Doncaster academy receives nationally recognised award for its work on inclusion

A secondary academy based in Doncaster is celebrating after being awarded a nationally recognised award for its work on inclusion.

Wednesday, 23rd June 2021, 11:37 am

Outwood Academy in Adwick was awarded the Inclusion Quality Mark Award by IQM. The award provides UK schools with a nationally recognised validation of their inclusive practice and ongoing commitment to developing educational inclusion.

The academy’s success comes after a long assessment process, which was split into two phases beginning with a self-evaluation followed by a two-day assessment by the IQM team after which the assessors noted the academy was a ‘very friendly, inclusive and vibrant place where all are welcomed, and no one is left behind or left out.’

Andy Scruby, Principal at the Windmill Balk Lane-based secondary academy, said: “We are absolutely thrilled to have been accredited with the prestigious IQM Award, which highlights that inclusion at all levels is of paramount importance to us.

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The academy’s success comes after a long assessment process
The academy’s success comes after a long assessment process

“At Outwood we believe that every child deserves the best education, no matter their start in life and we work tirelessly to ensure we deliver on this belief. This accreditation is testament to that work.”

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During self-evaluation, the criteria for Outwood Academy Adwick was broken down into five sections, focusing on inclusion values and practice of the school, the learning environment, resources and ICT, learner attitudes, values and personal development, learner progress and impact on learning, and learning and teaching.

The follow-up two-day inspection consisted of the academy being visited by an IQM assessor, who went through the five self-evaluation topics in detail for a full formal assessment.

The report spoke in glowing terms about the staff at the academy, as well as the strength of the relationship between the academy, its students and their families. It noted there was a ‘genuine ambition for their students and themselves and integrity amongst the staff revealing that what matters most are the students, their families, and the community, as well as a fantastic level of support for each other that shines through.’

This relationship between the academy and the community was strengthened over last year’s lockdown, with the academy’s efforts praised within the report:

“staff continued to deliver high quality learning experiences for their students as part of a normal timing of the day and how they went above and beyond what is expected to ensure that students and their families and the local community continued to be supported and were able to access appropriate Teaching and Learning opportunities and with regular check-ins to ensure everyone was ok.

“Excellent communication with students and their families, the timely provision of teaching materials and technology ensured that pupils managed to continue working and learning so that gaps in knowledge can now be more readily addressed.”

Such was the positive nature of the assessment, within the report was a recommendation for the academy to apply for IQM Centre of Excellence status which it subsequently did and was successful in doing so.

Andy added: “The accreditation is definitely not the end of our inclusion journey, and we will continue to promote the inclusion quality principles of promoting access and diversity, raising achievement for all and creating an environment for all to succeed, as we strive to ensure we are a IQM Centre of Excellence.”

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