LIPA Primary School has received national recognition for its inclusive approach to education by being made a flagship school by Inclusion Quality Mark (IQM).
IQM was set up in 2004 to support schools to provide an inclusive education for every child. To be awarded flagship status a school first has to be rated as a Centre of Excellence and then maintain that level for three years. Only around 100 schools in the UK have achieved flagship status.
The upgrade to flagship status follows an independent inspection by IQM. Its report described the Primary School’s values as “truly inclusive” and added that these values “benefit all leaners.” The report commended all the school stakeholders and recognised it for, “promoting a growth-rich and praise-rich culture that impressively understands and demonstrates an in-depth knowledge of the unique community it serves.”
Located close to Liverpool Anglican Cathedral and serving the L8 area, LIPA Primary School opened in 2014. The school offers a broad and balanced curriculum and uses the creative and performing arts to enrich its teaching and learning in the early development of language, reading, writing and mathematics skills.
IQM described the school’s learning and teaching as innovative and praised the teaching staff for their creative thinking and drawing everyone on board. “They encourage pupils to think and discover answers together. They have a skill in connecting learning to real live experiences and this is a driving force within learning at LIPA Primary School.”
Deputy Head Holly Lucas is the school's inclusion lead. “To ensure all the children with all of their different needs can take part in all activities and feel properly included takes a lot of work, but we do this because we all just want the best for them.
“Being made a flagship school feels really special. It validates all the work, reminds us of why we do it and why it’s so important.”
As a flagship school LIPA Primary will continue to expand its inclusive approach, researching and developing new practices and then sharing these with other schools. Head Teacher Greg Parker says this will help them to keep improving. “The importance of inclusivity for the children can’t be overstated. It helps them recognise difference, celebrate it and grow up to be someone who values it.
“No matter how good and positive our work on inclusion may be, it can always be better. Being a flagship school will allow us to work with other professionals to evaluate what our next steps and priorities should be.”