Inclusive culture and values

Children and young people in Solihull have told us that they want to enjoy life, they want us all to know that everyone is different, they want to feel welcome and have the same chances of living their best life. 
Our vision is therefore for all children and young people to attend an educational setting which they feel welcomed and where the school culture and values actively seeks to foster a sense of belonging for all.
To achieve this, we recognise the following areas are significant factors for senior leaders to consider and plan for in relation to developing an inclusive culture and values:

  • Parents and visitors feel welcome and included in the school community.
  • Pupils, parent carers, staff and stakeholders know their voice is heard and is central to the schools systems.
  • All staff are committed to the promotion of inclusion, equity, equality and diversity.
  • All staff are committed to the promotion of good mental health for all young people and adults.  
  • Expectations are communicated through school displays and communications.
  • There is staff development to support their inclusive practice and a culture of sharing good practice is enabled across the school.
  • There is staff development to support their own wellbeing and that of students.  
  • All staff know what good mental health looks like.
  • There is regular whole school promotion of an inclusive ethos and mental health awareness for staff, young people, parents.
  • There are information leaflets available for staff and parents about different aspects of social and emotional wellbeing.
  • Adults and young people treat each other with respect and kindness with appropriate behaviour modelled by adults in the school.
  • The school curriculum includes teaching to promote resilience and social and emotional learning (see EEF Social and Emotional Learning).
  • There are opportunities throughout school which support the development of resilience. 
  • There is an emphasis on teaching and encouraging desired / appropriate social skills, emotional skills and positive mental health (e.g. through Emotion Coaching, rather than focusing on inappropriate, negative behaviour).
  • School and classroom routines are taught explicitly and consistently, referenced regularly and reinforced through visual timetables, displays etc.
  • Information sessions are provided for parents in specific areas (e.g. anxiety management, self-harm, managing behaviour, emotional based school avoidance).
  • School staff have knowledge of, and links to, external and community sources of support for young people, individuals and families. This includes support available through the Primary Mental health Team [LINK TBC] and, in some parts of Solihull, support from the Mental health in Schools Teams.
  • School staff work with outside agencies such as health services, social care and traded education services such as the Specialist Inclusion Support Service and Solihull Educational Psychology Service.
  • Remove any barriers to learning and participation and promote high standards and fulfilment of potential for every individual. 
  • Focus on a consistent relational approach in policy and practice to teaching and managing behaviour.
  • Ensure adults and young people treat each other with respect and kindness and appropriate behaviour is modelled by adults in the school, including calm approaches, and minimising raised voices.  
  • Ensure restorative approaches are used to repair all relationships in school.
  • Facilitate positive relationships, active engagement, and well-being for young people, staff and families.   
  • Foster a sense of belonging such as house groups, clubs, team sports, class/tutor groups  
  • Promote opportunities for social engagement and safe spaces on the playground at break times and lunchtimes e.g. through friendship benches, specific activities developed with young people such as games or lego. 
  • Social time is supported through whole school approaches, for example peer mediation, playground buddy systems, play leaders and quiet areas.
  • Avoid social exclusion, such as monitoring areas of the school environment that are unsupervised  
  • Ensure that young people are aware of and involved in whole school decision making including support available in school regarding mental health, e.g. pupil forums, school councils, etc.  
  • Support peers to understand individual needs.   
  • Support all staff through regular meetings and individual supervision and coaching.  
  • Actively engage parents and the wider community.   
  • Provide a careful induction for young people joining the school at both the beginning and throughout the academic year as required.
  • Valuing diversity and difference, giving equal access and opportunity by identifying and removing any barriers to achieving this
  • Participatory systems being central to decision making processes - the voice of the child, parent carer, staff and stakeholders
  • Openness and positive enquiry
  • Collaborative and constructive relationships
  • Management of own needs in relation to mental health
  • Responding flexibly to individual needs
  • Consistent thinking and reflective practice across all school staff, parents and partner agencies
  • Developing growth mindset and capacity to learn through valuing effort over results and fostering a healthy attitude to failure and challenge as central to the learning process
  • Assessment being to inform support and intervention, rather than assessment for diagnosis when focusing on developing skill areas of concern

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) advises that school settings should be supported to adopt a comprehensive ‘whole school’ approach to promoting the social and emotional wellbeing of children and young people. 

Social and emotional wellbeing in primary and secondary education

Whole school approach to nurture