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Mainstream Education
  • Mainstream education is a term used when referring to education that is provided to children where children can be taught in the same way as others. 

  • The definition of the word mainstream is "considered normal, and having or using ideas, beliefs, etc. that are accepted by most people" (Cambridge Dictionary, 2023) and "People, activities, or ideas that are part of the mainstream are regarded as the most typical, normal, and conventional because they belong to the same group or system as most others of their kind." (Collins Dictionary, 2023). Therefore when using this in the form of educational establishments, it means provision that are not special schools, hospital schools, alternate provision and similar.  

  • Examples of mainstream schools are community schools, academies, grammar schools and voluntary schools. 

  • Mainstream schools are elected a budget to fulfil their duty to secure SEND provision at the setting, to enable students with special educational needs and disabilities to access mainstream education equally. 

  • Mainstream schools could also be 'maintained' schools - which means that  it they are maintained by another, usually a local authority. Being a maintained school means they are controlled and funded by the local authority. 

  • Provisions do not have to be mainstream to be 'maintained'. Some examples of maintained provisions are:

    • mainstream schools,

    • nurseries,

    • special schools,

    • alternate provision

    • and post 16 institutions.

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