Academy wins national award

A Ripon secondary academy is celebrating after it received a nationally recognised award for its inclusion work.

Friday, 19th March 2021, 2:09 pm

Outwood Academy Ripon, based on Clotherholme Road, was awarded the Inclusion Quality Mark Award by IQM which rewards inclusive practice and commitment.

The academy’s success comes after a long assessment process, which was split into two phases starting with a self-evaluation followed by a two-day assessment by the IQM team.

Will Pratt, Principal at the Ofsted-rated Outstanding Outwood Academy Ripon, said: “We are delighted to have been accredited with the IQM Award, showing that inclusion at all levels is paramount to us.

“At Outwood we believe that every child deserves the best education, no matter their start in life and we work tirelessly to ensure we deliver on this belief. This accreditation is testament to that work.”

IQM praised the academy in its report, noting that: “The mental health and wellbeing of both staff and students is given real high priority and there is currently a working party in place focussing on initiatives.”

It also highlights the passion of the staff at the academy, as well as their shared determination to help students fulfil their potential, through the ‘implementation of rigorous structures and processes’ that aid different teams in supporting the students.

The strong community ethic at the academy was also reflected in the report, which noted that during the pandemic the academy has delivered food hampers to members of its academy community.

The positive findings led to the IQM team recommending Outwood Academy Ripon to apply for Centre of Excellence status, which it subsequently did and was successful in becoming a Centre of Excellence.

Only around 240 schools in the UK have currently achieved this status, and to do so schools have to successfully have demonstrable plans to sustain and develop internal inclusive practice, amongst other things.

Mr Pratt added: “We are proud to serve our local community and it is great that the IQM report reflected this. We will continue to work with and for our local community to ensure we are playing a key role.

“We were thrilled to have been recommended for IQM Centre of Excellence Status and are delighted to have achieved this status too.”