Last Updated: Friday, May 06, 2022

Guidance on presumption to provide education in a mainstream setting 2019

What is this?

​​This Scottish Government publication provides guidance to education authorities on their duty to provide education in a mainstream school or early learning and childcare setting unless certain exceptions apply.

This guidance sets this duty within the context of other policies and related duties. It also sets the presumption of mainstreaming within inclusive practices.​

Who is this for?

​This guidance is for policy and decision makers in education authorities, education authority officers, senior management teams in schools and early learning and childcare settings and all school and early learning and childcare staff.

​How to use this learning and assessment resource to improve practice?​​

While this is primarily a guidance document, there are also a number of reflective questions which can support improvement.

To support understanding of the new guidance, practitioners may find it useful to study the Education Scotland: Introduction to Inclusive Education module.​

Explore this resource​

​This document sets out a vision for inclusive education.

Inclusive education in Scotland starts from the belief that education is a human right and the foundation for a more just society. An inclusive approach which recognises diversity and holds the ambition that all children and young people are enabled to achieve to their fullest potential is the cornerstone to achieve equity and excellence in education for all of our children and young people.

Inclusive practice is considered in this document through four key features of inclusion. These can be used to evaluate whether or not inclusive practices are in place. These are:

  • Present
  • Participating
  • Achieving
  • Supported

The document then supports local authorities in making decisions on where a child should learn. It explores how and why exceptions to the presumption of mainstream might apply​.

Reflective Questions

  • To what extent are practitioners in your local authority aware of the key features of inclusion?
  • ​To what extent are the guidelines in this document guiding decision-making around placement?​

External link​​​

​Scottish Government publication: ​Presumption to provide education in a mainstream setting: guidance