Last Updated: Thursday, December 22, 2022

Inclusion in Practice: The CIRCLE Framework - Secondary

What is this?

Information about a badged professional learning module which has been designed to support equitable professional learning on inclusive practice.

Who is this for?

​All secondary teachers, including newly qualified staff and those with specialist roles. It will also be useful for senior leaders to help raise awareness of key elements of effective inclusive practice.​

​​​Information about a badged professional learning module which has been designed to support equitable professional learning on inclusive practice for education practitioners in secondary schools and local authorities in Scotland.​ It is based on The CIRCLE Framework, a collaboration between practitioners in Edinburgh City, Queen Margaret University and NHS Lothian, that has been adapted for modular learning by Education Scotland.​​

How to use this resource

The module has been developed to provide professional learning for teachers who wish to improve inclusion in their classroom and school, thereby improving the educational experiences of all learners. It offers practical advice on how to meet the needs of individual learners and supports practitioners to develop collaborative approaches and share good practice.

After studying this module practitioners will have:

  • an understanding of how to promote effective inclusive practice using the CIRCLE Framework of inclusion
  • an awareness of how to promote a learner centred approach where learners are listened to and involved in the management of their own learning
  • an awareness of documentation to evidence assessment and input

Improvement questions

  • To what extent does my classroom practice reflect the context of Scottish education, inclusion and equality?
  • How can my inclusive classroom practice support and secure improved achievement and attainment for children and young people who require additional support?
  • Do I know where to access information and free resources to support my inclusive classroom practice and do I evaluate their impact?

Explore this resource

This professional learning resource has been designed to provide practitioners with an accessible and flexible professional learning opportunity. Participants can link to The CIRCLE Framework: (Secondary) after they have registered at the Open University OpenLearn Create website. They will then be able to work through the module at their own pace, accessing the module and downloadable resources at a convenient time.

The module can be worked through in a number of different ways – perhaps alone, or with a colleague or group of colleagues. A 'reflective log' has been developed for practitioners to evidence their professional enquiry and learning. The reflective log can be used for collegiate discussions with colleagues, annual reviews, General Teaching Council for Scotland (GTCS) Professional Update and can support applications for GTCS Professional Recognition.

This module also follows the national model of professional learning developed by Education Scotland which underlines that professional learning should challenge and develop thinking, knowledge, skills and understanding and should be underpinned by developing skills of enquiry and criticality.

Module Content

  • the Scottish context for inclusion, equality and equity
  • Inclusion in Practice: The CIRCLE Framework
  • learners' thoughts, views and ideas

Whole School Approaches

  • ensuring schools and classrooms are inclusive
  • supporting whole school inclusive approaches

Working within an Inclusive Classroom

  • why are inclusive classrooms important?
  • what is an inclusive classroom?
  • developing an Inclusive classroom
  • CIRCLE Inclusive Classroom Scale

Supporting Learners

  • identifying strengths and support needs
  • CIRCLE Learner Participation Scale

Skills, Supports and Strategies

  • skills
  • support and strategies

Collaborative Partnership Working

  • effective communication
  • partnership with parents and carers
  • partner services and agencies



Additional resources

Introduction to inclusive education – Free online professional learning
This page describes the introductory module to inclusion developed by Education Scotland.

Introduction to dyslexia and inclusive practice - Free online modules
Introduction to dyslexia and inclusive practice is the first of three free online modules developed in response to recommendations 1 and 2 of the 2014 Education Scotland review Making Sense: Education for Children and Young People with Dyslexia in Scotland​.​

Scottish Government - Additional support for learning
This page on the Scottish Government website describes additional support for learning: legislation, policy and guidance

Enquire - The Scottish advice service for additional support for learning​
This is the homepage for Enquire the national advice service for additional support needs. There is advice for parents, professionals and children and young people.


Education Scotland has partnered with CIRCLE, Edinburgh City Council and Queen Margaret University Edinburgh