Kate Whitney-Morris is an Inclusion Officer and Head of Behaviour at the Academy, working with students to ensure they are engaged in their education. Kate is part of a team of two Inclusion Officers who work collaboratively to support students through difficult phases in their life.
Kate generally supports students who require additional support with transition, behaviour or mental health. She also communicates regularly with parents and carers, to ensure that they are well-informed about their young person’s educational support.
Much of the work the Inclusion team do is about breaking down barriers to improve confidence, listening to students and making them feel valued. But it is also about helping them to understand the boundaries around behaviour and empowering them to make the right decisions for themselves.
We have had students who, before they came to the Academy, hadn’t been in education for some time due to mental health issues. We’ve supported them to grow in confidence and they are now taking on work experience positions with local companies. It’s when you stop and think about how much they’ve achieved and from where they came, that you realise how much potential they have – they just need a bit of extra support for them to shine.
As Head of Behaviour, Kate has introduced a new Behaviour reward system for students to recognise their hard work, great behaviour, kindness and when they have really tried their best. Students are awarded behaviour slips by staff, when they have reached 10 slips they are given a certificate in assembly plus a postcard is sent home. Higher numbers of slips will mean students are awarded badges and vouchers to reinforce the praise and recognition for their work and attitude to learning. Students have been very engaged with the new system and we have already had some badges given out in the first term! The goal is for our students to eventually leave the Academy as well-adjusted and confident young people who can take responsibility for their own futures.