School Inclusion – From theory to practice was founded by Loren Swancutt, an expert in the field of inclusive education in Australia. Loren’s work exists to support schools, educators, and parents to advance inclusive education practices and reform.
Loren is a highly experienced inclusive educator and school leader who is committed to advancing the realisation of inclusive education within the Australian context. She has 15 years experience working with diverse students in a range of capacities across primary and secondary schools. This work has included classroom teacher, support teacher, and school leadership roles. She has designed and led successful whole-school inclusive reform at a complex and challenging high school, and has fulfilled system level coaching roles focused on building the capability of Principals and school leaders to engage in inclusive school improvement.
Loren is well known for her work regarding inclusive school reform and inclusive teaching and learning. She possesses a unique ability to interpret and consolidate theory and research into practical implementation that is effective, scalable, and sustainable in schools. This has led to Loren being consider an innovator and leader in the areas of Universal Design for Learning (UDL), inclusive instructional strategies, and curriculum adjustments. Loren also has a particular interest and skill set centred on supporting students with complex learning profiles to engage with grade-level, academic curriculum and regular classroom experiences.
Loren delivers guest lectures for initial teacher education and Master level university courses, and presents on inclusive education topics at conferences around Australia. She is the co-fonder and national convener of the School Inclusion Network for Educators (SINE), which is a collaborative and supportive network of 3500 likeminded inclusive educators from across Australia. Loren has a Master of Inclusive Education and is undertaking her Doctorate of Education (EdD) at the Queensland University of Technology (QUT). She is a research student member of the Centre for Inclusive Education.
Inclusive schooling requires a commitment to transforming traditional practices and mindsets, effective and responsive pedagogical approaches, and strong leadership that is underpinned by solid professional knowledge and understanding. The demands of which can be overwhelming, with schools often experiencing a disconnect between accessing and interpreting strong theoretical frameworks and references, and transforming them into successful reform and practice. Therefore School Inclusion – From Theory to Practice is focused on bridging the the knowing/doing gap, and building capability and confidence across schools and systems.
Loren’s work is guided by a human rights framework including the principles embodied in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child and in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, the most authoritative expression of the human rights of people with disability, including the right to inclusive education under Article 24 which is defined and clarified in General Comment No. 4 (Right to Inclusive Education).
Loren’s work is also grounded in evidence-informed leadership approaches and instructional practices that are verified as being high-quality and effective ways of working in inclusive schools and classrooms. Loren regularly engages with up-to-date research and professional learning to ensure her knowledge and skills remain current and innovative.