Lawrence Community Primary School, Merseyside, Liverpool, has achieved the Inclusive School Award.
Inclusion is at the Heart of Everything They Do
Lawrence Community Primary School is a highly inclusive, welcoming school where everyone is valued. Diversity is not just embraced but celebrated by all in the school’s community and inclusion is at the heart of everything they do. The ethos and atmosphere throughout the school is truly special.
Importance of Valuing Everyone
The school’s mission statement places importance on valuing everyone within the community and this philosophy is evident in all the school policies and in everyday life at Lawrence. The school’s three clear aims underpin all aspects of school improvement planning and highlight the importance of inclusion and developing the children as a whole:
1. To develop a school where effective teaching and learning take place and there is fairness for all.
2. To enable all our children to achieve their full potential while helping them become responsible members of society.
3. To develop a school community where everyone is valued.
Staff are dedicated to ensuring that all pupils, including those with SEND, EAL and those who are disadvantaged, are enabled to succeed and can achieve their potential.
The IQM assessment process included an evaluation of the comprehensive documentary evidence provided by the Inclusion Manager and IQM Coordinator along with external documentation such as the latest Ofsted report, data from the School Performance Service and the school’s website. The assessment visit comprised of meetings with representatives from key stakeholders, including senior staff, the SENDCOs, teaching and non-teaching staff, governors, parents, pupils and representatives from the school’s key external partners including the Anthony Walker Foundation and EMTAS (Ethnic Minority and Traveller Achievement Service). During the two-day assessment, I carried out learning walks, book scrutinies, an audit of the displays and school environment, discussions with pupils, staff and parents and observations of social times. I attended assemblies, observed interventions, and the delivery of specialist projects such as the New to Country Programme and the British Values Capoeira Project.
Lawrence Community Primary School is a large, two-form entry primary school with a nursery provision situated in an area of Liverpool with high levels of deprivation. The vast majority of pupils, around 88%, are from ethnic minority groups and speak English as an additional language. There are currently 43% of children in receipt of Pupil Premium funding. The proportion of students identified as requiring support for SEND is above national average and the mobility of pupils is high. The school provides both breakfast and after-school clubs which are well attended. After school clubs are funded by the school and the breakfast club places, which is for Pupil Premium children, are also school-funded.
The school’s context is unique and presents the School’s Leaders with several additional complex challenges. An example of this would be pupils who join the school in the older year groups, having recently arrived in the country with little or no English, and never experiencing education in their home countries. Many of these students, and their families, have experienced severe trauma which leads to a higher than average proportion of students being identified as having SEND for their mental health and emotional needs. Despite these challenges, Lawrence pupils make good progress from their starting points and flourish over the course of their time there.
High-Quality Advice and Support
The school’s most recent Ofsted inspection from July 2018 judged provision at Lawrence to be ‘requiring improvement’, however the report reads very positively with regards to the inclusive provision, particularly pupils’ personal development and welfare, which is described as ‘Good’. The Ofsted July 2018 report commented that:
“The school’s inclusion team is highly efficient in ensuring that pupils remain safe and receive effective support. The school’s inclusion team offers high-quality advice and support to both pupils and their families.”
In the school’s most recent SEF, the Senior Leaders judge provision to be at least ‘Good’. The external data set, alongside Local Authority visit reports, internal and external monitoring, support this judgment. External assessment data is improving year on year. In 2018-19, Key Stage 2 attainment was below the national average however it demonstrated significant improvements when compared with the previous academic year.
Lawrence Outperforms Local and National Averages
When you evaluate progress data, Lawrence outperforms local and national averages. By the end of Year 6 in 2019, the progress Lawrence pupils made in reading was 1.37, compared to the LA average of 0.15 and the national average of 0.03. In writing, Lawrence pupils made good progress (2.38 compared to LA average of 0.21 and national average of 0.03). Maths progress was well above national average with 3.04 for Lawrence pupils, compared to the LA average of 0.08 and the national average of 0.03.
Excellent Inclusive Provision at Lawrence Primary
Lawrence Community Primary School is the first school to have been awarded the Anthony Walker Silver Diversity Award. It is also proud to be accredited as a School of Sanctuary. Both accolades recognise the excellent inclusive provision at Lawrence. As part of its accreditation as a School of Sanctuary, Lawrence:
“is committed to being a welcoming and safe place for all. We are not just a sanctuary for those whose lives were in danger in their own country, but to any pupils who are experiencing difficulties at home or are just needing a place to feel secure and safe.”
The Headteacher and staff place huge importance on ensuring all members of their community feel valued and it:
“is a school that is proud to be a place of safety and inclusion for all”.
Commitment to the Wellbeing of Staff and Pupils
Every member of staff who was spoken to during the assessment days was able to clearly articulate a shared vision for inclusion. Lawrence is a school where:
“everyone is valued and welcomed” and “difference is celebrated.”
The Headteacher talked about inclusion being about:
“fairness and equality; that they treat individuals differently to ensure that they all have equal opportunities”. He recognises that a “sad child is not going to learn” and a “sad teacher isn’t going to teach.”
Thus, reflecting the significance that he, as School Leader, commits to the wellbeing of staff and pupils.
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.
Want more information on the IQM Award? Click here to request your free IQM information pack.