We organise workshops and conferences addressing the topic of inclusion in schools

Mat Wright

Our approach to equality, diversity and inclusion

Inclusion in its widest sense of equality of opportunity for everyone is central to all of our work, from treating people fairly and without bias to creating conditions in the workplace, schools and wider society that encourage and value diversity and promote dignity.

Background in Germany

In 2011 the Kultusministerkonferenz assembly of ministers of education of the German states recognised the right of the child with a disability to learn together with children without disabilities. Since then inclusion in the classroom has become an increasingly important theme as the sixteen German federal states review their education systems and look to introduce new programmes and curricula. 

Partner with us on projects to create more inclusive schools   

We are working through our networks with foundations, state ministries of education and teacher training institutes in order to promote more inclusive practices in the classroom. If you are interested in partnering, we would like to hear from you

Events for policy makers and practitioners

Since 2017 we have partnered with the state teacher training institutes LISUM Berlin-Brandenburg, Landesinstitut Hamburg and Pädagogisches Landesinstitut Rheinland-Pfalz to hold "Creating more inclusive classrooms" conferences for policy makers and practitioners working in the field of special needs, integration and inclusion.

Working with consultants and experts from the UK

For our "Creating more inclusive classrooms" events in Berlin-Brandenburg and Rheinland-Pfalz we worked with local expertise as well as education consultants and expertise from the UK and across the British Council network, including the following: 

Susan Douglas - Senior Adviser Schools, British Council

Since leaving school headship in 2006, Susan has held a number of key roles with a wide variety of national and international organisations including the British Council, the National College for Teaching and Leadership (NCTL) and Teaching Leaders. Since 2012 she has also held the position of Chief Executive Officer of the Eden Academy Trust in West London.

In her position as Senior Adviser at the British Council, Susan provides sector expertise and advice to a wide number of educational programmes involving ministries of education, school leaders, teachers and young people across approximately 60 countries worldwide. She currently has responsibility for leadership and professional development programmes and system consultancy in Asia, Latin America, the Middle East and Africa, and works with headteachers and ministry officials throughout these regions. As CEO of the Eden Academy, Susan is responsible for the strategic vision and direction of the multi-Academy Trust in West London comprising 5 schools including a newly opened free school. Susan was instrumental in the founding and development of the academy which provides education for children aged 3-19 with a range of complex needs. At NCTL, Susan has worked closely with the senior leadership team providing policy advice and strategic services. In May 2016 Susan was a guest speaker at the G7 Education Ministers Conference.

Phil Dexter - English language Teacher Development Adviser, British Council

Phil Dexter is the British Council UK English language Teacher Development Adviser. Phil advises British Council teams globally on courses and resources for primary and secondary and currently works on approaches in creating and supporting more inclusive learning environments and classrooms. Phil’s most recent consultancy advice in inclusive education involves working with Governments in South Africa, Tanzania, Chile, Uruguay, Argentina, Spain and Germany and Baltic states. The current support to the Department for Basic Education in South Africa involves embedding inclusive education in university graduate teacher training courses. Phil has a Master’s Degree in English language studies from the University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, a Diploma in Special Educational Needs and has recently been awarded an MBE for services to special educational needs and equality, diversity and inclusion.

Marie Delaney - Director of The Learning Harbour

Marie Delaney is an educational psychotherapist, teacher, trainer and writer. She has worked for many years with children and young people with challenging behaviour and other special educational needs, both in mainstream and special educational settings. She has taught English and trained teachers in many countries across the world. She is one of the writers of the British Council’s online course for teachers in special educational needs. She is the author of ‘Teaching the Unteachable’ and ‘What can I do with the kid who...’ (Worth publishing UK) and Into the Classroom : Special Educational Needs ( OUP). Her main interests are engaging those learners who seem to be unteachable, bringing therapeutic ideas into mainstream education, helping teachers to manage their own stress and wellbeing so that they can teach the most challenging pupils.

John Ayres - Director for Academy Development of the Eden Academy

John Ayres OBE, BEd, MA was formally the Principal and now the Director for Academy Development of the Eden Academy based in North London. The Eden Academy comprises three primary, one secondary school and one all-age school catering for pupils with a range of special needs. The Academy has recently opened a new free school in January 2015. John has a strong record of leading and developing highly successful schools. John’s specialist areas are special needs and inclusion, school improvement, coaching and curriculum development. John was in the first tranche of ‘National Leaders in Education’ in the UK.  In this capacity he has successfully supported a range of leadership teams in special and mainstream schools across the UK. John has extensive overseas experience. This has included designing and leading leadership programmes and curriculum development in Hong Kong, Singapore, Malta, Jamaica and Egypt and currently as a consultant for the British Council in their inclusion programme with the Middle East & North Africa.

Sally Farley - Teacher Trainer, Counsellor, Writer and SEN expert

Sally Farley is a Teacher Trainer, Counsellor, Writer and SEN expert. She specialises in Inclusive Learning techniques, working with and embracing difference in the classroom, helping students to overcome barriers to learning. She is also interested in incorporating therapeutic ideas to understand behaviour and help motivate students with special needs to engage in and enjoy language learning. Assistive Technology and its value for supporting learners with SEN is another specialisation, and Sally has recently completed a chapter on this subject for Marie Delaney’s book on SEN in OUP’s Into The Classroom series. Sally has designed and implemented teacher training courses around the world and been a plenary speaker at many international SEN conferences. She has written two modules for the British Council‘s Secondary School Teacher Training course on Inclusive Learning and Working with Dyslexic Students and has recorded several webinars on this subject. She writes for HLT magazine and has been a speaker in two of the British Council’s seminar series. She has written several modules for the British Council’s SEN online course for teachers, and is one of the writers of OUP’s online courses on Dyslexia and SEN. She is a Specialist Support Tutor at the University of Kent.

Siân Williams – Education and Leadership Consultant

Siân Williams worked for ten years as a teacher, head of department and head of year in inner London secondary schools, where she developed a passion for and deep commitment to working inclusively with young people from all over the world. She carried this with her when she became a senior education officer in a south London local authority. Here she led a variety of programmes for children and young people focused on including children and young people at risk of exclusion, including social and emotional learning, anti-bullying and conflict management. Siân became a freelance educational adviser, facilitator and trainer in 2010, working in the UK and internationally with a variety of organisations to promote inclusion. She is also an experienced community mediator and restorative justice conference facilitator, skilled in working with both young people and adults to resolve conflict and repair relationships. Internationally, Siân has worked extensively for the British Council in Malawi - where she lived between 2013-16 - on the Connecting Classrooms programme. Over the last three years she has trained over 500 school leaders and teachers both in Malawi and Zambia, specialising increasingly in inclusion. Recently, Siân’s role as an education and leadership consultant for the British Council has taken her to Sri Lanka, Hong Kong, Latvia and Poland, working with policy makers, academics, school leaders and teachers to promote inclusion and quality inclusive practice. Her keynote speeches have been described as inspirational and she is known for her high quality, hands-on workshops that give people practical experience of inclusive classroom practice. She relishes sharing her passion and commitment for inclusion with others at the same time as learning about inclusive practice around the world.

Anne Margaret Smith - Senior Lecturer in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL)

Anne Margaret Smith has taught English for 30 years in Kenya, Germany, Sweden and the UK. She has worked at several universities in the UK, most recently as Senior Lecturer in TESOL at the University of Cumbria. She is also a dyslexia specialist tutor and assessor. She now runs 'ELT well' in order to bring together best practice from the two fields of English Language Teaching and Specific Learning Difficulties support, by offering materials and training to teachers, as well as providing specialist teaching to neurodiverse learners. She was instrumental in setting up the IATEFL Special Interest Group: Inclusive Practices and SEN and is now the co-ordinator of this group.

Feedback so far

Our "Creating more inclusive classrooms" events in partnership with LISUM Berlin-Brandenburg, Landesinstitut Hamburg and Pädagogisches Landesinstitut Rheinland-Pfalz have attracted a great deal of interest from teachers and teacher trainers. Attendance and engagement were excellent, and feedback has been very positive. 

  • “I strongly recommend these workshops for principals, educational boards and ministries.” 
  • “Good choice of experts invited to the conference. Very positive and motivational presentations about inclusion.” 
  •  “Thank you for the opportunity to share thoughts on this topic and congratulations on a valuable, inspiring and brilliantly organized event.” 
  • “The orchestration was outstanding: all the speakers contributed a specific point of view based on highly professional experience. I enjoyed working with you and it would be great to cooperate again.” 
  • "The content is of relevance to all teachers / school staff, not just English teachers.”

Sample resources and presentations 

For more information and ideas, you can download reference copies of the programme and handouts from our "Creating more inclusive classrooms" events as well as a selection of the presentations from some of our experts below: 

External links