This article summarises three case studies examining the implementation of inclusive practices, which evidence the exclusionary pressures acting in school settings that put the needs, rights and entitlements of vulnerable children and young people at risk. It examines how three very culturally different secondary schools in England interpreted inclusive policies and illuminates the various constraints to the implementation of inclusive practices as experienced by senior leaders, teachers, parents and pupils in these schools. Conceptual unpreparedness towards inclusion versus integration, knowledge and false conceptualisations of special educational needs and difficulties associated with differentiation and time limitations were the main barriers presented. The implications for initial and professional teacher education are posited; it is suggested that inclusion can work by removing the diagnostic paradigm associated with special educational needs and by creating a framework for teachers' lifelong learning focusing on a social justice oriented pedagogy that will empower teachers conceptually and practically.\ud \u
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