Inclusion Lead School Newsletter

March 2024


Sharing Best Practice - A 60 Second Ask

Each year we supply every Lead Inclusion School with a breakdown of SEND demographics in your county and your Inclusive Health Check results. We are keen to hear what positive impact that having this information gives you. Please help us by answering three quick questions in this survey.


Synergy Dance Outreach

Following on from some excellent delivery at Piper Hill, Lead Inclusion School for Manchester, which provided enrichment for students aimed at improving student's health and wellbeing through the arts.

Synergy Dance Outreach provides both live and online delivery for primary and secondary SEND schools throughout the UK, covering a wide choice of services from SEND Dance and Movement, SEND Dance Fitness, SEND Musical Theatre to SEND themed workshops and SEND Yoga and Wellbeing. Their programmes are for wheelchair users, those with Special Educational Needs, long-term health conditions, visually impaired/blind and deaf community and hard of hearing. Synergy also delivers bespoke commissions for schools, and yoga for staff. A multi-award-winning company, they are currently supporting 104 schools and were filmed by Strictly Come Dancing in November 2021, for their inclusive work with children.

To find out more, please visit their website.

Six Ideas to Support Children and Young People with ADHD

We are currently in the midst of a global ADHD medication shortage which is having a significant impact on children and young people. Youth Sport Trust's Head of Sport Vicci Wells and Colin Foley, Director of Training from the ADHD Foundation, share their idea to support through the lens of physical activity.

Access to Extra-curricular Provision and the Association with Outcomes

A new report by the Education Policy Institute examines which students are accessing extra-curricular activities during secondary school and the longer term outcomes of students who do participate.

This study finds that:

  • Vulnerable students were less likely to attend both sports clubs, and clubs for hobbies, arts and music, when compared to their peers. This includes students eligible for free school meals, those with lower prior attainment, and those with poorer health and special educational needs or disabilities.
  • Participation in extra-curricular activities varies by school type. Students from independent schools were much more likely to attend sports clubs and clubs for hobbies, arts and music than those attending all other types of schools. Additionally, students in local authority-maintained schools were less likely to attend clubs for hobbies, arts and music than students in academies.
  • Attending extra-curricular clubs during secondary school is associated with a range of positive outcomes when young people are in their early twenties. Students who attend clubs have a higher probability of progressing to higher education and being in employment, as well as higher levels of participation in sports. The research also finds an association between attending some kinds of clubs and self-reported poorer health as a young adult.

Policy Recommendations:

  • The government should introduce a set of benchmarks for extracurricular activities to support good quality provision that is accessible and appealing to a broad spectrum of students. These could be similar to the Gatsby benchmarks that are used to support good quality careers information, advice and guidance.
  • The government should consider supporting schools to offer an extended school day, including through additional funding weighted towards schools with more disadvantaged intakes. More work should be undertaken to explore the potential benefits of this.
  • Further research on the longer-term benefits of participation should seek to focus on the differences between the types of clubs attended and the causal impact of participation on outcomes.

You may notice a reference to our very own Lead Inclusion Schools on page 8!

How Sam Became an Inclusive School Leader

An inspirational spotlight on Sam, how is striving to achieve his goal of becoming a sports leader.


LTA Tennis: Hone Your Skills, Fuel Your Passion and be Part of the Excitement in 2024

With the Paris 2024 Paralympic Games on the horizon, the Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) is delivering its Wheelchair Tennis Initiative programme, designed to inspire and captivate children and young people aged 18 years old & under with a physical impairment into tennis. These one-day events will give you the opportunity to learn the fundamental skills of wheelchair tennis through transformative experiences, and we will showcase the amazing pathway opportunities from grassroots development to elite performance. Have you been inspired by Alfie Hewett, Gordon Reid, Lucy Shuker or Andy Lapthorne? The Wheelchair Tennis Initiative could be the start of your own exciting journey in tennis. Sign up for free or learn more here.

Badminton England's Disability Junior Championships to Return

Badminton England are pleased to announce that our Disability Junior Championships are returning for a second year following the success of 2023’s debut event. The Championships will take place at the English Institute of Sport (EIS) in Sheffield on Saturday 18 May and will once again raise the profile of the sport among primary and secondary age pupils. Entry is open to all junior players aged 9-16 years old who have a physical disability, including wheelchair users. We welcome players that are already playing badminton and new players that have never played before. The event is part of Badminton England’s Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) Strategy, which includes increasing disability provision. Badminton England will use an existing network of eight Regional Disability Coaches, one across each of our eight regions, who will support the delivery of the Championships through delivering local regional activity and then coaching and managing each regional team of players.

If you would like to get involved in your local regional activity with the ambition of representing your region, please use this map to get in contact with your Regional Disability Coach. They will be able to share more details on activity across your region, including some training days with other players across your region. We hope to see you on court at the Disability Junior Championships 2024 and good luck representing your region.

The WheelPower National Junior Games are here!

The WheelPower National Junior Games has been taking place annually at Stoke Mandeville Stadium since the 1980s and provides young physically disabled people aged 11-18 with a life changing opportunity to try over 20 different sports. Organised by WheelPower, the national charity for wheelchair sport, this event brings physically disabled children together from across the UK for what is always an unforgettable week of sporting fun.

This event is supported by a fantastic group of sports coaches from the National Governing Bodies alongside some brilliant volunteers who encourage the children to give everything a try, do their best and develop their confidence whilst doing so. As well as the sport this is very much a social event where friendships and contacts are made so that the positive outcomes of sport continues to be a part of their lives going forward.

At last year’s event WheelPower welcomed 16 year old Lauren, from Bedfordshire who was attending her first WheelPower games. She said, “It’s been amazing, and I’ve tried pretty much every sport and all the coaches and volunteers have been so good. They have filled me with so much confidence and despite my initial nerves I even gave wheelchair fencing a go and absolutely loved it.”

Malachy from Sussex has spina bifida and was at the Games with his grandmother, who said, “Malachy was quite shy at first but he is finding his voice and feeling more confident through sport. Thank you to everybody for their kindness and giving children like Malachy a chance. It’s been a fabulous experience for both of us.”

Emily Weller, Head of Sport at WheelPower continues, “2024 is a big year for disability sport with the Paris Paralympic Games providing a platform to showcase the very best that sport has to offer. The focus of the world will once again be on Stoke Mandeville as we celebrate our history with the lighting of the heritage flame and at events like the National Junior Games I wonder if we might see some future GB athletes giving sport a go for the very first time. Sport really does have the power to transform the lives of young people and show them what is possible.”

If you know anyone who might be interested in attending the WheelPower National Junior Games, please visit the website for more information and booking details. 

LimbPower's Top Tips for Cycling and Athletics!

We are excited to share two of LimbPowers new resources to support the inclusion of children and young people with an amputation or congenital limb difference into sessions. One created by LimbPower and British Cycling to support children with limb difference into cycling and a second focusing on Athletics. Both resources can be found in their resource library. Please do contact LimbPower if you want any support in this area.

Alex Lewis's Pig 2 Pig Race to Raise Vital Funds for FLOAT

Alex Lewis fell ill in November 2013 to a rare case of Strep A. Now Alex plans to undertake the Pig 2 Pig race to raise money for The FLOAT Foundation, and is offering schools the chance to request an assembly delivered by him to inspire young people on the benefits of assistive technology.

I was incredibly fortunate to survive thanks to the exemplary healthcare I received in Winchester ICU and Salisbury Hospital. Unfortunately I was to have all four limbs amputated and facial reconstruction. As you can imagine, it was a torrid time for my family and I and it took a great toll on us all.

Fast forward a little over 10 years and here I am about to embark on undoubtedly the toughest expedition of my life.

Over the past 10 years as a quadruple amputee, I have been fortunate to have kayaked around the southern tip of Greenland. I have kayaked 300km down the Orange river in South Africa, and hand cycled through the Simien mountains in Ethiopia then summited their highest mountain, Ras Dashen. I have thrashed a mobility scooter through the Namib desert, but I have never done something ridiculous in the UK.

The Pig 2 Pig route is a brute, I mean beaut?! I start at The Pig, Harlyn Bay on 02 June 2024 and hand cycle to Falmouth harbour. Once in Falmouth, I climb into the world’s first adapted Flying15 rowing boat (minus the sail) for a quadruple amputee and spend the next 14 days rowing 350 miles to Dover. Once in Dover, I fall out of the boat and back on board my bike and hand cycle to The Pig at Bridge Place.

The following morning, I climb back on board my hand cycle and spend the next 14 days cycling 649 miles through the South of England whilst carrying out a school speaking event and a business speaking event every day. I will also be stopping by charities, universities, hospitals and much more to highlight the work The FLOAT Foundation carries out here and all over the world.

For most people the idea of rowing and cycling for 30 days wouldn’t be that attractive, but throw in 28 speaking engagements and camping for the duration, and it grows into something really off-putting! For me the most important aspect of the event is engaging with schools and businesses to speak about my endeavours. To show school pupils of all ages what we have had to do to make these adventures a reality, but also to play with my assistive technology chest of prosthetics and wheelchairs and powered attachments. To speak about the barriers we have come across and how we have negotiated them, to get them thinking about how they could possibly design cool, accessible, affordable and functional assistive technology for their friends or family and (that overused word I’m afraid) inspire.

We would love to have you all involved as this is our inaugural fundraising event for The Alex Lewis FLOAT Foundation, an amazing vehicle for change and inclusion. If you would like to take advantage of an assembly from myself on the Pig 2 Pig journey, please contact Kelly Gates.

For more information on the Pig 2 Pig, The FLOAT Foundation and our current projects please email [email protected].

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