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A Suffolk special school has been hailed as a “excellent example of inclusive practice” after achieving a prestigious award.

The Bridge School in Ipswich is celebrating after earning the IQM Centre of Excellence Award.

Hazel Simmons, headteacher at The Bridge School, said: “We pride ourselves on our inclusive approach so it is wonderful to achieve this centre of excellence award underlining this.

“This is an award for the teamwork between staff, students and our school community and one we should all celebrate.”

A report awarding the IQM praised the school for seeing inclusivity as “extending far beyond teaching by raising the profile of its pupils to be accepted into the community”.

The report added: “Inclusivity is at the heart of everything the school does. The school believes that everyone can learn, achieve and has the potential to be successful.

“Positive relationships are the key to success and are underpinned by mutual trust, respect and caring for one another. 

“Every pupil is valued and the school endeavours to celebrate their unique abilities, recognise every achievement and help them to move on to be as independent as possible and live safe, fulfilling and enjoyable lives.

“Inclusion is evident in all aspects of the school’s work and there are good links with the community. The school building is purpose built to facilitate inclusion with quiet corridors, bright, light rooms and mini-buses with wheelchair access and hoists installed in the shared spaces so that children may all be fully included.”

The award was officially unveiled by James Cartlidge MP who praised the school’s inclusive approach.

James Cartlidge, MP for South Suffolk, said: “It was a huge honour to unveil The Bridge School’s IQM Centre of Excellence plaque – a very worthy accolade recognising the school’s commitment to inclusivity.

“I thoroughly enjoyed meeting the headteacher and many of the students to congratulate them on their success in person.

“The school have also recently received ‘Centre of Excellence’ status from Rebound Therapy UK for their outstanding provision of rebound therapy, and I was proud to present the team with their certificate marking their excellent achievement.”