The lessons learned from developing an inclusive learning and teaching community of practice

Toby Brandon, Joyce Charlton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)


This paper explores the development, in both practical and theoretical terms, of the Centre for Excellence in Teacher Training (CETT) based at Northumbria University. This is the only one of 11 new centres in England focusing on inclusive learning. CETTs are a critical component of a range of government reforms to teacher training within the learning and skills sector. CETTs are built on a partnership of organisations and the focus of the CETT for inclusive learning is to provide a source of expertise for those who teach or support learners with learning difficulties and/or disabilities (LDD). The partnership brings together teacher educators, teachers, trainers, researchers and learners as a ‘community of practice’ (CoP). In doing so, the CETT has developed an inclusive community of local providers working in higher education, further education, adult and community learning, work based learning, offender learning, specialist colleges and voluntary sector organisations. Early evaluations of this new community indicate that it is helping to reduce the isolation felt by some practitioners and provide peer and financial support to an area of work that is often overlooked. With reference to the CETTs own and external evaluative work, this paper goes on to examine the challenges and opportunities faced in setting up this project and the lessons learned in terms of both the meaning of inclusion within this group and how the training and research conducted by the CETT can effect change within the wider CoP. In presenting the track of this ongoing project, it is hoped that similar endeavours will have a better understanding of how inclusive practice can be obtained for such a complex and diverse group of participant organisations.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)165-178
JournalInternational Journal of Inclusive Education
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2011


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