Longdendale High School, Hyde in Cheshire, part of the Stamford Park Trust, have achieved the Inclusive School Award with Flagship School status for the second time.
Longdendale High School is an average sized, and superbly inclusive, secondary school in Tameside. LHS became part of the Stamford Park Trust, a Multi-Academy Trust led by Ashton Sixth Form College in January 2021. Those involved with the Trust have a shared belief that the young people of Tameside should have access to the best education provision available so that the students in their care are able to realise their ambitions for their future and their life chances are improved by embedding outstanding practice across the Trust. This is encapsulated in their vision, ‘Excellence and Ambition.’
Staff led by the inspirational and aspirational Headteacher, and her extremely dynamic and passionate Senior Team, supported by the newly appointed Executive Principal, all have an acute understanding of the school context and a drive and passion to support students and their families with the highest aspiration for them all. Inclusion, care, nurture, and support are at the core of everything that happens at the school and is naturally ingrained in every aspect of school life. It is a vibrant, caring, and friendly place to attend as a student and as a member of staff. It is thriving exceptional hub of educational and inclusive excellence where every member of staff is committed to the school and highly valued by the Leadership Team and each other. Strong relationships with students and families continue to evolve and mean there is a high degree of trust and a very good understanding of how the school can best support students and their families.
What continues to stand out very clearly from the evidence of this and previous reviews is the pride the staff feel for the school and what they achieve there, but also the passion that is immediately evident when walking around the school, in conversations with them and is clearly demonstrated in the way that they engage and work with each other, students and families to more than meet need, going above and beyond what is expected. Everyone at LHS understands their role and work in harmony and collaboration with each other to achieve successful outcomes for all. Staff pride in their excellent inclusivity where they naturally and actively promote equality and diversity stood out again during this review. They are committed to maximising the success, achievement, and outcomes for all students, each other, and families.
Role Models and Ambassadors
The Head Boy and Head Girl were extremely articulate and marvellous ambassadors and enthusiastic advocates for the school. The conversation with the two was fascinating and demonstrated their unequivocal love of their school and touched on student leadership and how they were instrumental in affecting change and the legacy they would be leaving behind as they moved on at the end of the school year. It was a privilege and a pleasure to talk to such inspiring and aspirational students.
Collaboration for Success
The newly appointed Executive Principal and the Headteacher ‘spoke of changes in context of the school and the Trust since the last review, including how they are working with external partners such a MIND and Manchester City FC – ‘City Inspires.’ It was clear that there have been major changes and improvements in the both the Trust and in the school that are allowing them to work more closely together and to support positive and rapid change. The appointment of the Executive Principal has ensured that work is evolving and coming to fruition more quickly.
A further meeting with the Head Boy and Head Girl and the Student Council and Anti Bullying Ambassadors allowed them to express their views on how student leadership had evolved over the last year, and they were able to articulate their involvement in school life, particular projects they had been involved in and they discussed ideas for the future. The students were extremely thoughtful and mature and are a credit to themselves and to the school. It was a privilege to meet with them and showed the undeniably inclusive way that the staff and students work together and are actively involved in dialogue and actions to improve what happens at LHS for everyone.
A tour the school and taking part in a learning walk with the DHT allowed first-hand insight into what happens in classrooms and around the school. We were able to discuss the new Behaviour Policy and how that was embedded across the school and was resulting in improved relationships between staff and students. The school was a calm oasis with very few students on corridors. Classrooms were hives of meaningful learning and activity with students clearly engaged and involved in learning, but who were happy to discuss and give their thoughts about the school and what they were doing in class. It was very apparent that relationships across the school, between students and staff and between staff were exceptional and that this is the result of well thought out and executed planning that everyone is now buying into, confirmed in later conversations with numerous students.
Conversation with parents were extremely enlightening and positive. One couldn’t be happier with her experience of the school and the way they support her and her children. She was able to clearly articulate her experience of two schools with her elder child and explained that the move to LHS has been such a positive experience and this was followed by her younger child attending the school. She said that she could not fault the school and that they had quickly built a superb level of respect and trust and two-way communication is encouraged and is superb. A fantastic accolade for the school and indicative of their inclusive approach with parents.
Teamwork Making the Difference
Every member of staff spoken to felt that they are supported to achieve success for their students and for themselves, delivering outstanding support, and educational experiences alongside superb Student Leaders who making a positive difference and are continually evolving their roles that can only have a beneficial effect on the school and this is demonstrated by the way that staff and students are engaging and working with each other. Superb teamwork is key to this success where all members of staff, and increasingly students, are committed to maximising successes, achievements, and outcomes for everyone and each other.
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: email@example.com for further details.
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