A Culture of Tolerance, Respect and Inclusion

We were visited by three of Her Majesty’s Inspectors (Ofsted) at the end of January.  The report has been published and has gained a great deal of local and regional coverage.  Which you can read here: http://www.stokesentinel.co.uk/Tunstall-school-praised-Ofsted-championing/story-26107334-detail/story.html#ixzz3TJWAvmrQ

The inspection focused on the academy’s behaviour and safeguarding arrangements, particularly praised the academy leaders for working "positively and effectively with a range of agencies, including the police and local authority".  Students’ behaviour in the Academy was praised by the inspectors, referring to it as “there is a calm and purposeful atmosphere in the academy”.   

The innovative work that the academy has taken part in supporting the national Prevent agenda (part of the government’s counter-terrorism strategy) was praised for "raising students' awareness of radicalisation and extremist behaviour". 

Whenever you have an inspection like this, as the leader of the Academy it does make you stop and think about the work that you do every day.

The title of this blog post comes as a direct quote from the Ofsted report who said “a culture of tolerance, respect and inclusion permeates the life of the academy.” This is not something I am surprised by.  Any visitor to the Academy is struck by the calmness of the students and the focus on work and learning.  We do have a very diverse student population, in terms of races, cultures and family backgrounds.  But this is OUR community and we are proud of this.  We are helping to equip our young people for the community that they will grow up in and succeed in.

The word ‘culture’ is an interesting one.  A culture is not something that is created overnight, it is something that is deep rooted and long lasting.  Where a culture is positive it can be a great driver for change for the better, and vice-versa.  Everyone in the Academy has worked hard for a number of years to create this culture.  The young people in our Academy now are some of the most sincere, accepting and well-balanced young people I have every worked with in my teaching career.

But this doesn’t happen by accident.  It happens because we work with a whole host of local groups, parents and governors to support what we are doing.  It happens because we as a staff are willing to challenge intolerance.  And finally it happens because we have clear values and we live them every day.

Therefore the Ofsted report was not just a triumph for the Academy, but also for the whole community.

You can read the Ofsted report on our website or through the link below:

http://reports.ofsted.gov.uk/inspection-reports/find-inspection-report/provider/ELS/136102

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