Schools shine at Charter Gold Awards

Charter gold event

Schools and educational settings from Rotherham and further afield took centre stage at Gulliver’s Valley Resort to celebrate their work championing inclusivity.

The Charter Gold Awards, presented by the Mayor of Rotherham, Councillor Robert Taylor, were awarded to schools that have developed strong relationships, trust and partnership with pupils and their parents.

The awards recognise schools and settings who have improved the ways in which they support children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND).

This work has been delivered by Rotherham Genuine Partnerships – a pioneering partnership between Rotherham Council and the Rotherham Parent Carer Forum.

The Rotherham Charter is about schools and settings implementing the nationally recognised Four Cornerstones approach. The Four Cornerstones are welcome and care, value and include, communicate and work in partnership.

At the centre of the Rotherham Charter is an emphasis on listening to the voices of young people and parents.

Accreditation with Charter Gold comes after schools and other educational settings have worked hard to truly embed the approach within their culture and ethos. It is a way of giving all children, young people and families a voice in decisions that affect them and benefits the wellbeing of the whole school community.

The event showcased success stories, including Coleridge Primary School and the Seashell Trust based in Cheadle, who achieved Charter Gold status for the first time.

Schools that were reaccredited this year included Redscope Primary School, Sitwell Junior School, Thurcroft Infant School, Wath Victoria Primary School, and Doncaster’s Mexborough St. John the Baptist Primary School.

The schools and educational settings listed have set the bar by actively engaging with parents, carers and children, providing an opportunity to have their voices heard.

Councillor Victoria Cusworth, Cabinet Member for Children and Young People said: “The Rotherham Charter is an important piece of work, which is making a big difference in our communities.

“Rotherham is a national leader through this work that champions inclusive practice. The Rotherham Charter highlights the importance of giving a voice to children, young people and their families. The work of Rotherham Genuine Partnerships has been recognised as an example of best practice.

“I would like to congratulate all of the schools and settings who worked hard to become accredited or reaccredited with Charter Gold status.”

Coleridge Primary School achieved Charter Gold status, Headteacher Ian Tankard, said: "The implementation of the Rotherham Charter has been transformative for Coleridge School, leaving an unforgettable mark on our ethos and community. One standout outcome has been the significant enhancement in communication with families, fostering deeper engagement and understanding between our school and its stakeholders. This improvement not only strengthened relationships but also paved the way for a more collaborative approach.

"Through the Charter's framework, Coleridge School embraced reflection on its practices, fostering a culture of continuous improvement. The collaborative efforts with other schools in co-production initiatives have broadened perspectives and enriched our approach with families. Anchored in the values of love, care, and respect, our school is elated to achieve the prestigious accreditation of Charter Gold, a testament to our community's unwavering commitment to excellence and inclusivity."

Sarah Hadfield, a parent and Family Peer Support Worker at Rotherham Parent Carer Forum, added: “The work that Genuine Partnerships does is so empowering to children and young people with special educational needs, and their parents and carers. It creates genuine relationships that are built on the Four Cornerstones and so, in turn, trust develops in which everyone feels valued and cared for. It is a real privilege to work with schools that are so passionate about getting it right not only for the children, but for their families and the wider community.”

Published: 8th December 2023