A brief history of Inaura

About the origin of our logo and name

logo - four geese flying together

In+aura - our name means 'radiance piercing the darkness within' (a metaphor for learning).

Birds cannot fly yoked together - the geese in our logo are a sign of our commitment to an ethic of voluntary co-operation. 

The Inaura charity was founded in 2002 with a clear objective - to make school exclusion redundant as a management tool.  

The strategy we adopted to achieve this was based on research carried out in New Zealand, the USA, and Canada. We called it community-based inclusion.   We were able to set up high level meetings with the Improving Behaviour and Attendance Team at the Department of Education to share the outcome of our department-funded action research projects in Slough and Sutton, as well as data gathered by Professor Carl Parsons, who is one of Inaura's founding trustees. 

In 2003 we suggested to the Department that managed moves were an effective alternative to exclusion as a management tool. Since 2004, when the Department began to recommend managed moves, exclusion rates fell steadily until 2012.  

Meanwhile, as a charity, 11 of our first 12 grant applications were successful. However, we recognised that an enduring charity must have revenue (regular) funding and for us this meant providing services to the education community. Our project in Somerset provided educational support for children as a ‘last resort’; children for whom the next step was residential schooling.

In 2007 we established an independent special in Somerset, based on non-coercive principles. Using our relational approach we developed a school model within which we did not attempt to coerce children into learning, and we replaced behavioural sanctions with a restorative approach.

Inaura school continues to grow in student numbers and in the quality of its programmes. It now has a therapeutic team, a social and pastoral care team, a teaching and learning team, a forest school centre, arts workshops and farm and animal care programmes.

In 2017 the charity and the school decided to become two separate organisations, so that the  school could form a Governing body solely engaged in school governance, and the charitable activities of the national organisation promoting children's well being and good mental health could continue, in particular by applying a non-coercive ethos and developing education communities. 

We are still in the process of formally registering as a charity. Our current main project is the development of Forum school management software for small special and Steiner schools.