Ashwood Spencer Academy achieves Inclusion Quality Mark and Centre of Excellence Award

Ashwood Spencer Academy located in Allenton has recently achieved the Inclusive School Award with Centre of Excellence status given by the IQM.

The primary school, which is part of the Spencer Academies Trust was awarded this for its commitment to inclusive practice. The school provides a welcoming and safe environment that has been purposefully and deliberately thought out to best meet the needs of Ashwood’s pupils. Staff at all levels are passionate about moving barriers for all pupils and there is a clear understanding of shared values.

Ashwood has a firm commitment to Quality First Teaching and is very deliberate in the intent, implementation, and impact of their curriculum. The approach adopted for using technology is very well-judged so that the use of Ed Tech is effective in supporting learners through the use of high-quality programmes.

There is also a personalised approach known as Team Courage and Team Friendship that offers personalised support for very complex ASD needs including non-verbal pupils. At Ashwood, difference is embraced and children are calm and content. Children, parents, and, families are at the heart of the community and the academy works tirelessly to ensure that they develop good partnerships with parents and carers.

The Inclusion Quality Mark provides schools with a nationally recognised framework to guide their inclusion journey. Ashwood Spencer Academy was supported by the IQM team to help evaluate and measure how they are performing.

Following a successful evaluation, they have been awarded the IQM Inclusion award and given Centre of Excellence status which provides external validation of their inclusive status. Ashwood Spencer now joins a small group of 240 schools across the UK that have met the standard required to become an IQM Centre of Excellence for outstanding levels of inclusion best practice.


Paula Bains-Chambers Principal at Ashwood Spencer Academy is delighted with their achievement;

“Achieving the IQM with Centre of Excellence validates all of the hard work that has gone into making Ashwood Spencer as inclusive as possible. It gives us confidence in disseminating and sharing good practice related to inclusion. We continue to engage in research and work on collaborative activities to further promote and improve inclusion, both within the school and beyond.

Obtaining the IQM Centre of Excellence demonstrates our commitment to sustaining the Inclusion Quality Mark ethos. We have agreed to have annual IQM visits and submit annual progress reports, providing further validation of our inclusive ethos.”

Paul West, CEO of Spencer Academies Trust;

“The turnaround of the quality of teaching and learning, along with the overall standards of education, support, and care that we have seen at Ashwood Spencer is remarkable. I am delighted that the work of Paula and her talented teaching and support team has been recognised by this prestigious award from the IQM.”

Angela O’Brien, Director of Primary Education of Spencer Academies Trust;

“It is great to see the school receive recognition for their hard work around inclusion. Visiting Ashwood is always a pleasure and the improvements over the last few years have focused on ensuring all pupils have the opportunity to achieve their potential. This is something to be proud of as we continue to work with all the Ashwood community.”

For the full report read here: Ashwood Spencer Academy Achieves Centre of Excellence | IQM (