Cape Cornwall School has become the first school in the Duchy to win a prestigious award in recognition of its commitment to equality.
The Equalities Award is a nationally recognised scheme that pays tribute to schools and children’s centres proud of their inclusive ethos and willing to go the extra mile in demonstrating compliance with the Equality Act 2010.
To gain the award, schools have to show that they are meeting a number of criteria. These include demonstrating how they are supporting pupils and families from all backgrounds, celebrating the achievements of disabled people and promoting positive role models and providing opportunities for learners to enjoy cultural and enrichment experiences that reflect and celebrate diversity.
Staff and governors at Cape Cornwall carried out a comprehensive audit and produced a compelling collection of evidence for external assessment. This included providing information on the use of their pupil premium, the inclusion of children with special educational needs and disabilities and a wide range of data, including lesson plans, training materials and minutes from meetings. Staff also led assemblies on high profile international events such as the campaign by Malala for education for all girls across the world and the abduction of the girls from a school in Nigeria
Congratulating the school for its achievement Dr Chris Derrington, director of the award scheme, said: "In achieving this award, Cape Cornwall School has demonstrated a very strong and genuine commitment to equality for all its students. The staff clearly work extremely hard to promote diversity at every level; they challenge inequality and show a genuine determination to foster harmonious relationships. These are important messages that help to breakdown stereotypes, raise aspirations and prepare young people for the responsibilities and experiences of later life. The evidence they supplied in order to achieve the award speaks for itself and really showcases their commitment to equality for all groups and individuals irrespective of ability, ethnicity or gender."
The award has been welcomed by headteacher Julie Nash, who said: "I am delighted but not surprised that Cape Cornwall has become the first school in Cornwall to gain this outstanding and prestigious award. Inclusion, equality and fairness are values that are threaded through the DNA of Cape Cornwall school; never before have I worked anywhere quite like it. People; students, staff and parents, look after one another here. It’s a very happy school and one where we value each other’s differences and appreciate the richness this brings."
Andrew Wallis, Cornwall Council’s Cabinet Member for Children and Young People, said: "I was really pleased to be able to present this award to Cape Cornwall School. This award recognises the hard work of the teaching staff, the Governors and the students. It is a proud moment for Cape Cornwall School. Well done."
Local Cornwall Councillor Sue James added: "This award, added to the 'good' OFSTED rating, shows what an excellent secondary school St Just has. The staff are passionate about achieving the best for all their students and this award clearly recognises that. They have set the bar for other Cornish schools to aspire towards."
Chair of governors Gill Joyce said: "This is an excellent achievement for the school, due to the ongoing dedication from the teachers, students and supported by Governors. As Chair of Governors, I am even more delighted that we are the 1st and only school in Cornwall to have been recognised in this way with this award."
For more information about the award, see www.equalitiesaward.co.uk