Towards inclusion: Provision for diversity in the transition to school.


Policies of inclusion challenge the construct of readiness and require schools to prepare for the diversity of children as they transition to school. However, there is limited empirical evidence concerning how this challenge is met. This paper presents two Australian studies that investigate inclusive practices in the transition to school. Study 1 examined the predictors of child outcomes across a sample of 1831 children in 39 schools. The results indicate that both quantity and quality of programme provision influenced outcomes and that programme effects were particularly potent for children with diverse abilities and backgrounds. Study 2 focuses on pedagogy in three of the schools to highlight how this provision can be achieved. Results show that provisions were reactive, that saliency of children’s needs directed school practices and that professional knowledge impacted on measures of quality. Inclusive processes accounting for both child progress and broader family and teaching influences are necessary for improved transition to school.