A Whole Education Approach to Inclusive Education: An Integrated Model to Guide Planning, Policy, and Provision

September 19, 2023

Education Sciences. 2023, Volume 13, Issue 9. 

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Inclusion is an important aspect of achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in education. This article will discuss the significance of recent developments in the field of school-based bullying prevention and evaluate their applicability to the policy discourse of inclusive education. Both inclusive education and school-based bullying remain contested phenomena without a clear consensus regarding their definition or how to operationalise them as concepts within school policy or practice effectively. UNESCO’s Scientific Committee has recently proposed the Whole Education Approach, which conceptualises a holistic, socially engaged, and interconnected vision for policy development in addressing school-based bullying prevention. Importantly, the Whole Education Approach conceptualises incidences of bullying as indicative of a deficit of care and support within the surrounding social environment, thus adopting an ecological and relational focus regarding bullying prevention. In addition, bullying prevention is viewed as requiring coherent collaboration between the school, family, and other relevant stakeholders in the local social community surrounding the school. This includes government funding, resource policies and national legal frameworks. This article argues that this approach may also have utility within inclusive education policy in supporting a more integrated and holistic promotion of social inclusion, underpinning equal opportunities in recognition of the diverse needs of all learners in schools. This article discusses the details of the Whole Education Approach and emphasises how this framework can also address educational inclusion by adopting an integrated, multi-elemental focus on supporting collaboration across stakeholders relevant to the lives of pupils within schools.

Neil Kenny
James O'Higgins Noman
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Date of Publication

September 19, 2023

ESRI Series

Journal Article


© 2023 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (https:// creativecommons.org/licenses/by/ 4.0/).