece to research current educational practices in autism in those respective contexts to create professional development programmes.

The Centre for Research in Race and Education (CRRE)

The Centre for Research in Race and Education pursues race equality and social justice by working to close gaps in educational achievement and improve the educational experiences and career outcomes of Black and minority ethnic people. A current piece of research is exploring under-representation of women and Black and Minority Ethnic groups in universities’ senior decision-making roles.

The Vision Impairment Centre for Teaching and Research (VICTAR)

The Vision Impairment Centre for Teaching And Research focuses on the social and educational inclusion of people with vision impairment. A recent project investigated ways to improve the early childhood curriculum and teaching methods of pre-school carers, to increase the quality of early childhood development and education provision for young children with disabilities in Malawi. 

"The University of Birmingham has world class academics studying inclusion and exclusion and making recommendations about how to create an inclusive and sustainable educational environment. We are also engaged in applying our research knowledge to ensure that teachers at all levels and of all subjects can meet the needs of all learners and can respond effectively to diversity in the classroom."

Professor Julie Allan

Professor Julie Allan

Professor of Equity and Inclusion

Key Staff

  • Professor Graeme Douglas

    Professor Graeme Douglas is Head of the Department of Disability Inclusion and Special Needs in the School of Education and Co-Director of the Vision Impairment Centre for Teaching and Research

  • Dr Nicola Gale

    Dr Nicola Gale is a health sociologist and is co-chair of the University’s Inclusive Education Committee.