Local schools sign Plymouth Inclusion Charter

Beechwood primary school

A group of local schools have signed the Plymouth Inclusion Charter following their commitment to inclusive practice. 

Discovery Multi Academy Trust, which includes Beechwood, Oakwood, Weston Mill Primary Academies and the Edison Centre – which is based at Beechwood – completed an audit of what they have implemented to support its children, families, and staff, which enabled it to join the Charter. 

The Plymouth Inclusion Charter, led by Plymouth City Council and Plymouth Parent Carer Voice, aims for children in the city to have ambition and succeed leading to a thriving enjoyment of life. 

To achieve this, the Charter is aiming for schools to join and show how they are making Plymouth a safe, valued, and respectful place to be through inclusive practice. 

The Discovery schools each showed how they meet the Charter’s expectations through its use of clubs for children and parents, cognition and learning trips for children with social, emotional, and mental health needs, regular external trips, special meet and greets which one school has been doing for nearly a decade, and additional support from their highly trained practitioners. 

All three of the Trust’s schools have a Helping Us Thrive (HUT) space where children go for support and special interventions to support their social and emotional development. 

Lindsay Cooper-Smith, inclusion and safeguarding lead at Discovery Multi Academy Trust, said:

“We have an incredibly dedicated team of staff who strive to support all children and families. ‘Inclusive’ is one of our Trust’s values and that is seen in the work of our teams every day. We are really pleased to be one of the first Trusts in Plymouth that shows all our schools have a commitment to the Inclusion Charter.” 

In addition to their signing of the Charter, the Trust operates the Edison Centre, a short-term nurture provision for children across the city struggling in mainstream education with special educational needs, social, emotional and mental health needs, or traumas. The centre is ranked as a top 10 setting for children with ADHD by For Plymouth Lovers. 

“Alongside the Charter, the Trust was also the first educational group in the UK to win the Mentally Healthy Organisation award for its commitment to pupil and staff mental health. The award, presented by Trauma Informed Schools UK and the Centre for Child Mental Health, was awarded to the group in 2020.” 

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