Garlinge Primary School and Nursery has achieved the Inclusion Quality Mark (IQM) with Flagship Status. Nationally, only 167 schools have this award and Garlinge is one of only eight schools across Kent to have achieved Flagship Status and the only school in Thanet.
The award means the school has proved, with rigorous evidence, that it promotes equal opportunities, paying particular attention to the provision made for different groups to ensure achievement for all.
OFSTED defines an educationally inclusive school as one in which the teaching and learning; achievements, attitudes and well-being of every child matters. Garlinge Primary School and Nursery says it sstrives to ensure this every day.
For the last four years, Garlinge Primary School and Nursery has been on a journey towards achieving the prestigious award and they feel that it is a real achievement which benefits the whole school community.
The journey has happened in stages, first they achieved the Quality Inclusion Mark in 2019 and the same year they were fast tracked to become a Centre of Excellence. This was due to the excellent practice the assessor saw and the evidence the school presented.
In order to move to the next stage as a Flagship School, they had to maintain being a Centre of Excellence for three years with a clear vision and action plan towards supporting inclusion across the school. Being a Flagship School means that Garlinge Primary School and Nursery shows a commitment to and evidence of, developing and promoting inclusion best practice across their own school and a network of schools.
As part of the formal assessment, a representative from the IQM spent a day in the school meeting with pupils and observing practice. The representative also met members of staff who led inclusive projects that have impacted positively on well-being, teaching and learning across the school and other schools locally.
The representative from IQM said: “Inclusion is at the forefront of their vision, and they are fully committed to inclusive practice. Their values enable the whole Garlinge community to thrive…
“The sports curriculum was another shining example of how Garlinge strive to give all their children the very best chances.”
The representative from the IQM spoke highly of the time they shared with the pupils at Garlinge Primary School and Nursery including the Head Boy and Head Girl, which she described as a ‘delight’. She was impressed with how eloquently they spoke about the values of the school and how ‘the enjoyment and appreciation of their school shone through’.
James Williams, Executive Headteacher at Garlinge, said: “Gaining this prestigious award is something that the school is really proud of and has been achieved after lots of hard work. Our aim is for every child to thrive and succeed in an inclusive environment and this award demonstrates that we are leading the way nationally with this – inclusion really is at our heart.”
Garlinge will continue to be assessed by IQM annually to ensure that they meet the high standards expected to remain a Flagship school.