Book Review: On the Fringes: Preventing exclusion in schools through inclusive, child-centred, needs-based practice

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Jackie Ward had extensive experience as a teacher, SENCO and deputy head in the primary sector before setting up her own consultancy. Here, she specialises in behaviour and special educational needs and disabilities in mainstream primary and secondary schools. She has an impressive number of qualifications that inform her independent practice and they span wide areas of professional development. In this book, Ward aims to present the reader with an understanding of the common challenges and frustrations met by pupils, parents and teachers in the complex world of SEN. It is aimed at those who are involved in ensuring that every child in every school has their needs met to the best of the ability of those working with them. 

Chapters include: ‘Exclusion facts and figures’, ‘The legalities of exclusion’, ‘Behaviour or complex need?’, ‘Spotting the signs of underlying needs’ and ‘Holistic approaches’.

The book opens with a useful list of acronyms and is written from a passionate and personal perspective. Ward talks about the effects of exclusion on children and families and refers to the critical role of positive communication with parents of children at danger of exclusion. She outlines the characteristics of inclusive schools and how SEND needs to be integrated and understood at all levels.

This is an interesting and informative text that is based on the author’s professional practice and training. Its chapter on mental health and wellbeing and holistic approaches is particularly relevant in our current situation. 

Author: J. Ward
Publisher: Crown House Publishing Ltd.
ISBN: 978-1-785-83351-9
£14.99

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