SINGLE EQUALITY STATEMENT
Click here to download the Equality Policy
To meet the requirements of the Public Sector Equality Duty, this school is required to consider how our policies, practices and day-to-day activities impact on pupils and staff. We are required to have “due regard” to the need to:
• Eliminate unlawful discrimination, harassment and victimisation;
• Advance equality of opportunity;
• Foster good relations.
At Storth CE Primary School (hereinafter referred to as ‘the school’), we are committed to ensuring equality of education and opportunity for all pupils, staff, parents and carers receiving services from our school, irrespective of race, gender, disability, faith or religion or socio-economic background. We aim to develop a culture of inclusion and diversity in which all those connected to our school feel proud of their identity and can participate fully in school life.
We have taken an organisational approach and have ensured that all equality strands are part of the work of our school, particularly in relation to creating policy and practice around both delivery of our service and employment but also in relation to other functions such as setting budgets and making appointments.
The achievement of pupils will be monitored by race, gender and disability and we will use this data to support pupils, raise standards and ensure inclusivity. We will tackle discrimination by the promotion of equality, challenging bullying and stereotypes and creating an environment which champions respect for all. We believe that diversity is a strength, which should be respected and celebrated by all those who learn, teach and visit here.
The Single Equality Scheme (SES) to which this Statement relates also highlights how our school has worked with and listened to the staff, pupils, parents and carers to inform development of objectives and the need and commitment required to ensure the Scheme is a success. This is underpinned by a commitment to promoting positive relationships and understanding between all groups within our school community.
The SES sets out how pupils with the following protected characteristics will be protected in our school from harassment and discrimination:-
• Religion and belief
• Sexual orientation
• Gender reassignment
• Pregnancy and maternity
This Scheme extends, however, to cover all aspects of vulnerability, including those associated with socio-economic factors (e.g. pupils from low income families), Children Looked After and those with Child Protection plans.
As well as delivering high quality services to our pupils, the school is also committed to being a good employer and as such the Scheme outlines how we meet our duties in terms of recruitment and selection practices. We are committed to be fully inclusive of all community users, including parents. As such, the Scheme therefore also sets out how we will work to overcome discrimination related to the other protected characteristics:-
• Being married or in a civil partnership
Part 2 of our Single Equality Scheme (information to demonstrate compliance with the public sector equality duty) will be reviewed, updated and published annually with the subsequent objectives (Part 3) being prepared and published at least every 4 years.
PART 1 – SINGLE EQUALITY SCHEME
1. Aims of the Single Equality Scheme
• To articulate this school’s commitment to equality which permeates all school Policies and practices
• To ensure that everyone who belongs to, or comes into contact with, our school community is valued and respected
• To promote equality of opportunity and eliminate unlawful discrimination, harassment or victimisation
• To comply with statutory duties under equalities legislation in one document
2. Purpose of the Equality Scheme
This Equality Scheme is our school’s response to the specific and general duties in the current equality legislation, which has been brought together under the Equality Act 2010 (see Appendix A). It is an attempt to capture how we are systematically establishing and implementing good practice in equality and diversity
This Equality Scheme sets out how we will:
• develop and review the Scheme and our objectives with appropriate timescales for the future
• eliminate discrimination
• eliminate harassment or victimisation related to any aspect of social identity or diversity;
• promote equality of opportunity;
• promote positive attitudes to all aspects of social identity and diversity;
• encourage participation by disabled people and people representing different aspects of social identity in public life;
• take steps to take account of difference even where that involves treating some people more favourably than others;
• take proportionate action to address the disadvantage faced by particular groups of pupils.
3. Planning to Eliminate Discrimination and Promote Equality of Opportunity
This Scheme is underpinned by the core belief that all children and young people belong to their local community and share the same rights to membership of that community and a quality education. An Action Plan linked to our objectives accompanies this Equality Scheme which identifies what we will be doing over the coming year and beyond to make our school more accessible to the whole community, irrespective of background or need. (See Part 3).
It encompasses our duties to promote positive outcomes in relation to race, gender and disability, but also identifies actions to address other social identities. It encompasses our anticipatory duties to plan ahead for the reasonable adjustments (reasonable and proportionate steps to overcome barriers that may impede some pupils) we need to make to be best placed to help disabled pupils or visitors who come or may come to our school.
The Objectives and action plan complement and refer to the school’s Accessibility Plan as it sets out how we will increase access to education for disabled pupils, alongside other protected groups, in the following three areas:
• increasing the extent to which disabled pupils can participate in the school curriculum;
• improving the environment of the school to increase the extent to which disabled pupils can take advantage of education and associated services;
• improving the delivery to disabled pupils of information which is provided in writing for pupils who are not disabled.
The action plan is reviewed annually, and progress towards the equality objectives within it is reported on regularly to the Governing Body. Equality objectives have been identified through consultation with key stakeholders including pupils, parents, Governors, staff and others in the community.
Our Single Equality information report and our objectives are understood and implemented by all staff and are published on the school website. It will be made available in different formats and in different languages on request to the school office.
4. Roles and Responsibilities for Implementing the Single Equality Scheme
The Governing Body
The Governing Body will:
• ensure that our school complies with all relevant equalities legislation;
• recommend all governors receive up-to-date training in all equalities duties;
• designate a governor with specific responsibility for the Single Equality Scheme;
• draw up, publish and implement our school’s equality objectives;
• establish that the action plans arising from the Scheme are part of our School Development Plan;
• support the Head teacher in implementing any actions necessary;
• ensure that people are not discriminated against when applying for jobs at our school on grounds of race, gender, disability, faith/religion, age, gender reassignment etc.
• take all reasonable steps to ensure that our school environment gives access to people with disabilities, and strive to make school communications as inclusive as possible for parents, carers and pupils;
• welcome all applications to join our school, whatever a child’s socio-economic background, race, gender, disability, faith/religion etc.;
• ensure that no child is discriminated against whilst in our school because of their race, gender, disability, faith/religion etc.;
• inform and consult with parents about the Scheme;
• evaluate and review the information supporting the Scheme annually;
• evaluate the objectives and action plan/school development plan at least every 4 years.
The Head teacher:
The role of the Head teacher or other senior leader is to:
• ensure that staff and parents are informed about the Single Equality Scheme;
• ensure that staff understand the broad legal definition of disability;
• ensure that the Scheme is implemented effectively;
• manage any day to day issues arising from the Scheme whether for pupils, for our school as an employer or for our local community;
• ensure staff have access to training which helps to implement the Scheme;
• monitor the Scheme and report to the Governing Body at least annually, on the effectiveness of the Scheme, Objectives and Action Plan;
• ensure that the SLT are kept up to date with any development affecting the Scheme/action plan arising from the Scheme;
• provide appropriate support and monitoring for all pupils and specific and targeted pupils to whom the Scheme has direct relevance, with the assistance from relevant agencies;
• ensure that all appointments panels give due regard to this plan, so that no one is discriminated against when it comes to employment or training opportunities;
• promote the principle of equal opportunity when developing the curriculum, and promote respect for other people and equal opportunities to participate in all aspects of school life;
• treat all incidents of unfair treatment and any incidents of bullying or discrimination, including racist incidents, with due seriousness and in accordance with the Whole School Behaviour Policy and procedures;
• report any incidents of racism in accordance with the Equality Act;
• deal with complaints of discrimination and harassment speedily and notify complainants of the outcome and actions taken;
• in the event of expectations not being met, ensure action is taken in accordance with the status of those involved e.g. pupil, member of staff, volunteer etc.
All Staff: teaching, non-teaching and other adults involved with our School
All staff, both paid and unpaid are required to:
• accept that this is a whole school issue and support the Single Equality Scheme;
• be aware of the Single Equality Scheme and how it relates to them;
• keep themselves up-to-date with relevant legislation and attend school organised training and information events;
• make known any queries or training requirements;
• ensure that all pupils are treated fairly, equally and with respect, and maintain awareness of our school’s Equality Scheme and objectives;
• strive to provide material that gives positive images based on race, gender and disability, and challenges stereotypical images;
• ensure that pupils from all protected groups are included in all activities and have full access to the curriculum;
• promote equality and diversity through teaching and through relations with pupils, staff, parents, and the wider community;
• know how to deal with incidents of concern, and how to identify and challenge bias and stereotyping;
• know procedures for reporting incidents of racism, harassment or other forms of discrimination.
• be involved in the development of the Scheme and will understand how it relates to them, appropriate to age and ability;
• be expected to act in accordance with any relevant part of the Scheme;
• experience a curriculum and environment which is respectful of diversity and difference and prepares them well for life in a diverse society;
• understand the importance of reporting discriminatory bullying and racially motivated incidents;
• ensure the peer support programme within our school promotes understanding and supports pupils who are experiencing discrimination.
5. School Aims Statements
Staffing and Employment
We comply fully with legislation which protects our staff (including teachers, teaching assistants, supervisors, student teachers) and other adults working in our school, from discrimination based on the protected characteristics. To do this we will:
• ensure that our staff are trained to help them understand their equality duties and/or the differing needs of protected groups within our school community and have mechanisms in place to identify areas for development;
• make such reasonable adjustments as are necessary to prevent a disabled person being at a substantial disadvantage in comparison with people who are not disabled;
• monitor recruitment and retention;
• invest in continued professional development opportunities for all staff;
• make efforts to ensure that the diversity of our workforce reflects that of our local community and wider society;
• not enquire about the health of an applicant until a job offer has been made or require job applicants to complete a generic ‘all encompassing’ health questionnaire as part of the application procedure unless the questions are specifically related to an intrinsic function of the work – for example ensuring that applicants for a PE teaching post have the physical capability to carry out the duties;
• ensure the safety and well-being of our staff and take seriously and act on incidents of harassment and discrimination recognising that our staff may be either victims or perpetrators.
Pupils’ Attainment and Progress
We expect the highest possible standards. Staff have high expectations of all pupils and continually challenge them to reach higher standards.
The school recognises and values all forms of achievement. We will monitor and analyse pupil performance by ethnicity, gender, disability and special educational need and social background. Any disparities which are identified will be addressed through targeted curriculum planning, teaching and support.
Curriculum Development and Delivery
We aim to provide all our pupils with the opportunity to succeed, and to reach the highest level of personal achievement. To do this, we will:
• use contextual data to improve the ways in which we provide support to individuals and groups of pupils;
• monitor achievement data by ethnicity, gender and disability and action any gaps;
• encourage pupils to become independent and assist them in taking responsibility for the management of their own learning and behaviour;
• take account of the achievement of all pupils when planning for future learning and setting challenging targets;
• ensure equality of access for all pupils and prepare them for life in a diverse society;
• use materials that reflect the diversity of the school, population and local community in terms of race, gender and disability, without stereotyping;
• promote attitudes and values that will challenge racist and other discriminatory behaviour or prejudice;
• provide opportunities for pupils to appreciate their own culture and celebrate the diversity of other cultures;
• promote activities that celebrate our common experience as well as those that recognise diversity generally and foster understanding and respect for the culture and faith of all our pupils and their families;
• use self-assessment as a teaching-learning strategy, and we will provide all pupils with opportunities to take responsibility for their own learning through regular reflection and feedback on their progress;
• seek to involve all parents and carers in supporting their child’s education;
• encourage classroom and staffroom discussion of equality issues which reflect on social stereotypes, expectations and their impact on learning;
Pupil Welfare and Pastoral Care
We aim to promote the health, safety and welfare of all the children and staff providing a caring and supportive pastoral system that takes account of their needs. To do this we will:
• develop and continually review a Health, Safety and Welfare Policy document;
• ensure that the details of this Scheme are shared with all staff both teaching, non-teaching and ancillary staff;
• expect all staff and volunteers working in the school to foster a positive atmosphere of mutual respect and trust among boys and girls from all ethnic groups and range of abilities;
• challenge stereotypes and foster pupils’ critical awareness and concepts of fairness, enabling them to detect bias and challenge inequalities;
• take account of religious, cultural and ethnic differences, special educational needs, disability and the experiences and needs of all pupils, throughout our pastoral support;
• provide appropriate support for pupils learning English as an additional language and encourage pupils to use their home and community languages to enhance their learning;
• give appropriate support (using external agencies where required) to victims of harassment and bullying. The perpetrators are dealt with in line with the Whole School Behaviour Policy and are provided with relevant support to consider and modify their behaviour;
• ensure that guidance and support for pupils is delivered in a way that does not discriminate against pupils with the unseen (visual, hearing, mobility, cognitive and prone to seizure) impairments;
• ensure that appropriate and discreet facilities are available for those pupils who require personal or intimate care to protect their dignity and foster respect for their individual needs;
• ensure that staff are empowered to raise any concerns with the Senior Management Team relating to their health, safety and welfare by promoting well-being strategies among staff and in their respective groups.
The Quality of Provision – Curriculum and Other Activities
We aim to provide an appropriate curriculum for pupils of all backgrounds. To do this we will:
• monitor and evaluate its effectiveness through target setting and attainment analysis;
• ensure that all pupils participate in the mainstream curriculum of the school;
• develop and continuously monitor a curriculum which builds on pupils’ starting points and is differentiated appropriately to ensure the inclusion of:
– boys and girls
– pupils learning English as an additional language
– pupils from minority ethnic groups, including Gypsies and Travellers
– pupils who are gifted and talented
– pupils who are pregnant or who have recently given birth
– pupils who are undergoing gender reassignment
– pupils with special educational needs
– pupils with a disability
– pupils who are looked after by the Local Authority
– pupils who at a risk of disaffection and exclusion
– lesbian, gay or questioning young people
– pupils who are the subject of child protection plans
• ensure that each area of the curriculum is planned to incorporate the principles of equality and to promote positive attitudes to diversity. All subjects contribute to the spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of all pupils;
• deliver a curriculum which reflects and values diversity. It encourages pupils to explore bias and to challenge prejudice and stereotypes;
• ensure extra-curricular activities and special events e.g. school performances, cater for the interests and capabilities of all pupils and take account of parental preferences related to religion and culture;
• ensure educational visits and excursions take account of the capabilities of all pupils including both physical and cognitive disabilities and cultural differences;
• make use of web-based technologies (web sites and the VLE) to support a high quality learning and teaching experience. This is delivered to all our pupils irrespective of disability (e.g. visual, hearing, mobility, cognitive and prone to seizure impairments).
Behaviour and Attendance
We expect high standards of behaviour from all pupils as appropriate for their developmental level, all staff and others who are working or connected with the school. Details of these expected standards are set out in the Whole School Behaviour Policy.
Through our school ethos and curriculum, we want our pupils to understand better the diversity that exists in society. We want to provide opportunities for them to explore the subtleties and complexities to prevent and respond to incidents and situations. We will address the experience, understanding and needs of the victim, the perpetrator, bystanders and the wider school community through our actions and responses. To ensure that the Whole School Behaviour Policy and associated policies are equitable, we:
• have procedures for disciplining pupils and managing behaviour that are fair and applied equally to all. All staff are expected to operate consistent systems of rewards and sanctions;
• recognise that cultural background and disability may affect behaviour. Our school takes this into account when dealing with incidents of unacceptable behaviour;
• recognise that hate incidents or prejudice-based bullying behaviour is driven by negative assumptions, stereotypes or misinformation. These are then directed against an individual or group, based on difference (real or perceived), and linked to, for example, racism, homophobia, negative views of disabled people or sexism. We will act to prevent, challenge and eliminate any such behaviour;
• have clear procedures in place so that all forms of bullying, including cyberbullying and sexting and harassment, including that related to racism, disability, sexism and homophobia, are dealt with promptly, firmly and consistently. All forms of harassment are recorded, monitored and dealt with in line with relevant school procedures;
• ensure that all staff are trained to deal effectively with bullying of all types, racist incidents, racial harassment and prejudice and are offered support in handling such matters;
• encourage staff to explore their own views and attitudes to difference and to monitor their practice in relation to this Scheme. Adults in school take care to lead through example, demonstrating high expectations of all pupils;
• will take steps to ensure that pupils, staff and parents are aware of Policies and procedures for dealing with harassment. They know that any language or behaviour, which is extremist, racist, sexist, homophobic or potentially damaging to any minority group, is always unacceptable;
• provide information and advice on attendance and exclusion to parents/carers in accessible formats such as relevant community languages and large print;
• have strategies in place to reintegrate long-term non-attenders and excluded pupils, which address the needs of all pupils;
• ensure that families are aware of their rights and responsibilities in relation to pupil attendance and absence and that cases are always followed up in a way that takes account of cultural issues or matters relating to a child’s disability;
• make provision for leave of absence for religious observance, for staff as well as pupils;
• monitor attendance by gender, ethnicity and special educational need. Background is also considered. Action is taken to address any disparities between different groups of pupils;
• will fully support children with long-term medical needs who may have an erratic attendance because they are in and out of hospital or not well enough to attend school on a regular basis;
• expect full-time attendance of Traveller and Gypsy pupils whilst they are on the roll of the school.
Partnership with Pupils, Parents, Carers and the Wider Community
We have established good links with our local and wider community. We welcome them into our school. From them, we learn about quality issues outside school and can establish mechanisms for addressing them within school.
Participation is based on information gained about representation of different groups. We aim to do this as fully as possible whilst recognising issues of sensitivity in relation to the different protected characteristics. We take steps to ensure disabled children, young people and their parents are involved as is their entitlement. To do this we will:
• involve stakeholders including pupils, staff, parents and other users of the school in relation to all equalities duties;
• take into account the preferred means of communication for those with whom we are consulting e.g. translated materials or interpretation facilities for disabled people or those for whom English is an additional language or are newly arrived in this Country;
• include representation from the widest range of relevant groups that we can reasonably achieve;
• monitor parental involvement and have strategies to raise participation of under-represented groups of parents and sections of the community. Information and meetings for parents are made accessible for all;
• progress reports to parents are clearly written and free from jargon to encourage participation in their child’s education. Where necessary, information is available in languages and formats other than English. Parents with a disability or with learning difficulties will be able to access school’s information;
• parents are fully involved in the school-based response for their child with special educational needs, understand the purpose of any intervention or programme of action and are told about the parent partnership service when SEND is identified;
• encourage participation of under-represented groups in areas of employment e.g. through work experience placements;
• ensure that any informal events which we may hold are designed to include the whole community and at times may target minority or marginalised groups;
• work in partnership with parents and the community to address specific incidents and to develop positive attitudes to difference;
• ensure that the school’s premises, grounds and facilities are equally available and accessible for use by all groups within the community.
Leadership and Management
We have a clear admissions policy and procedures which are in line with those issued by Cumbria LA. Our aim is to ensure that our admission process is fair and equitable to all pupils. We will also ensure that our employment practices reflect equality and diversity. To do this we will:
• not discriminate against a disabled pupil in the arrangements we make for determining admission;
• admit pupils with already identified special educational needs. Pupils with statements of special educational needs will always be admitted unless, through the statutory assessment process, it is demonstrated that the pupil’s inclusion would be incompatible with the efficient education of other children;
• gather comprehensive information about pupils’ ethnicity, first language, religion, physical needs, diet etc. either via the admissions form or at the admissions interview;
• adhere to recruitment and selection procedures which are fair, equitable and in line with statutory duties of the LA;
• will take steps to encourage people from under-represented groups to apply for positions at all levels in the school and ensure recruitment and selection processes are monitored;
• ensure that everyone associated with the school is informed of the contents of this policy. All staff and visitors must support the ethos of the school, promoting equality and challenging bias and stereotyping wherever they observe it;
• ensure that staff training continually highlights equality issues. Equality is incorporated into the induction programme for new staff;
• recognise and value the skills of all staff, including non-teaching and part-time staff. All staff are given status and support and are encouraged to share their knowledge.
• ensure that staff handbooks and regular professional development activities are available for all staff members to support their practice in relation to this policy;
• ensure that resources and displays in our school reflect the experience and backgrounds of pupils, promote diversity and challenge stereotypes. They are reviewed regularly to ensure that they reflect the inclusive ethos of the school e.g. the inclusion of images relating to minority ethnic and Gypsy and Traveller children; displays to be positioned at eye level, etc.
We recognise and celebrate the linguistic diversity in British society. We look for opportunities to enrich the curricular experience of all our pupils by:
• highlighting how English has borrowed from other languages;
• raising awareness of the similarities and differences between English and other languages;
• reflecting the multilingual nature of wider society in our resources and displays;
• acknowledging the differences in syntax with non-spoken forms of English e.g. British Sign Language.
We are committed to combating sex discrimination and sexism and promoting the equality of women and men. We welcome the requirements of the Gender Equality duty and this section sets out our commitment to meeting the duty. We will give due regard to the need to:
• eliminate unlawful discrimination and harassment on the grounds of sex, including domestic violence, sexual violence, bullying and exploitation;
• promote equality of opportunity between women and men in all our functions;
• recognise that society has stereotypes for both women and men, and both women and men can lose opportunities because of these stereotypes;
• be aware that staff with caring and domestic responsibilities may need to work part-time or flexible working hours;
• work in partnership with other agencies to eliminate sexual harassment, domestic violence and other hate crimes;
• ensure the rights, under the Gender Recognition Act 2003, of transgender people (who have Gender Recognition Certificates).
Admissions and Exclusions
Our admissions arrangements are fair and transparent, and do not discriminate on race, gender, disability or socio-economic factors.
Exclusions will always be based on the school’s Whole School Behaviour Policy. We will closely monitor exclusions to avoid any potential adverse impact and ensure any discrepancies are identified and action taken to eliminate these. In addition, we will:
• monitor exclusions by gender, ethnicity and special educational need. Background is also considered. Action is taken to address any disparities between different groups of pupils;
• take all reasonable steps to prevent the exclusion of a pupil for a reason related to any disability they may have.
PART 2 – Single Equality information to demonstrate compliance with the Public Sector Equality Duty
Storth Ce Primary School
1. Our School Profile
Storth CE Primary School is a Church of England Voluntary Controlled School. The number on roll is currently 69 pupils. The roll of the school is likely to increase. The percentage of pupils taking free school meals (FSM) is 4%, well below the national average of 17.3% (June 2010 DfE stats).
24% of our pupils have special educational needs. There is a ratio of 1 boy to 1 girl.
90% of our pupils enter the school from our nursery. The remainder enter school as mid-term starters. As a result, attainment and maturity is wide-ranging.
Our catchment area takes in the villages of Storth, Silverdale, Arnside and Milnthorpe and several other small rural villages, hamlets and isolated farms. There are few amenities available locally. The immediate area is relatively prosperous and is a commuter area for professional families travelling to Kendal and Lancaster. Lots of pupils are from outside catchment. They are attracted to our school because of its reputation and its extended school facilities. We have a breakfast club which operates from 7:45 a.m. each morning and an after-school club which operates to 5:14 each evening. Over an average week, over 30% of the pupils use both the breakfast club and the after-school club.
We have several vulnerable groups including those with special educational, learning and medical needs.
We are a Voluntary Controlled School with a strong Christian ethos which develops the whole child.
We have never had problems attracting staff and currently have a full teaching staff complement.
The LA deals with admissions to the school. When we are made aware of pupils who are joining the school with disabilities, we arrange to meet both the pupil and the parents and involve professionals from the Local Authority and the Health Authority to ensure that any adjustments required to the school building are made in readiness for the pupil starting school. The school has fully ramped access and is level throughout the building enabling access to any wheelchair users. Our reception area is accessible to disabled people. We have one disabled toilet which also contains a changing bed for use by those pupils who need personal care whilst at school.
Information for parents and others is provided in written and verbal form. All information is offered in alternative formats on request.
Recruitment procedures are based on those provided by the LA with all advertising being processed through the County HR and Advertising Team.
2. Disability Equality Duties
Our commitment to disabled pupils, their families and staff’s equality has a number of objectives:
We will promote equality for disabled people by:
• removing barriers to accessibility, particularly in relation to education, employment and access to services, information and buildings;
• encouraging good practice by our partners through our advisory capacity;
• ensuring we take their needs into account when procuring goods and services from our providers;
• promoting positive images of disabled people;
• challenging patronising or discriminating attitudes;
• making the environment as safe as possible for and challenging antisocial or bullying behaviour against, or harassment of, disabled pupils, staff and families.
We plan to increase access to education for disabled pupils by:
• increasing the extent to which disabled pupils can participate in the school curriculum;
• increasing the inclusion of positive images of disabled people across the curriculum;
• improving the environment of the school to increase the extent to which disabled pupils can take advantage of education and associated services;
• improving the delivery of information to disabled pupils, to the standard of which is provided in writing for pupils who are not disabled;
We welcome the requirements of the Disability Equality duty and this section sets out our commitment to meeting the duty. Our Scheme shows how we promote disability equality across all areas of the school, to disabled pupils, staff, parents, carers and other school users.
Please refer to the school’s accessibility plan.
3. Racial Equality Duty and Community Cohesion
We recognise that Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) people experience discrimination based on colour, race, nationality, religion and ethnic origin. Racial harassment and violence is one of the most serious consequences of racism, damaging people emotionally and physically and limiting life choices and opportunities.
The school will take all necessary measures to prevent and tackle racial harassment and assist BAME people to live in freedom from harassment and to feel safe as they enjoy and achieve throughout their education.
To comply with this duty, we will:
• keep accurate records of all ethnic and faith groups, their backgrounds and needs and how we respond to them;
• encourage dialogue between different racial groups on the appropriateness of our educational provision;
• prevent racial discrimination, and to promote equality of opportunity and good relations between members of different racial, cultural and religious groups;
• encourage pupils and their families of all ethnic groups to participate fully in all aspects of school life;
• use our support for the voluntary and community sector to promote good race relations;
• counter myths and misinformation that may undermine good community relations;
• ensure the school staff and other adults working within the school, pupils and their families as well as our partners and the wider community fully understand the principles of good race relations.
4. Gender Equality Duties
In accordance with our Single Equality Scheme, we welcome the requirements of the Gender Equality duty and this section sets out our commitment to meeting the duty. We will give due regard to the need to:
• Eliminate unlawful discrimination and harassment on the grounds of sex, including domestic violence, sexual violence, bullying and exploitation;
• Promote equality of opportunity between women and men in all our functions.
Religion and Belief Equality Duties
We recognise that people can face discrimination because of attitudes in society towards the faith communities to which they belong. Faith-based hate crime has been on the increase in recent years, developing a character that is distinct from race hate crime.
The school also recognises that a person’s religious (or similar) beliefs may mean that they have different needs, demands and expectations, which require flexibility.
The school is committed to eliminating illegal discrimination and exclusion based on religion or belief.
Our school recognises the need to consider the duties which require us to assess the impacts of our policies, functions and procedures have on promoting equality for people based on their religion, belief or non-belief.
Schools with a religious character (faith schools) have certain exceptions to the religion or belief provisions which allow them to discriminate because of religion or belief in relation to admissions and in access to any benefit, facility or service.
The content of the school curriculum has never been caught by discrimination law, and the Equality Act now states explicitly that it is excluded. However, the way in which a school provides education – the delivery of the curriculum – is explicitly included.
Schools are free to celebrate religions festivals and could not be claimed to be discriminating against children of other faiths if, for example, they put on a nativity play at Christmas or hold a celebration to mark other religious festivals such as Diwali or Eid.
There is a general exception which allows all schools to have acts of worship or other forms of collective religious observance. This means the daily act of collective worship, which for maintained schools is mandatory and should be of a broadly Christian nature, is not covered by the religion or belief provisions. This exception means that schools will not be acting unlawfully if they do not provide an equivalent act of worship for other faiths.
5. Sexual Orientation Equality Duties
We are committed to combatting discrimination faced by lesbians, gay men, bisexual people and transgender (LGBT+). We aim to ensure equality of opportunity for LGBT+ people across services and employment.
We will respect the rights of individuals to be open about their sexual orientation, tackle homophobia, challenge stereotyping and improve knowledge about LGBT+ communities, both internally and to the community as a whole.
Our school recognises the need to protect pupils from unlawful discrimination and harassment on grounds of sexual orientation as required by the Equality Act 2010. We are committed to taking a proactive approach to preventing all forms of homophobia within the school and will assess the impacts of our policies, functions and procedures on promoting sexual orientation equality as part of the Equality Impact Assessment process.
We will deal with complaints of discrimination and harassment speedily and according to LA and national guidelines and notify complainants of the outcome and actions taken.
6. Pregnancy and Maternity Equality Duties
We recognise that the Equality Act 2010 now specifically includes the need to protect female students who are pregnant or who have recently given birth from discriminatory practices.
This school will ensure that no student will be excluded purely on grounds of pregnancy and that up to 18 calendar weeks authorised absence period immediately before and after the birth may be given to ensure that the student is reintegrated into education as quickly as possible.
Female staff are already covered under existing employment legislation.
Such a student is protected from discrimination because:
• she is or has been pregnant;
• she has given birth and unfavourable treatment occurs within a period of 26 weeks beginning on the day she gave birth;
• she is breastfeeding and unfavourable treatment occurs within the period of 26 weeks beginning on the day she gave birth;
• a female student is protected even when the baby is stillborn, so long as she was pregnant for at least 24 weeks before she gave birth;
• both direct and indirect discrimination related to pregnancy and maternity relate to the person being disadvantaged and treated unfavourably.
7. Publication of the Single Equality Scheme
Our School Single Equality Scheme is published as a separate document and is available on request with Parts 2 and 3 published on our website.
If a member of the public feels that they have suffered harassment or being treated unfairly by the School because of their sex, colour, race, nationality, ethnic group, regional or national origin, age, marital status, disability, political or religious belief, sexual orientation or class they should report this without fail through the School’s Complaints Procedure.
Complaints by staff will be dealt with under the Grievance Procedure, as appropriate.
We take all external and internal complaints seriously and will not tolerate any form of discriminatory behaviours. Complaints about staff will be investigated using the appropriate procedures.
Monitoring complaints is also an alternative method of gathering information to establish whether we are meeting our equality duties. We will report regularly to the Governing Body on complaints made and action taken.
EQUALITY ACT 2010
On 1 October 2010, the Equality Act 2010 replaced all existing equality legislation such as the Race Relations Act, Disability Discrimination Act and Sex Discrimination Act. It has consolidated this legislation and provides changes particular to Schools.
The Act protects staff, pupils and others from discrimination and harassment based on ‘protected characteristics’:
• Age (staff only)
• Religion and belief
• Sexual orientation
• Gender reassignment
• Marriage and Civil Partnership
• Pregnancy and maternity
This relates to:
• Prospective pupils
• Pupils at the school
• In some limited circumstances, former pupils
Public Sector Equality Duties
Public sector equality duties are legal requirements on public bodies to have ‘due regard’ to the need to eliminate discrimination, advance equality of opportunity and promote good relations between people with different protected characteristics when they are exercising their public functions.
The purpose of the Equality Duties is not to be process driven and bureaucratic but rather an outcome based method of ensuring that schools are best meeting the needs of all their pupils. Prior to April 2011 maintained schools and Academies were bound by the three public sector equality duties to promote disability, race and gender equality.
The Equality Act 2010 introduces a single equality duty on public bodies. The single equality duty came into effect in April 2011 and has three main elements. In carrying out their functions, public bodies will be required to have due regard to the need to:
• Eliminate conduct that is prohibited by the Act,
• Advance equality of opportunity between people who share a protected characteristic and people who do not share it,
• Foster good relations across all characteristics – between people who share a protected characteristic and people who do not share it.
New Protection in Schools
Protection against discrimination is now extended to pupils who are pregnant or have recently given birth, or who are undergoing gender reassignment.
Health Related Questions for Job Applicants
It is now unlawful for employers to ask health-related questions of applicants before a job offer, unless the questions are specifically related to an intrinsic function of the work. This means that schools should no longer, as a matter of course, require job applicants to complete a generic health questionnaire as part of the application procedure. DfE are considering the implications of this in relation to existing guidance for schools on establishing fitness and ability to teach (as required by the Health Standards (England) Regulations 2003). In the meantime, schools are advised to review their existing practices to ensure they are complying with both the Health Standards Regulations and Section 60 of the Equality Act 2010. Schools may decide to ask necessary health questions after job offer. In any case, they should ensure that any health-related questions are targeted, necessary and relevant to the job applied for.
New Positive Action provisions will allow schools to target measures that are designed to alleviate disadvantages experienced by, or to meet the needs of, pupils with protected characteristics. Such measures will need to be a proportionate way of achieving the relevant aim. Previously a school providing – for example – special catch-up classes for Roma children or a project to engage specifically with alienated Asian boys might have been discriminating unlawfully by excluding children who didn’t belong to those groups.
It is now unlawful to victimise a child for anything done in relation to the Act by their parent or sibling.
The Act extends the reasonable adjustment duty to require schools to provide auxiliary aids and services to disabled pupils. At the time of writing, the relevant provisions of the Act relating to this area had not come into force. Schools will be advised of when this is the case.
Publication of the Scheme
Details of the school Scheme and the objectives must be published by 6 April 2012.
Accessibility planning is a statutory duty and can be incorporated into the Single Equality Scheme. Your Accessibility Plan can, if you wish, be provided as an Appendix to the Single Equality Scheme.
Schools must plan for:
• Increasing access for disabled children and young people to the school curriculum
• Improving access to the physical environment of schools; and
• Improving the delivery of written information to disabled children and young people
The first plans were required to be in place by April 2003. Therefore, as schools come to review their accessibility plans they should consider building these actions into their Equality Scheme.
Equality Impact Assessments (EqIAs) – Guidance
Some Frequently Asked Questions
What is an equality impact assessment (EqIAs)?
To enable children or people within your school community to be treated fairly and equitably sometimes you must treat them differently. To identify how best to do this you have to think ahead and predict how to best serve the needs of the different groups within your school community. This is what equality impact assessment is all about.
Undertaking EqIAs is like undertaking health and safety risk assessments. It involves predicting and assessing what the implications of a policy or practice will be on a wide range of children or people with different and varied needs within your school community and trying to ensure they are not disadvantaged by it.
Your school community covers any person who is likely to use your school. This means pupils, parents, carers, staff, governors, volunteers and visitors to your school. It also covers anticipating the needs of possible future members of your school community.
What is meant by ‘impact’?
Two possible impacts are considered as part of the process:
A negative or adverse impact
This is an impact which could disadvantage one or more groups within your school community. The disadvantage which is highlighted may be greater on one group than it is on another group.
• An open evening for pupils and parents and carers which is held in rooms that are only accessible by stairs will prohibit anyone with a mobility issue from attending the meeting.
In some cases, the disadvantage may be unavoidable – such as the reorganisation of a service to save money. EqIAs provide the opportunity to explore the disadvantage on different groups, question if the disadvantage is fair considering the circumstances and either find solutions or alternatives, or justify the decision in an open, transparent and informative way.
A positive impact
This is an impact that could be advantageous for one or more groups. This positive impact may be greater for one group than it is on another group.
• A targeted training programme aimed at developing women to be able to apply for leadership positions in secondary schools would have a positive impact on women but would not, however, necessarily disadvantage men.
• An intervention programme aimed at raising the attainment level of underachieving boys in English would have a positive impact on boys, but it would not necessarily disadvantage girls.
Identifying positive impact is a good way of promoting equality and to share good practice for example, between departments or year groups and schools.
Why should we undertake equality impact assessments?
Undertaking EqIAs is a legal requirement for schools under current race, disability and gender legislation. The purpose of the legislation is to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of public sector bodies, including schools, by anticipating the needs of service users and removing potentially anti-discriminatory practices. In the case of schools, service users would include pupils, staff, parents, carers, governors, volunteers and visitors – anybody within your school community.
This means taking account of the needs of your school community in the development and review of any school policies and practices which are likely to affect them.
Undertaking EqIAs should not be a tick-box exercise. They should be considered a useful tool for mainstreaming equality into all our work. Services will improve through making improvements in the way policies are formulated and services delivered. This will enable barriers to be tackled and the needs of a diverse school population to be met. Your school community will also be aware that you are considering their needs at the planning stages.
What should be equality impact assessed?
You need to assess school policies or practices which are likely to affect children or people within your school community.
Written policies may be easy to identify but EqIAs also apply to practices and customary ways of doing things, even if they are not written down (e.g. arrangements for parent consultation events, arrangements for pupil extra-curricular activities).
In accordance with legislative requirements, an EqIA must be carried out on all policies and practices whether they are existing, being changed or are being proposed.
It is also important to remember that this includes proposals to changes in organisation structures, budget proposals and capital projects.
• Impact on workforce of organisational change
All staff should be treated fairly and equitably through any proposed change to the workforce. You may need to consider whether any groups of staff will be adversely affected by the proposed change. It is also important to be aware of the outcome of any change on the workforce profile. You may need to address any identified under-representation in the workforce profile as part of any future recruitment activity.
Ensure the EqIA process includes the recruitment, selection and appointment procedures for staff.
• Impact on service provision
If there is likely to be an impact on the way a service is provided because of any organisational change, you then need to ensure your EqIA considers the proposed changes in relation to how your school community will be affected and whether any negative impact can be justified.
What equality strands/groups should be covered by EqIAs?
Some groups may experience disadvantage, whether intentional or not because of characteristics specific to that group. These characteristics are known as equality strands. It is common practice to identify the characteristics into nine groups:
• Religion and/or belief
• Age (in relation to staff recruitment /selection)
• Sexual orientation
• Gender reassignment
• Pregnancy and maternity
• Marriage and Civil Partnership
Who is responsible for carrying out equality impact assessments?
The person(s) who holds responsibility for the policy is ultimately responsible for ensuring an EqIA is undertaken. The EqIA may be done in conjunction with or by a person who knows that area of work.
It may be helpful to have a team of people who can help with the process. Try to get a mix of staff at different levels to get different perspectives. Ensure that they have enough knowledge of the area being assessed to make valid judgements.
To ensure ownership at the most senior level all EqIAs should be signed off by a member of the senior management team and a member of the governing body.
When should Policies/Procedures be equality impact assessed?
All existing policies and practices should be reviewed on a three year rolling programme. It can be done in conjunction with the three year cycle of your own equality scheme.
By undertaking a policy mapping exercise, you can prioritise which policies and practices have a higher priority for EqIAs based on their likely proportionate impact.
To make sure that decision makers are provided full and clear information about policy or service implications, all new or proposed policies or practices should have an EqIA before they are implemented.
What happens as a result of an EqIA?
If any potential adverse impact is identified then policies and practices may have to be made amended as a result. If any adverse impact could amount to unlawful discrimination the policy or practice must be changed unless there is an objective, lawful reason to justify this.
The results of EqIAs can be used to set equality objectives leading to improvement in services and practices. These should be placed within your equality action plan(s), for example ensuring relevant school policies can be made available in alternative formats, as required.
Do I have to do a separate EqIA for every similar policy?
No – in fact it makes sense to review all similar policies together as part of an overall review. What you are looking for is how those different policies, as well as the way the policy is delivered in practice, are affecting different groups within your school community. If you think it would be more manageable to review a large policy or policy framework on its own then you can complete a separate EqIA – whatever makes the process manageable and meaningful for your school.
Do I need to do an EqIA on an adopted policy?
No – you don’t need to repeat an EqIA on an adopted policy which has already been assessed if any amendments you have made would not result in a different impact. If there are any doubts as to whether the policy has been assessed then the best route is to do your own EqIA.
Where can I obtain further information?
Further guidance about undertaking equality impact assessments can be found at the Commission for Equality and Human rights website: www.equalityhumanrights.com or the DfE via GOV.UK: https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/315587/Equality_Act_Advice_Final.pdf
Single Equality Scheme – Objectives/actions/outcomes
• Identification of objectives and subsequent action planning is undertaken in accordance with the School’s values, priorities and aims as identified in Part 1 of our Single Equality Scheme.
• Accurate knowledge of the school enables us to plan in a way that is relevant and proportionate.
• Participation of an appropriately selected working group is reflected in wider representation built into objective actions.
• Through the Equality Impact Assessment process, consideration is given to the anticipation of equality issues not presently evidenced but for which there is a potential.
• The objectives are the starting point for action but not followed slavishly where monitoring and further Impact Assessments reveal alternative opportunities or needs.
• Managing the process in a planned yet responsive way.
• Outcomes are checked against the objectives and the Impact Assessment that informed their selection.
• SMARTER target thinking means plans are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Timed, Evaluated and Reviewed.
• The golden rule for future planning is to be SMARTER and get started.
• Our objectives are set in response to identified priorities arising from the analysis of all the information, including the Overview of Outcomes and the Equality Impact Assessments we have undertaken.
• We plan our objectives over 4 years so that it is possible to implement change and development in a responsive yet systematic way.
• Objectives are reviewed regularly and in the third year we undertake a review of the impact of our action outcomes prior to setting new objectives at the end of year 3.
• Initially, many of our objectives have been in relation to ensuring that we establish our Single Equality Scheme effectively and embed the process of Equality Impact Assessments more widely throughout our thinking and initial planning.