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Stage play inspires inclusion of learning disabled pupils

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Follows the story of two mothers fighting for their children

A new stage play which explores issues around the exclusion of pupils with learning disabilities in mainstream schools will launch in October.

IncludED follows the story of two mothers fighting for their children, who have learning disabilities, to have the same opportunities at school as other young people.

It follows the two very different women’s experiences as their lives become intertwined through their tireless campaigning.

The play is produced by the charity Creative Change Collective and brings together professionals from the creative industries to affect positive change.

IncludED, which is supported by the charity Enable Scotland, will launch at Beacon Arts Centre in Greenock on October 12 and 13.

It will then visit venues in Helensburgh, Campbeltown, Dunoon, Oban and Glasgow, with the possibility of a wider Scottish tour.

Funding has been provided by the Argyll and Bute Third Sector Interface to support members of Jean’s Bothy community hub in Helensburgh, which focuses on mental health and wellbeing.

The play, which stars Rachel Ogilvy and Caroline Guthrie, is written by Creative Change Collective project director Mark MacNicol and directed by Libby McArthur.

Its name comes from the ‘IncludED in the Main’ campaign launched by ENABLE Scotland, which lists 22 key recommendations for schools, the Scottish Government, councils and Education Scotland to make to increase inclusion for pupils with learning disabilities. 

Mark MacNicol said: “We are incredibly excited to see our new play, IncludED, come to life on stage at the Beacon Arts Centre and across Argyll and Bute and Glasgow later this year.

“This play addresses serious and important issues around the exclusion of children with learning disabilities in Scottish mainstream schools.

“Creative Change Collective brings together creative professionals with a desire to use the arts to affect positive change.

“Our creative team set out to devise a piece of theatre that will stimulate all audiences regardless of their lived experience in this area.

“We hope it will add to the campaign led by Enable Scotland, which makes a series of recommendations for improvement.”

Jan Savage, director of Enable Scotland, said: “We’re delighted our campaign for young people with learning disabilities to have equal rights in education has provided inspiration for these themes to be explored in this play.

“It is vital to raise awareness of the human impact for pupils and their parents who struggle to have the same opportunities every other young person has.

“We hope this play, informed by people with learning disabilities themselves, encourages wider recognition of the need for action on these issues.

“It is vital families have the support they need to challenge barriers to inclusion which are still too often faced by young people with learning disabilities.”