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Ep 34: The vital role of D&I in early education and how to make it happen with Lizzie Varley

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Helen McGuire
by Helen McGuire

​How does adapting teaching to better support those from neurodiverse backgrounds affect learning for everyone?

Lizzie Varley sits down with us this week to speak on the importance of diversity within schools. Lizzie is based in Dubai as Education Advisor in Safeguarding, Inclusion and Wellbeing for Cognita Schools - a group of diverse schools spanning 16 countries.

Lizzie, like her family, has always valued diversity, inclusion and equal opportunities. We learn about her upbringing and how profound of an effect one's background can have on the career choices that they make. Lizzie has always worked in highly inclusive schools. Moving to Dubai was a culture shock for her, and she shares how not all schools saw the value of inclusion in the same way she did.

We speak about why schools should reflect society and the vast benefits that a holistic learning environment can grant to all children - not just those who have additional needs. We also speak on the value that teaching children about neurodiversity from a young age brings to everyone.

In this episode, you’ll also discover:

  • How does Cognita differ from other school groups?

  • How can children build resilience during their education that will support them as adults?

  • The value of teaching well-being and emotional intelligence to children

  • Why are diversity and inclusion so important in schools?

  • How are the expectations that schools have of children changing?

  • The inspiring ‘coffee table’ story that Lizzie shares about her mum

Listen on Apple Podcasts here

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