Castle Manor Academy

Inclusion Quality Mark

Castle Manor Academy is awarded the Inclusion Quality Mark Centre of Excellence

‘An outstanding, caring environment for students, where high expectations have a huge impact on progress, attitudes, behaviour and wellbeing’.

In July 2022, Castle Manor Academy undertook a two day assessment with the Inclusion Quality Mark team, the result of which was the award of ‘Centre of Excellence’ status. This means that we have demonstrated the qualities and values required by the awarding body, who noted that we are ‘An excellent example of inclusive practice’.

The process required us to work collaboratively as a school team to reflect on our practice and identify our areas of strength across a number of key areas. We were able to show that we live by our PROUD values and that these are ‘lived’ by staff and students alike. Kindness was recognised as a significant part of our school culture with the assessor watching as some of our older students supported children from the Sandcastles Nursery take part in sports day- not an easy task!

We were recognised for being a ‘small family school at the heart of the community’ and we were supported in our application by parents and governors who took their time to contribute to the assessment process. The assessor was impressed by members of the Student Parliament and the Young Activists group who shared their views on why they felt included at Castle Manor but also the areas which we can take forward this year and develop further.

The assessor also spent time in our Specialist Cognition and Learning Unit, The Arch, and spoke with parents of Arch students. One parent said that her ‘son absolutely loves it in The Arch –they go the extra mile’. This was demonstrated by the summer residential trip to Thetford forest and inclusion in the summer school, for the second year running.

As part of the Centre of Excellence process, we will now work with a cluster of schools across Norfolk and Suffolk to develop our inclusive practice. Our focus for 2022-23 will include the continued integration of The Arch into our school, developing the graduated response to behaviour, SEND, Safeguarding & Wellbeing, and exploring the extent of curriculum inclusion across the school.

Headteacher Vanessa Whitcombe said ‘We are delighted to be recognised as an IQM Centre of Excellence, and to read the lovely report written following our accreditation visit. We firmly believe in inclusion and celebrating all of our students skills, talents and differences and look forward to working with the Centre of Excellence network’

For further information, or to discuss the IQM project, please contact Jen Beaton (Assistant Headteacher & SENDco) at