Winners of 2011 Inclusivity Awards announced

March 7, 2011

Gwinear Community Primary School in West Cornwall and Ridgeway High School in Birkenhead have today been named as the winners of this year’s Accord Coalition Inclusivity Awards.

The Inclusivity Award recognises and celebrates those schools that do most to promote inclusiveness and community cohesion, and for the first time the judging panel has decided to recognise the best primary/ junior school and also the best secondary school.

The winner of the primary/ junior school section, Gwinear Community Primary School, won strong praise from the judges for its outstanding LGBT equality work, which included organising workshops for children led by a local charity dealing with LGBT bullying, as well as visits to the school from a gay parent to meet with teachers, parents and pupils.

The judges were also impressed at the wide range of work that the school undertook to teach about different religions and cultures, which they found all the more impressive when they considered that the school is located in a relatively mono-cultural area. Among the activities the school undertook on were:

  • A biennial ‘Modern Britain week’, which this year included an Age awareness day with Age UK and a visit to a local care home, a Sikhism day, a visit from a Russian speaker and a Disabilities day with workshops led by people with disabilities
  • A history month on Roma people and travellers
  • A unit on Christian charitable work in RE
  • A very wide range of speakers from different religion and belief groups in school assemblies

Highly commended in the primary/ junior school section was Allerton Primary and Nursery School in Bradford, which won praise for the involvement of parents and a range of stakeholders in celebrating the school’s diversity, as well as an innovative approach in the school’s Collective Worship that sought to be inclusive of children from a range of different backgrounds.

The winner of the secondary school section, Ridgeway High School, was recently threatened with closure by the local authority to allow a reorganisation of schools in the area and three years ago was listed as a ‘National Challenge’ school due to poor GCSE performance.

The quickly improving school won strong praise for the ambition and the integration of special activities into the curriculum; the focus on local activity and the drive to widen the reach of pupils, expand their horizons and give them responsibility. The judges were all the more impressed by the school’s work and commitment when they took into account that the school is also located in a relatively mono-cultural area.

Second in the secondary school section was Cumberland Comprehensive School in Newham. The judges were impressed by the school’s attempts to foster mutual respect through its provision of Collective Worship, PSHE and its bullying policy, as well as the strong focus on a broad and balanced RE in the school curriculum.

This year’s Award judges were:

  • Dr Mary Bousted, the General Secretary of the Association of Teachers and Lecturers
  • Simon Barrow, co-director of the theological and Christian think tank Ekklesia

Award judge, Baroness Kishwer Falkner, praised all the finalists:

’The successful schools from this year’s Award will help ensure the social health of 21st century Britain and that our next generation grow up at ease with itself. The range of winning schools also help to demonstrate how all schools can make an outstanding contribution towards promoting better mutual understanding, regardless of how diverse is their intake and local community. The wining schools from this year’s Award are outstanding, and we hope that they will inspire other schools to operate in more inclusive ways’.

 

Notes

Information on applying for the 2012 Accord Coalition Inclusivity Awards can be found here.

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