Equal Opportunities Policy
Lord Blyton Primary School is an inclusive school where we focus on the well-being and progress of every child and where all members of our community are of equal worth. We believe that the Equality Act provides a framework to support our commitment to valuing diversity, tackling discrimination, promoting equality and fostering good relationships between people. It also ensures that we continue to tackle issues of disadvantage and underachievement of different groups. We abide by the obligations set out in the Human Rights Act 1998 and The Equality Act 2010.
Key Aims and objectives:
Our approach to equality is based on the following 7 key Aims:
1. All learners are 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 or non-religious affiliation or faith background and whatever their sexual orientation.
2. We recognize, respect and value difference and understand that diversity is a strength. We take account of differences and strive to remove barriers and disadvantages which people may face, in relation to disability, ethnicity, gender, religion, belief or faith and sexual orientation. We believe that diversity is a strength, which should be respected and celebrated by all those who learn, teach and visit here.
3. We foster positive attitudes and relationships. We actively promote positive attitudes and mutual respect between groups and communities different from each other.
4. We foster a shared sense of cohesion and belonging. We want all members of our school community to feel a sense of belonging within the school and wider community and to feel that they are respected and able to participate fully in school life.
5. We observe good equalities practice for our staff. We ensure that policies and procedures benefit all employees and potential employees in all aspects of their work, including in recruitment and promotion, and in continuing professional development
6. We have the highest expectations of all our children. We expect that all pupils can make good progress and achieve to their highest potential
7. We work to raise standards for all pupils, but especially for the most vulnerable. We believe that improving the quality of education for the most vulnerable groups of pupils raises standards across the whole school. Policy outline/ specific information:
Purpose of the policy
The Equality Act 2010 was introduced to ensure protection from discrimination, harassment and victimisation on the grounds of specific characteristics (referred to as protected characteristics). This means that schools cannot discriminate against pupils or treat them less favourably because of their sex (gender), race, disability, religion or belief, gender reassignment, sexual orientation or pregnancy or maternity. Age and marriage and civil partnership are also “protected characteristics” but are not part of the school provisions related to pupils. Under the PSED, schools must show due regardto the general duty and its three“components” aswell as complying with a set of specifications. The three components to the PSED are:
- eliminate discrimination, harassment, victimisation and any other conduct that is prohibited by or under this Act
- advance equality of opportunity between persons who share a relevant protected characteristic and persons who do not share it
- foster good relations between persons who share a relevant protected characteristic and persons who do not share it
Links to other policies and documentation:
Although this policy is the key document for information about our approach to equalities in line with the Public Sector Equality Duty, we ensure that information about our responsibilities under the Equality Act are also included in our school development plan, self-evaluation review, the school prospectus, school web site and newsletters. There are also references in the behaviour, admissions, SEN and anti-bullying policies as well as minutes of meetings involving governors, the whole staff, and the senior leadership team and school council.
The Equality Act also applies to schools in their role as employers, and the way we comply with this are found in our recruitment policy. What we are doing to eliminate discrimination, harassment and victimisation. We take account of equality issues in relation to admissions and exclusions; the way we provide education for our pupils and the way we provide access for pupils to facilities and services.
We are aware of the Reasonable Adjustment duty for disabled pupils – designed to enhance access and participation to the level of non-disabled pupils and stop disabled children being placed at a disadvantage compared to their non-disabled peers.
The Headteacher ensures that all appointment panels give due regard to this policy so that no one is discriminated against when it comes to employment, promotion or training opportunities. We ensure that those who are affected by a policy or activity are consulted and involved in the design of new policies, and in the review of existing ones.
We take seriously the need to consider the equality implications when we develop, adapt and review any policy or procedure and whenever we make significant decisions about the day today life of the school.
We actively promote equality and diversity though the curriculum and by creating an environment which champions respect for all. Respect is a key school value promoted through everything we do.
Our admissions arrangements are fair and transparent, and we do not discriminate against pupils by treating them less favourably on the grounds of their sex, race, disability, religion or belief, sexual orientation, gender reassignment, pregnancy or maternity.
Behaviour, Exclusions and Attendance:
The school Policy on Behaviour – Rewards, Sanctions and Exclusions – takes full account of the new duties under the Equality Act. We make reasonable, appropriate and flexible adjustment for pupils with a disability. We closely monitor data on exclusions and absence from school for evidence of over-representation of different groups and take action promptly to address concerns.
The school challenges all forms of prejudice and prejudice-based bullying, which stand in the way of fulfilling our commitment to inclusion and equality. This includes prejudices around disability and special educational needs, prejudices around race, religion or belief, travellers, migrants, refugees and people seeking asylum. Prejudices around gender and sexual orientation, including homophobic and transphobic attitudes. Incidents should be identified, assessed, recorded and dealt with.
We treat all bullying incidents equally seriously. We keep a record of different prejudice related incidents and provide a report to the governors about the numbers, types and seriousness of prejudice-related incidents at our school and how we dealt with them. We review this data termly and take action to reduce incidents. We know the needs of our school population very well and collect and analyse data in order to inform our planning and identify targets to achieve improvements. We have procedures, working in partnership with parents and carers, to identify children who have a disability through our pupil admissions meetings.
Assessment and data collection:
We collect data and monitor progress and outcomes of different groups of pupils and use this data to support school improvement. We take action to close any gaps, for example, for those making slow progress in acquiring age appropriate literacy and number skills. We collect, analyse and publish data: on the school population by gender and ethnicity; on the % of pupils identified as having a special educational need and/or disability and by their principal need or disability; by year group – in terms of ethnicity, gender and proficiency in English; on inequalities of outcome and participation, related to ethnicity, gender and disability and proficiency in English. We review an analysis of standards reached by different groups at the end of each key stage: White British FSM and non-FSM Bangladeshi Black African Congolese Somali Black Caribbean Free School Meals EAL All SEN SEN School Action and SEN statement SEN statements Looked after Children Known GRT Refugee
We regularly review attendance each half term and review and analyse the attendance of specific groups in order to identify any issues and ensure all barriers to attendance are removed.
Curriculum and teaching:
As a school we are very inclusive and feel strongly that we serve the needs of the local community and have a responsibility to educate our children to understand equality, diversity and respect. We ensure our curriculum includes studies of different culture. We address equality and diversity where possible.
We prepare our pupils for life in a diverse society and ensure that there are activities across the curriculum that promotes the spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of our pupils. We teach about difference and diversity and the impact of stereotyping, prejudice and discrimination through PSHE and citizenship and across the curriculum. We use materials and resources that reflect the diversity of the school, population and local community in terms of race, gender, sexual identity and disability, avoiding stereotyping.
We promote a whole school ethos and values that challenge prejudice based discriminatory language, attitudes and behaviour. We include the contribution of different cultures to world history and that promote positive images of people We provide opportunities for pupils to listen to a range of opinions and empathise with different experiences We promote positive messages about equality and diversity through displays, assemblies, visitors, whole school events.
To support academic achievement:
● We use a range of teaching strategies that ensures we meet the needs of all pupils.
● We provide support and interventions to pupils at risk of underachieving.
● We are alert and proactive about the potentially damaging impact of negative language in matters such as race, gender, disability and sexuality.
● We plan on individual need to ensure the needs of all learners are met.
In addition to avoiding or minimising possible negative impacts of our policies, we take opportunities to maximise positive impacts by reducing and removing inequalities and barriers that may already exist between, for example: – disabled and non-disabled people – people of different ethnic, cultural and religious backgrounds – girls and boys. We ensure equality of access for all pupils to a broad and balanced curriculum, removing barriers to participation where necessary.
Our accessibility plan is designed to increase the extent to which pupils with disability can participate in the curriculum; improve the physical environment and; improve the availability of accessible information to disabled pupils.
The headteacher and senior leaders will ensure this policy is implemented fully. All staff, parents, pupils and visitors to school have a responsibility to fulfil the requirements of this policy.
Written and updated by J Atherton
Date 18th January 2022