The Cooper School is delighted to announce confirmation that, following thorough and rigorous review, our Inclusion Quality Mark (IQM) Centre of Excellence status has been elevated to the much revered, IQM Flagship status!
What is the Inclusion Quality Mark? – The IQM states that, “Inclusion Quality Mark provides schools with a nationally recognised framework to guide their inclusion journey. The IQM team help schools evaluate and measure how they are performing; empowering them to improve and grow. And when they’re successful, we recognise their achievement through a system of highly valued awards that provide external validation of their inclusive status”.
“Inclusion promotes 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 and any pupils who are at risk of disaffection and exclusion”.
Whilst there are 5500+ schools across the country with an IQM award, only around 100 have the accolade of Flagship Status. This award recognises the few unique schools who have held IQM Centre of Excellence status for at least 3 years. Such schools have also been deemed to have “played a strong leadership role in developing inclusion best practice across a network of schools”. These schools are “committed to extending their networks further and publishing classroom-based research on an annual basis”. The Cooper School is, in fact, the only school in Oxfordshire to have Flagship status, which is an accolade in itself. The nearest schools to have received this well-regarded award are in Northampton and High Wycombe.
“Ofsted defines an educationally inclusive school as one in which the teaching and learning; achievements, attitudes and well-being of every young person matter”.
To attain Flagship criteria, the Cooper School was judged to meet all of the following criteria –
- A school with at least two successful IQM assessments.
- Committed to sustaining the IQM ethos through collaborative activities.
- Has demonstrable plans to sustain and develop inclusive internal practice.
- Has good mechanisms to disseminate and share good practice between the schools.
- Has, or is able to develop, the capacity to share and disseminate good inclusion practice across a broader cluster of schools.
- Willing to engage in classroom level research activity that explores inclusive practice.
- Agrees to have an annual IQM visit to ratify or validate the progress and develop an annual plan for development.
- Agrees to contribute an annual written update of progress against the ten elements as the basis for the annual review.
- Prepared to contribute to the overall development aims of IQM, supporting the need for expertise or trialling practice.
In his confirmation report, the IQM Assessor, Steve Gill, stated, “The Head-teacher and other members of staff evidence their work with schools across Oxfordshire and beyond by the dissemination of excellent practice, by leading on aspects of learning and teaching, using new technologies and flexible learning spaces and by professional development reciprocal visits”.
“The partnership with Glory Farm Primary School is having a positive impact on pupils progress overall, with staff across both schools often sharing their expertise and these strategies ensure that pupils make the transition from school to school with much greater confidence, as evidenced in the recent Ofsted Inspection of The Cooper School in June 2017 where they maintained their status as a Good school, where the close ties between the two schools was favourably commented on and with which I concur from a visit to Glory Farm and conversations with the Head Teacher and staff during the review. Ofsted commented, “There is a caring, nurturing and inclusive ethos that permeates the school” and “a staff body who genuinely care about the pupils and wants the best for them. As a result, pupils are keen to learn and make good progress from their starting points. Pupils have great confidence in their teachers and very much value what staff do for them”. A fantastic accolade for the school and its staff and one with which I agree from the evidence seen during the review”.