Outwood Academy Easingwold, North Yorkshire, has achieved the Inclusive School Award.
Outwood Academy Easingwold is a smaller than average secondary school in Easingwold, North Yorkshire. Easingwold is a rural market town, 12 miles from the centre of York and students who attend live in the town or local villages and farms. The area of Easingwold falls into the “least deprived” category in the country, however, the school do report that a small number of students within the Academy do face significant deprivation. The school community is 98.7% White British with a small percentage of pupils with other mixed heritage. The number of pupils with Special Educational Needs and/or Disabilities is slightly below National average (13.8%) with pupils with Specific Learning Difficulties and Social, Emotional and Mental Health Needs being the most significant area of need. 11 pupils across school have an EHCP. 17.8% of pupils are in receipt of the Pupil Premium Grant with 7.4% of the school population being entitled to FSM. Since the school has joined the Outwood Grange Academy Trust, numbers in year groups have started to increase and the school community is passionate about striving for it to become the school of choice within the local area.
First Class Facilities
The school was built in the 1950s and on conversion to Academy status in 2018 an extensive refurbishment programme was established, with plans to invest several million pounds into the improvement of the school buildings and site. Leaders are clear about the need for the school environment to be of the highest quality, offering first class facilities and ensuring the school community feels valued. Work has begun on refurbishment, for example, recarpeting/new flooring internally, new student toilet areas and extensive mechanical and heating work. Plans are also in place for a new reception area, refurbishment of upstairs sixth form area, new windows and new sports hall/sports pitches.
At Outwood there is a clear aim to put ‘Students First’ in all that is done. The Outwood Grange Academy Trust vision is that “the whole point of schools is that children come first and everything we do must reflect this single goal.” (Sir Michael Wilkins, founding CEO).
Large Inclusion Team in Place
The leadership structure within the Academy ensures ‘Deep Support’ is given the highest priority and a large inclusion team is in place, led by an Assistant Principal. The SENCO and Inclusion Co-ordinator, although new in post this term, have clearly already had significant impact on systems, provision and support across the school. The ‘Deep Support’ team are well supported by the Trust’s Regional Director for SEND, ensuring consistent approaches (although still bespoke to individual Academy needs) across the trust.
Passionate about Inclusion
The school is currently on a journey of improvement. In 2016 the school was placed in special measures by OFSTED and after a long due diligence process Outwood became the Academy sponsor in 2018. Over the last two years the school has seen an upward trajectory in outcomes, now achieving the highest A-level results of all non-fee-paying schools in the country and in the highest 20% nationally for most subjects at GCSE. The Academy is passionate about inclusion and wants to be recognised for the services and provision it offers for the most vulnerable within the school community.
The staff team at Easingwold clearly work collaboratively and supportively with one another, with staff at a range of levels reporting feeling supported and valued. Leaders are approachable and the staff across the Academy care passionately about the students in their care.
Governors are Well Engaged
Governors are well engaged with the school and its journey of improvement. Governors challenge and support and are strongly behind collaboration to help take plans forward. They know the school well, understand current priorities and are clear about what is needed to achieve their aims. The link Governor for SEND recognises that a more systematic approach to SEND was required and is able to articulate the positive changes that have been made over the last few years; around systems/structures, professionalism of staff, the layers of support for students and improved provision in dedicated spaces.
Clear Capacity and Potential
This was the school’s first assessment for IQM, being ably led and very well prepared for by the SENCO. There is a wealth of knowledge within the Academy and processes and systems around SEND, mental health and well-being, personal, social and emotional development are developing rapidly. There is a clear capacity and potential to move forward with determination, optimism and pride.
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 protected] for further details.
Want more information on the IQM Award? Click here to request your free IQM information pack.