The definite advancement of the movement on inclusive education is evidenced through declarations, gatherings, statements and various actions taken by governments across the world in the last century. The issue of inclusive education is characterized by deep rooted conflicts, dilemmas and contradictions. "Inclusive education should be seen as an attempted resolution of a dilemma that is fundamental to mass education systems: the dilemma of commonality and difference. Put simply, such systems have to offer something recognizably common - an 'education' - to learners who are recognizably similar, while at the same time acknowledging that those same learners differ from each other in important ways and therefore have to be offered different 'educations' (Dyson & Millward, 2000). It is now universally accepted by think groups and policy makers that children with disability or learning difficulty will ultimately be a part of the main stream, hence their participation in the main stream is earlier the better and an early start in mainstream schools is the best preparation for an integrated life.
Some of the major milestones in opinion building on bringing inclusive education in the mainstream of policy making activities include The Universal Declaration of Human Rights ( UDHR, 1948 ), International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination ( ICEARD, 1965), International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights ( ICCPR, 1966), International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights ( ICESC, 1966), Convention on the Rights of the Child ( CRC, 1989) and Salamanca Declaration, 1994. The Salamanca Declaration under the overall framework of UNESCO has been particularly noteworthy and it is worthwhile looking at some the key declarations which are given below:
Every child has a fundamental right to education, and must be given the opportunity to achieve and maintain an acceptable level of learning
Every child has unique characteristics, interests, abilities and learning needs, education systems should be designed and educational programs implemented to take into account the wide diversity of these characteristics and needs,
Those with special education needs must have access to regular schools, which should accommodate them within a child -centred pedagogy capable of meeting these needs,
Regular schools with this inclusive orientation are the most effective means of combating discriminatory attitudes, creating welcoming communities, building an inclusive society, and achieving education for all; moreover, they provide an effective education to the majority of children and improve the efficiency and ultimately the cost-effectiveness of the entire education system" (. http://portal.unesco.org/education)
Inclusive Education in UK
The successive British establishments were seized with issues associated with the shift in economy from traditional to knowledge work, especially the Labour party when it regained power towards the end of the previous century. Peter Drucker said in 1980 that the centre of gravity has sharply shifted from manual work to knowledge work in the world of work. The British leadership could see the need for a different focus in educational policy and its deployment. That led to efforts in building national competitiveness around workforce