Inclusion Quality Mark
Article taken from the IQM website 31.10.19
Meadow High School in Hillingdon has achieved the
IQM Inclusive School Award for the second time
School is Thriving
Meadow High School is thriving under the new leadership of Jenny Rigby who was previously the Deputy and who took up her post in January 2018 following the retirement of the former Head.
A Period of Change
The new Headteacher is systematically working through all the major structures and policies in the school to bring about change in a planned and considered way. This approach is moving the school forward and taking the staff forward who are extremely enthusiastic about the direction of the school and the new initiatives. The Head’s vision is to put the pupils firmly at the centre of everything that is changing to ensure that they have the best the school can provide. The whole staff are behind this vision because it is for the pupils and not just to meet the requirements of external agencies ensuring Meadow High is a fully inclusive school.
First Priority is to Provide Stability
Since her appointment the Head has made it her first priority to provide stability while investigating, researching and questioning the school’s systems and policies and bringing fresh eyes to the work of the school. There has been extensive training in the form of workshops and training days to look at systems, process and procedures. The major changes will be implemented for September 2019 and then there will be a further year for reflection, consolidation and review. The staff are clear about this plan and fully behind the rationale for the change agenda because the Head’s view is to ‘get it right for staff’ who must come first in the process and then ‘we get it right for the pupils.’
New Curriculum Pathways
The school is large, exceeding its roll and will have reached 247 pupils when the new academic year begins. The range of complexity of the pupils is very broad and the school is in the process of planning to implement new curriculum pathways for September. This will include four pathways to meet the broad range of pupil need. A new Faculty Lead has been
appointed to oversee this development. Pathway one will have an integrated approach delivered in topics with vertical groupings whereas Pathway two will cater for pupils with slightly higher cognitive skills but with less transitions around the school. Pathway three is a secondary model for pupils who will take unit awards and entry levels including GCSE and
pathway four is for more academic pupils who could access mainstream who will take four to five GCSEs NVQs and BTEC qualifications. This approach to a differentiated curriculum model will ensure pupils access education at their level and their ability to cope and the faculty lead will be able to ensure pupils are on the right pathway and will be able to make adjustments to enable pupils to move between pathways if needed.
Identifying Inclusion Opportunities
The Head has thought carefully about expanding further and introducing inclusion opportunities for pupils in a satellite model which she is currently discussing with two mainstream schools to identify whether there is a need and how the model could benefit inclusion in both settings. Pupils in pathway three are the focus for this work as they would benefit from the social experiences and help them to transition into the community and start to prepare them for the world of work. This is another example of a continuing process of identifying inclusion opportunities and then making them work for as many young people as possible.
The Importance of the Family Worker
Another key appointment has been the new role of a Family Worker. This role supports families and bridges the gap between the school and home, building capacity. One of the issues for the school has been attendance and persistent absence. This situation has now improved as the impact from the work of the Family Worker embeds. The school is always looking to break down barriers and find ways to ensure pupils are not disadvantaged in anyway.
One phrase that kept recurring during my visit was ‘life after Meadow’ which has become a mantra for the school. There is extensive work going on with Project Search to place pupils into work following an internship at the Marriot Hotel. Other initiatives are underway with Hillingdon LA and Prospects who also track pupils after they leave Meadow to ensure they are successful in their employment and can support if need be. 60% of pupils gain employment after leaving Meadow which is an impressive track record.
Many Exciting Initiatives in Their Infancy
There are many exciting initiatives that are in their infancy and it will be very exciting to watch this progress and see the impact they have on all the young people at Meadow in the next three years. The start of an impressive journey is underway for Meadow High School.
For more information about the Inclusive Mark Award please visit https://iqmaward.com/