Inclusion Quality Mark (IQM)
Picture above, left to right: Sam Dailey (Lead Coach), Harley Weaver (Learning Support Assistant), Siobhan O’Dwyer (Pastoral Support Assistant and Year 11 mentor), Julian Moruzzi (Assistant Principal), Joe McCann (Managing Director, IQM)
The Gateway Academy has been awarded the Inclusion Quality Mark in June 2016 and has gained the ‘Centre of Excellence’ status. The full report can be found here.
What is the Inclusion Quality Mark?
The Inclusion Quality Mark was established in October 2004 with the objective of supporting schools to become truly inclusive. It has the largest team of assessors and advisors in the UK examining how schools meet the ever changing needs of a diverse community in delivering an inclusive education. All of the team are experienced educationalists committed to helping schools recognise their strengths and identify areas which require improvement suggesting various strategies to help the schools to evolve their inclusive practices
The IQM uses a standard for assessing schools against a nationally recognised framework on inclusion. It recognises and celebrates the inclusion work going on in schools, on both a local and national scale.
What is Inclusion?
Educational inclusion is about 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. An educationally inclusive school is one in which the teaching and learning, achievements, attitudes, Ethos and well-being of every young person matters. Effective schools are educationally inclusive schools. This shows, not only in their performance, but also in their ethos and their willingness to offer new opportunities to pupils who may have experienced previous difficulties. This does not mean treating all pupils in the same way. Rather it involves taking account of pupils’ varied life experiences and needs. “Evaluating Educational Inclusion” OfSTED 2000
Why be Inclusive?
At the Gateway Academy we are inclusive because:
- It helps to raise achievement
- It removes barriers to learning
- It enhances the curriculum
- It promotes well-being
- It helps to build positive relationships
- It makes a valuable contribution to the community
- It builds professional skills
- It leads to school improvement
What is an IQM school?
The IQM school is likely to see itself as a caring school which:-
- Seeks maximum academic success for all students
- Is focussed on the pursuit of outstanding teaching and learning
- Is focussed in the interest of relationships for learning
- Understands and cares for each individual
- Is a loving, fun and humane school
- Works with parents and students to raise standards and achieve excellence
Summary of IQM Assessment at The Gateway Academy
The Academy was assessed over two days in a variety of areas by Kenny Frederick:
‘I was able to witness the academy at work over two days and saw so many examples of inclusive practice that it is impossible to mention them all in my report. However, the focus on the well-being and care of your young people stands out as being extraordinary. Children come first at the academy and their individual needs are a priority. Safeguarding processes are given a high priority and are very thorough.
Progress and achievement of most students is good and reflects the hard work of the young people and teachers concerned. You are working hard to narrow the gap between disadvantaged students and their peers and while there is still a large gap to close, I am in no doubt that the academy, will tackle the issue with great determination and vigour.
The Gateway Academy is a school where nothing is left to chance. The attention to detail on the wellbeing and progress of each individual student is at the heart of your success. The ethos and atmosphere of the atmosphere is warm and friendly and it is clear that there are strong relationships between staff and students and staff are always prepared to go the extra mile for the young people in their care. Parents/carers are very supportive of the school and really appreciate all that is done for their children.
Students feel safe and secure and they know that every lesson they go to will be a good one where they are expected to try their hardstand to “improve on their best”. They are well motivated and they want to do well. Their attitudes to work and to each other are excellent. This is a result largely because of the work carried out by their teachers and support staff.
Teachers plan and deliver Quality First Teaching and clear feedback is provided for students and they really appreciate the efforts made on their behalf and are motivated by it. Inclusion in the Gateway Academy is rooted in classrooms. However, a number of specific interventions are in place to ensure students do not fall behind. Teachers take responsibility for all children in their class and plan appropriate lessons to include them. Learning Support Assistants and Teaching Assistants provide good additional support for those with special educational needs. The provision for students with SEND is good and is something to be proud of. Furthermore, provision for more able students is also very good and is constantly under review.
Students of all abilities and disabilities at the Gateway Academy are valued and appreciated. Differences are celebrated rather than feared and the school successfully promotes equality of opportunity and inclusion for all.
All the students I spoke to were in no doubt that the school had nurtured their talents and built their self- esteem and confidence and very good teaching had helped them make good progress. Similarly parents/carers expressed their gratitude for the excellent support provided for their children.
Leadership of the academy is exceptional and I have no doubt they will be able to bring about the necessary changes to ensure achievement and attainment improves rapidly. However, leadership is concerned about developing the whole child and equipping them for life. Staff are fully included and great attention is paid to their needs in order to help them provide quality teaching and learning for their students. They are certainly on board in terms of the vision and they appreciate the opportunities they have to improve their practice. They are totally loyal and are very proud of the academy and more importantly to the children.
I am of the opinion that the school fully meets the standard required by the Inclusion Quality Mark. There are only minor areas for development that the academy might consider implementing and I have discussed these in some detail with the academy. Furthermore, I believe the academy is well placed to become an IQM Centre of Excellence. I would certainly recommend this. Assessor: Kenny Frederick
Centres of Excellence
We are very proud to be awarded the status ‘center of excellence’, The Gateway Academy has determined that we will now be involved a large extent through our inclusion practices to fully develop further the areas that were assessed by the Inclusion quality team.
Are committed to sustaining the Inclusion Quality Mark ethos through collaborative activities.
- Have demonstrable plans to sustain and develop inclusive internal practice.
- Have good mechanisms to disseminate and share good practice between the schools who are also part of the status.
- Are able to develop, the capacity to share and disseminate good inclusion
- Practice across a broader cluster of schools.
- Are willing to engage in classroom level research activity that explores inclusive practice.
- Agree to have an annual Inclusion Quality Mark visit to ratify or validate the progress and develop an annual plan for development.
- Agree to contribute an annual written update of progress against the ten elements as the basis for the annual review.
- Are prepared to contribute to the overall development aims of Inclusion Quality Mark, supporting the need for expertise or trialling practice.
The full report can be found here.