We welcome our duties under the Equality Act 2010 as both a provider of education and as an employer.
We believe that all pupils and members of staff should have the opportunity to fulfil their potential whatever their background, identity and circumstances. We are committed to creating a community that recognises and celebrates difference within a culture of respect and co-operation. We appreciate that a culture which promotes equality will create a positive environment and a shared sense of belonging for all who work, learn and use the services of our school. We recognise that equality will only be achieved by the whole school community working together – our pupils, staff, governors and parents.
This document outlines the principles which will guide our approach to working with our school community and enabling an open culture.
National and Legal Context
We recognise that we have duties under the Equality Act 2010 in relation to the school community to eliminate discrimination, advance equality of opportunity and foster good relations in relation to age (applicable only to staff), disability, race, gender (including issues of gender reassignment, maternity and pregnancy), religion and belief, sexual orientation and marital status (applicable only to staff).
We also recognise that we have a duty under the Education & Inspections Act 2006 to promote community cohesion, i.e. developing good relations across different cultures and groups.
We also appreciate that these duties reflect the international human rights standards as expressed in the UN Convention on Rights of the Child, the UN Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities, and the Human Rights Act 1998.
The Public Sector Equality Duty 2011 has three aims under the general duty for Schools:
- Eliminate unlawful discrimination, harassment and victimisation and other conduct prohibited by the Act.
- Advance equality of opportunity between people who share a protected
characteristic and those who do not.
- Foster good relations between people who share a protected characteristic and those who do not.
To fulfil our legal obligations, we are guided by a number of principles:
- All pupils, families and staff are of equal value
We see all current and potential pupils, parents and staff as of equal value:
- Whether or not they are disabled
- Whatever their ethnicity, culture, national origin or national status
- Whatever their gender and gender identity
- Whatever their religious and non-religious affiliation or faith background
- Whatever their sexual orientation
- Whatever their marital status
- Whether they are currently pregnant or have recently given birth
- Whatever their age
- We recognise and respect difference
We recognise that treating people equally does not necessarily involve treating them all the same. We recognise that our policies, procedures and activities must not discriminate but must take account of diversity and the kinds of barriers and disadvantage that staff, parents or pupils may face in relation to their protected characteristics:
- Disability – we note that reasonable adjustments may need to be made
- Gender (including transgender) – we recognise that girls and boys, men and women have different needs
- Religion and belief – we note that reasonable requests in relation to religious observance and practice may need to be made and complied with
- Ethnicity and race – we note that all have different experiences as a result of our ethnic and racial backgrounds
- Age – we value the diversity in age of staff and parents
- Sexual orientation – we respect that individuals have the right to determine their own sexual identity and that they should not experience disadvantage as a result of their preference
- Marital status – we recognise that our staff and parents may make their own personal choices in respect of personal relationships and that they should not experience disadvantage as a result of the relationships they have
- Pregnancy and maternity – we believe that our staff and parents should not
experience any unfair disadvantage as a result of pregnancy or having recently given birth
- We foster positive attitudes and relationships, and a shared sense of cohesion and belonging
We intend that our policies, procedures and activities should promote:
- positive attitudes and interaction between groups and communities different from each other
- an absence of harassment, victimisation and discrimination in relation to any protected characteristics
- We observe good equalities practice in relation to staff
We ensure that our policies and practices for all staff and potential staff throughout the employment lifecycle, i.e. from recruitment through to the cessation of employment and beyond, are applied fairly and consistently across all groups with full respect for legal rights, taking into account aspects applicable to particular groups (e.g. duty to make reasonable adjustments for disabled staff).
- We aim to reduce and remove inequalities and barriers that already exist
We intend that our policies, procedures and activities avoid or minimise any possible
negative impacts and we aim to reduce inequalities that exist between groups and
communities different from each other.
- We consult and involve, ensuring views are heard
In our development of policies, we engage with groups and individuals, including pupils who are affected by a policy or activity to ensure that their views are taken into account. For policies and activities affecting pupils, we will take account of views expressed at school council; for parents, this will be through parent governor representation and for staff, through staff governor representation. Where necessary, we will consult more widely with specific groups.
- We aim to foster greater community cohesion
We intend that our policies, activities and curriculum offer foster greater social cohesion and provide for an equal opportunity to participate in public life irrespective of the protected characteristics of individuals and groups.
- We base our practices on sound evidence
We maintain and publish information annually to show our compliance with the public sector equality duty, set out under section 149 of the Equality Act 2010.
- We set ourselves specific and measurable equality objectives
We develop and publish specific and measurable objectives every four years based on the evidence that we have gathered (principle 8) and the engagement we have been involved in (principle 7).
The objectives can be found below and take into account both national, county and school level priorities. We will set ourselves new objectives every four years, but keep them under review and report annually on progress towards achieving them.
Application of the principles within the equality duty:
The principles outlined above will be applied and reflected in:
- The delivery of the school curriculum
- The teaching and learning within the school
- Our practice in relation to pupil progress, attainment and achievement
- Our teaching styles and strategies
- Our policies and practice in relation to admissions and attendance
- Our policies and practice in relation to staff
- Our care, guidance and support to pupils, their families and staff
- Our policies and practice in relation to pupil behaviour, discipline and exclusions
- Our partnership working with parents
- Our contact with the wider school community
Addressing prejudice and prejudice-related bullying
The school is opposed to all forms of prejudice including, but not limited to, prejudice related to protected characteristics. We will ensure that prejudice-related incidents in relation to staff and pupils are recorded and dealt with appropriately.
Roles and responsibilities
The governing body is responsible for ensuring that the school complies with legislation, and that related policies, procedures and action plans are implemented and that arrangements are in place to deal with any concerns or unlawful action that arises.
The headteacher is responsible for implementation of the equality duty, ensuring that all staff are aware of their responsibilities and given appropriate training and support and for taking appropriate action in any cases of unlawful discrimination, harassment or victimisation.
Our Equality Objectives for the next four years:
Objective 1: Ensure there are opportunities across the curriculum to explore cultural diversity.
Objective 2: Ensure that there is effective monitoring of the progress of all children with any protected characteristic.
Objective 3: Ensure that there is effective monitoring of attendance for trends of all children with any protected characteristic.