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This 'innovative' school has been given a flagship inclusion award

First school in Cheshire West and Chester to gain the accolade

Cambridge Road Primary School and Nursery in Ellesmere Port has become the first in Cheshire West to achieve flagship status for its inclusive approach

An Ellesmere Port school has scored a ‘first’ in Cheshire West and Chester.

The accolade has gone to Cambridge Road Community Primary and Nursery which has become an ‘Inclusion Quality Mark Flagship School’.

The school had put itself forward to renew its national inclusion quality mark (IQM) centre of excellence status. But the outcome saw them becoming the first school in the borough to gain the prestigious flagship award.

Inspector Rebecca Billington is said to have been ‘extremely complimentary’ about inclusion provision at the school. Following her visit she reported: “Cambridge Road is a highly inclusive school where everyone is welcomed and made to feel part of the family. The atmosphere is happy and a calmness exudes throughout.

“The warmth of the staff and pupils is obvious as one is welcomed through the door. Inclusion is given the utmost priority and is at the very heart of the school’s vision. This was evident in the conversations which were held with parents, governors, staff and pupils whose relationships are built upon trust and respect.

“All share a common goal of caring for one another and are determined to make their school establishment a success. All staff are committed to ensure that every pupil matters and I thoroughly enjoyed my visit.”

She continued: “It was a pleasure to visit Cambridge Road Primary School.

“Their dedicated and innovative approaches to engaging pupils is appreciated and valued not just by the pupils who attend the school but also the outside agencies, local schools and the community. All staff go over and above for the pupils in their care and the work they do should be celebrated and highly commended.”

She found that pupils are engaged and involved in their learning. Teaching staff have high expectations regarding behaviour, which she described as ‘excellent’ throughout the school.

Teaching assistants at Cambridge Road are ‘very much valued and their contributions vital’ while children are encouraged to listen well and work hard in a positive working ethos. Whenever possible barriers to learning are reduced significantly despite budget constraints.

Ken Salter, chairman of governors at Cambridge Road had explained to the inspector: “We are trying to build good all round citizens for the future. We governors take a very active and supportive role in school life and are proud of the achievements made in recent years.”

Headteacher Darryl Pickering added: “The award is a well deserved recognition of the efforts from all those involved in the school, students, staff, parents, governors, local businesses and external partners. These people ensure Cambridge Road is a place where every student has the opportunity to flourish and be successful”.

Deputy head and inclusion manager Irene Martin, who led the quality mark review at the school, said: “We are delighted that Cambridge Road came out so well in the inspection. As a school community we believe that inclusive education involves removing barriers to learning and we pride ourselves in rising to the challenge this entails.”

The school will receive a wall plaque at a ceremony in London which will join others in pride of place in the school’s entrance.

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