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The Shanidar Story

Shanidar CaveImage courtesy of the General Board of Tourism of Kurdistan

The Shanidar Story

The Shanidar Cave is an archaeological site located in  the Zagros Mountains in the Kurdistan region of Iraq. Between 1957 and 1961 archaeologists excavated the remains of  a group of early humans who were buried in the cave around 50,000 years ago.

The first skeleton (Shanidar 1 – known as ‘Nandy’) was found to be a 45-50 year old male who had been injured in childhood, leading to right side paralysis and lifelong disability that would have left him dependent on his community, who lived by hunting and gathering.

Also found in the burial in the Shanidar cave was evidence that these early ancestors had buried their dead carefully and with honour, including laying the deceased on a bed of flowers.

From the Shanidar evidence we see that the earliest human community supported and valued all members equally. In the 21st Century we see our educational mission as a continuation of this fundamental purpose, in the modern context.


To provide excellent, inclusive education through training, research and collaboration.


We aim to lead the education community by establishing a centre of excellence in special educational needs, disability and inclusive education. 

We want to provide high quality training to teachers and support staff to effectively meet the needs of children and young people with SEND across mainstream and specialist provision.  We will equip our workforce with the skills and expertise, increasing opportunities for young people to succeed and improve their life chances.

Through successful collaboration with our partners, we want to find and spread the best evidence-based practice in SEND across Bradford and West Yorkshire.


We champion inclusive education for all pupils and challenge discrimination.


Shanidar CaveImage courtesy of the General Board of Tourism of Kurdistan