Inclusive education, democracy and COVID-19. A time to rethink?
Inclusive education is recognised by the United Nations (UN) as fundamental to upholding Article 24 of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, the right to education. Yet inclusive education appears to remain elusive and diversity continues to create a significant challenge for policymakers and professionals. This paper examines the continuing struggle with diversity within policy and practice and considers how, consequently, special education is strengthened while inclusive education remains hard to reach. The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on education and inclusion will be explored, with particular regard for the increased disadvantage experienced by those who are already excluded (and which the UN refers to as “double jeopardy”). The paper concludes with some reflections on the possibilities for rethinking inclusion that arise from the current situation.