Lord Derby Academy in Huyton has secured the prestigious Inclusion Quality Mark (IQM) – Centre of Excellence status – following a three day inspection last month.
What is the Inclusion Quality Mark?
The Inclusion Quality Mark Award provides UK schools with a nationally recognised validation of their inclusive practice and ongoing commitment to developing educational inclusion.
Inclusion promotes equal opportunities for all pupils, whatever their age, gender, ethnicity, attainment and background. It pays particular attention to the provision made for, and the achievement of, different groups of pupils within a school and any pupils who are at risk of disaffection and exclusion.
What does the assessment cover?
The IQM assessment covers a range of criteria including the school’s vision, the learning environment, learner progress and the impact of teaching, learner attitudes and values, as well as safeguarding and wellbeing considerations.
As part of the IQM assessment process, inspectors reviewed a range of evidence including the latest Ofsted report, school performance data, a recent external review of teaching and learning as well as the school’s website. Senior staff and Executives from the Dean Trust were also interviewed, along with the SENCO, teaching and non-teaching staff, Governors, parents, students and a range of external partners including Knowsley Council. The council carry out quality assurance of the SEND provision and that partnership working is strong with regards to improving provision and student outcomes. Lessons were also observed including book audits and after school training sessions.
What were the key findings?
Inspectors noted that Lord Derby Academy is a school where high standards and expectations are embraced by all. It also believes that everyone can achieve the highest ambitions, regardless of starting point, background or additional needs.
The school’s motto – “Believe, Achieve, Succeed” – permeates all policies, behaviours and routines and diversity is celebrated.
Inspectors also noted the rapid improvement journey that the school has been on and that it is now oversubscribed.
Inspectors found that the school has an open, transparent culture and they are happy to share their good practice with partner schools. They are starting to be recognised as the beacon of good practice in inclusion across the borough and the wider Dean Trust.
Inspectors noted that senior leaders and the wider inclusion team have a clear commitment to inclusion and support staff well. All adults within the school are committed to and passionate about the inclusion agenda.
There are three award levels, beginning with the IQM Inclusive School Award. Two higher award levels are available to schools that continue to grow and develop their practice in conjunction with other like-minded schools – IQM Centre of Excellence Award and IQM Flagship School Award.
Inspectors concluded that Lord Derby Academy not only fully meet the standard required by the Inclusion Quality Mark, but should also be recognised as a Centre of Excellence for their outstanding inclusive provision.
Cllr Margaret Harvey, Cabinet Member for Children’s Services, said “This is a truly outstanding report and one which Lord Derby Academy should be incredibly proud of. This national endorsement comes after Lord Derby Academy scooped the Inclusion Team of the Year Award at the Knowsley Education Awards last year. Being a Centre of Excellence enables the school to further build on their existing good practice and we will continue to work with all staff and pupils at Lord Derby Academy to ensure the very best education is provided for all of our children and young people here in Knowsley.”