This paper reports on the development of a framework for the classification of local school ideologies in relation to inclusion that provides a tool for classifying the general educational direction as well as work with pupils in need of special support of individual schools. The framework defines different aspects of local school ideology in terms of values related to the societal level, school level and individual level of the education system. The paper also reports on a study exploring variations among Swedish independent schools, concerning local school ideology using the framework as a theoretical tool. In this qualitative analysis, eight schools were selected from results of a questionnaire to all Swedish independent schools (return rate 79.5%) for further analysis based on interviews with different categories of school personnel, parents and pupils. Five different patterns of local school ideologies were found more or less in line with values of inclusion, e.g. the holistic-inclusive and the market-oriented-exclusive. Results are discussed in relation to the multiple and sometimes competing objectives that every school has to deal with and make priorities between. Implications for pupils in need of special support in a school system rapidly undergoing marketisation are finally discussed.