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Inclusive Education

“Inclusion is the value system which holds that all students are entitled to equitable access to learning, achievement and the pursuit of excellence in all aspects of their education. The practice of inclusion transcends the idea of physical location, and incorporates basic values that promote participation, friendship and interaction.” 
Source: B.C. Ministry of Education. Manual of Policies, Procedures, and
Guidelines for Special Education Services

B.C. teachers believe in inclusion and have adopted a policy that every student is entitled to an appropriate education. Students with special needs have a right to access an inclusionary public education system which prepares them for full citizenship in a democratic society.

BCTF Policy Statement on Inclusion

The 2018 Annual General Meeting passed a policy statement on inclusion, Policy 9.W.01, confirming the BCTF’s commitment to inclusion of all students in a fully funded universal public education system, expressing principles with regard to inclusion of students with special needs.

Langley Special Education Inquiry

The Langley Teachers' Association, CUPE Local 1260 and the Langley District Parent Advisory Council, with support from the BCTF, partnered to conduct an inquiry into learning conditions for students with special needs and teaching and working conditions for special education teachers and special education assistants in School District #35.

Special Education Reviews

Port Alberni: Special Education Review: School District 70 (Alberni) 
Richmond: 2008 Richmond School District Inclusion Review

BCTF Research projects

  • Teaching to Diversity: ESL, Learning Assistance, Special Education

    The Teaching to Diversity: ESL, Learning Assistance, Special Education web page offers a wealth of information for teachers who are looking for ideas and support to meet the diverse learning needs of students in BC schools.
  • Special education research reports
  • Special Education, Learning Assistance and ESL research project in two school districts (2002–03)

    Significant changes have occurred in the B.C. education system which affect educational programs offered to students with special needs, and for ESL students. These changes included increased class size and no limits on class composition, removal of high-incidence targeted funding, and removal of ratios, resulting in fewer specialist support/resource teachers. We believe that the changes have impacted many students’ learning and all teachers’ work.

    The BCTF collected data in two school districts—Nanaimo and Coquitlam—
    - to monitor the effects of change in special education and ESL; and
    - to examine the role of the specialist support teacher (special education, learning assistance, ESL).

    The information has been used to advocate for services that meet students’ needs and that make teachers’ work manageable.
  • Identification, Assessment, and Programming for ESL Learners with Special/Additional Needs (five case studies)

    These reports describe how individual teachers, groups of teachers, and one school district approached the inclusion of ESL students with additional needs. As the reports were written several years ago, many of these practices will have changed. Nevertheless, they are shared as examples of educators' efforts to address a variety of exceptionalities in their classes, schools, and districts.

Provincial Specialist Associations

There are six BCTF provincial specialist associations which focus professional thinking on practices and strategies to serve the needs of students who, for example, have a learning disability, are gifted, face physical challenges, or who fit within other categories of special education. They are:

BCTF reports, publications and submissions

External resources

  • FacebookTwitterYouTube
  • TeachBC
  • BCTF Online Museum
  • BCTF Advantage