Equality policies, their implementation, and their effects on children with disabilities in pre-schools in Saudi Arabia

  • Thoraya Kadasah

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


This thesis explores inclusive practices in four pre-schools to study how the inclusion of children with disabilities operates in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA). Educational inclusion is just one aspect of how governments approach the integration of all children into their societies. Theoretical aspects, such as equality, children’s rights and social justice, all underlie this inclusion.
The United Nations introduced conventions on the rights of children that contain specific provisions for children with disabilities. However, to date, academic research about the integration of children with disabilities in the KSA is limited. This study therefore examines the stance of the Saudi government on this subject; how well the practices comply with the UN Conventions, and Saudi government recommendations; what obstacles might exist which prevent true inclusion; and how these obstacles might be overcome.
To achieve these aims, this study utilised and triangulated a range of qualitative methods, using documentary analysis, questionnaires, interviews and observations to gather salient data. The findings show that the Saudi government has written a clear policy concerning inclusion, and that this complies with both the UN Conventions about access to education, as well as with Saudi policy.
There are however, major gaps between what the Saudi government has said it would like to achieve and what is shown in practice. This thesis concludes with the implications of these findings, offering a range of recommendations for how these gaps can be narrowed and how the obstacles to true inclusion can be overcome in the KSA.
Date of Award18 Apr 2017
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Roehampton
SupervisorLorella Terzi (Supervisor) & Mathias Urban (Supervisor)

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