Outwood Academy Valley, on Valley Road, was awarded the Inclusion Quality Mark Award by IQM.
The award provides UK schools with a nationally recognised validation of their inclusive practice and ongoing commitment to developing educational inclusion.
The academy’s success comes after a long assessment process, which was split into two phases beginning with a self-evaluation followed by a two-day assessment by the IQM team.
Dave Cavill, principal at the Ofsted Outstanding-rated secondary academy, said: “We are proud and delighted to have been accredited with the IQM Award, highlighting that inclusion at all levels is of paramount importance 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.”
During self-evaluation, the criteria for Outwood Academy Valley was broken down into five sections, focusing on inclusion values and practice of the school, the learning environment, resources and ICT, learner attitudes, values and personal development, learner progress and impact on learning, and learning and teaching.
The follow-up two-day inspection consisted of the academy being visited by an IQM assessor, who went through the five self-evaluation topics in detail for a full formal assessment.
The report highlighted the high priority that mental health and well-being of both staff and students is given, with particular praise for the Pastoral Care and Inclusion Teams.
It was noted that these teams ‘offer great support for a number of children who find school difficult. The provision for good mental health and wellbeing are central to the organisation and are making a real difference to children and staff. Staff go to great lengths to support children and families and don’t give up on them.’
Dave Cavill added: “The accreditation is not the end of our inclusion journey, and we will continue to promote the inclusion quality principles of promoting access and diversity, raising achievement for all and creating an environment for all to succeed, as we work towards IQM Centre of Excellence status.”