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Millthorpe School gains Inclusion Quality Mark and becomes a ‘Centre of Excellence’ for inclusion

2024 > March > 21 > Millthorpe School gains Inclusion Quality Mark and becomes a ‘Centre of Excellence’ for inclusion

Millthorpe School has been praised for its work on inclusion, becoming the first school in the city to receive the Inclusion Quality Mark (IQM).

Following a lengthy process of self-evaluation, feedback and a formal two-day assessment visit from inspectors, Millthorpe has not only been awarded the IQM but has also been named as a ‘Centre of Excellence’ for inclusion.

The IQM provides UK schools with a nationally recognised validation of their inclusive practice and ongoing commitment to developing educational inclusion. Schools must be able to demonstrate that inclusion has a school-wide impact and is sustainable. The Centre of Excellence Award recognises those IQM Inclusive Schools which continue to demonstrate a commitment to outstanding levels of inclusive best practice.

The IQM states that in a school or education setting, inclusion means that every child and every adult who learns and works in a school is valued and whose educational and personal needs are met, and that it is also about parents and the community in which the school exists.

In the IQM report, the assessor stated that “Millthorpe School truly is a school where, as one parent told me, all pupils and staff are able to “find their tribe or people.”” After speaking to parents about the impact of being a pupil at Millthorpe has had on their children and their families, one parent told the assessor that “she believed the school had saved her child’s life due to their support and acceptance of their child. This had allowed their child and the family to grow and hope for a better future” with another who had experienced a somewhat traumatic journey saying “there was never a day she regretted moving her children into the school.”

The assessor goes on to say “There were so many examples and statements from the very different groups that I had the pleasure of meeting with that showed their love for the school and the work that the staff did day in and day out without realising that it was not the norm.” Millthorpe is also described in the report as a “patchwork school that cared for a patchwork of people”.

The school is praised for making sure that “every member of staff and pupil feels valued and respected” which “comes from a leadership that drives through the belief that every child has potential.” South Bank Multi Academy Trust is also recognised for its “excellent but challenging support, especially from the Trust Director of Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) and Inclusion who also has a vision for inclusion not only in Millthorpe but for every school in the Trust.”

Gemma Greenhalgh, Headteacher at Millthorpe School said “This is wonderful recognition for everyone at Millthorpe. I’m really proud to have been awarded the IQM Award but even more thrilled that we have been recognised as a Centre of Excellence. We all work really hard every day to make sure that inclusion is a priority and that it can be evidenced across everything we do. It’s not simply about integration or treating everybody the same; instead, it’s about meeting individual needs, being prepared to be different and about equality of opportunity.

Sue Wight, Director of SEN and Safeguarding at South Bank Multi Academy Trust, to which Millthorpe School belongs, added “Building life skills and effective teaching and learning are at the core of an inclusive school, but more importantly an inclusive school is a learning school for all members of the community.

“The assessment process is rigorous, culminating in a two-day formal inspection which examines every element of school life, policies, processes, teaching and learning, staff and student wellbeing and more. The team at Millthorpe absolutely deserve this recognition.”

Chief Executive Officer of SBMAT, Mark Hassack, said “Huge congratulations to Millthorpe, the first of our six schools to achieve the IQM. This award, which epitomises the great work which happens at Millthorpe, and the recognition as a Centre of Excellence, mark the pinnacle of the extensive effort which the school, supported by the Trust, has pursued over the past couple of years. Part of the Trust strategy we put in place in 2022 focuses on continuous improvement in inclusion, so it is wonderful to see the first of our schools achieve this recognition for its inclusive practices.”

The IQM report can be found at:

Millthorpe School is part of the York-based South Bank Multi Academy Trust alongside York High School, Carr Junior School and Knavesmire, Scarcroft and Woodthorpe Primary Schools.

Pictured: Millthorpe Headteacher, Gemma Greenhalgh, pictured with colleagues and students in front of the IQM Award. (Back row (l-r): Sophie Cole – Designated Safeguarding Lead; Cameron McGregor – Teaching Assistant; Kelly Thompson – Teaching Assistant; Sarah French – Teaching Assistant; Kavina Rothernburg – Deputy Headteacher. Front Row (middle, l-r): Gemma Greenhalgh – Headteacher and Merry Norman – Assistant Headteacher and SENDCo.)

21 March 2024

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