KHDA releases new guidelines for Dubai private schools

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KHDA releases new guidelines for Dubai private schools

The guidebook lists requirements to makes schools 100 per cent inclusive.

By Sarwat Nasir

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Published: Wed 23 Jan 2019, 9:48 AM

Last updated: Wed 23 Jan 2019, 11:26 PM

All private schools across Dubai are now required to have an inclusion support team to support the principal in making the school fully inclusive, the Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA) has announced.
A guidebook has been released by the KHDA, which lists the requirements private schools have to follow to make their schools 100 per cent inclusive.
Inclusion support teams will include inclusion champion, the leader of provision for students of determination and representation from both support teachers and learning support assistants.
The measures are being introduced as part of Dubai's move to become a fully-inclusive city by 2020 and part of a new guide aimed at creating a system-wide change and helping build an inclusive system of education.  
Schools are also being encouraged to move away from medical model of assessing any special needs and instead being asked to create life-defining experiences for students of determination and their families.
Fatma Belrehif, CEO of Dubai School Inspection Bureau at KHDA, said, "We are aware of the challenges and opportunities in our journey towards building a fully-inclusive education system. The launch of this new guide for schools is a reflection of our commitment to scale-up efforts and enable schools to create a welcoming environment for everyone. This will only be possible when the entire school community values diversity and believes in creating engaging, relevant and meaningful experiences for students of determination." 
The guide covers new procedures for admission, assessment, identification, intervention, systematic support and resourcing for schools. 
Be inclusive to get stronger

A school is a microcosm of the outside world for children. It's where they interact and learn about divergent views, make friends and get their lessons in tolerance, perseverance, patience and a whole lot of other virtues. If this environment is inclusive in nature, promoting and encouraging children of determination, it'll give equal opportunities to all and sensitise the able-bodied towards the needs of the determined ones. Setting foundations at an early stage will result in a stronger society tomorrow.

Leadership for inclusive education

Further enhancing the role of school principals and governing boards, the guide outlines the importance of strong leadership. School principals are expected to work with school inclusion teams to:

> Effectively communicate a vision of inclusion, ensuring the engagement of the entire school community

> Develop and implement a comprehensive and strategic inclusive education improvement plan

> Ensure staff members are able to use inclusive education practices

> Monitor and review the progress of strategic plans

Clearer roles for school staff

New roles will be added to all private schools across Dubai to ensure better support for students of determination. ?These include:

> Inclusion champion: A knowledgeable educator and a skilled practitioner who support the ?development of inclusive attitudes and approaches

> Leader of ?provision for students of determination: Plays a crucial role in supporting classroom teachers to identify and develop specific approaches in the classroom so that every student is empowered to succeed

> Support teacher: Applies inclusive approaches within their teaching practices. They should spend not less than 60 per cent of their time engaged in activities that directly influence the inclusive competence of classroom teachers

> Learning support ?assistant (LSA): ?Replaces the former 'shadow teacher'. LSAs should be trained in using different approaches to lower barriers to learning, and to ?facilitate student engagement and participation within relevant and meaningful learning opportunities

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