Huntcliff School, Gainsborough is assessed for the second time and becomes a Centre of Excellence.
Huntcliff Academy is a Special Place
Huntcliff Academy is a special place, it has been a great pleasure to undertake their assessment of the IQM Award.
The Academy currently caters for approximately 550 students and is situated in rural North Lincolnshire. The proportion of students with SEND known as SEN support or with an EHCP is above average.
An Outward Facing School
Huntcliff Academy work closely with other schools within the locality and are strategic partners in the Leading Learning Forward, Teaching School Alliance and the Humber Teaching School. They recognise the importance of being outward facing, working with their local communities, as well as maintaining many quality marks to verify their practice, for example Healthy Schools, Careers Mark, Artsmark Silver to name a few.
Using Action Research
The Academy uses action research to further its practice and has been developing its work alongside other colleagues from the Teaching Schools.
Sources of Evidence
The assessment was undertaken over two days and involved the following activities:-
• Meetings with the Principal, Senior Leaders and key staff, School Governors (Chair and Inclusion Lead) and representatives of the pastoral and inclusion teams.
• Tour of the Academy with students, a learning walk with the SLT responsible for Teaching and opportunities to join lunchtime clubs.
• Pupil voice.
• Work scrutiny.
• Additional documentation e.g. external reports.
A Strong Inclusive Vision
The Principal has a strong inclusive vision from the Academy and it is clearly evident across the assessment that this is shared with her senior leaders, staff and students. The students and staff are proud of their Academy.
A Calm and Orderly Place
Huntcliff Academy is a calm and orderly place. The lessons visited were engaging and students were working independently. The unstructured times are well managed and are fully supported by duty staff. The attendance is improving overall and behaviour practices are a strength.
The Academy’s Current Position in Relation to Inclusion
The Inclusion Quality Mark coordinator has created, with other senior leaders, a comprehensive self-evaluation report which accurately reflects the Academy’s current position and developments around its inclusive approach and provision. It is important to note the Academy has fully utilised the areas given for development from its last assessment and is extending its improvement work in this area.
Support for SEND Students is Excellent
Support for students with SEND additional needs is excellent. There is a wide range of support mechanisms in place for students with SEND, led by the Assistant Principal in charge of Inclusion and the SENDCO. The pastoral system and safeguarding procedures are a strength and support to a student’s well-being. The Academy works with several specialist agencies to further enhance support for students and their families. It is reported by staff and Governors that the Academy has a good reputation for meeting the needs of the LAC. The wider pastoral approach is a strength alongside the Academy’s innovative approaches to meeting students’ needs which, in turn, support these students and make their educational experiences more positive.
A Meticulous Approach to Evaluating Systems and Practices
Systems and practices are robust and there is a meticulous approach to evaluating them. I would especially like to note the strength of how the Academy involves and uses pupil voice in all aspects of Academy life and the most recent work around poverty proofing. This work is thorough and has enabled the Academy to respond quickly to the changes needed to improve the environment, school day and curriculum in order to further impact positively on all student educational experiences.
Parents Overwhelmingly Positive
The parents spoken to were overwhelmingly positive about the Academy’s leadership, opportunities provided to their children and above all, the care and attention given to everyone. There is regular and informative communication with parents as well as the access to a parent forum.
A Fully Committed Governing Body
The governing body is fully committed to the Academy’s vision and plays a very active role in the Academy, offering both support and challenge through their meetings, visions and wider engagement with the Academy.
I am of the opinion that Huntcliff Academy fully meets the standard required by the Inclusion Quality Mark to retain its quality mark. I recommend that the Academy retains the Award and considers pursuing Centre of Excellence status when they have embedded the nurture style ‘Gateway’ provision.
Find out more about the IQM Inclusive School Award
If your school is interested in obtaining the IQM Inclusive School Award or you wish to talk to a member of the IQM team please telephone:
028 7127 7857 (9.00 am to 5.00 pm)
or email: firstname.lastname@example.org for further details.
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