Equal Opportunities Policy

Check list for school staff and governors

  • Is information collected on race, disability and gender with regards to both pupils and staff e.g. pupil achievement, attendance, exclusions, staff training? Is this information used to inform the policies, plans and strategies, lessons, additional support, training and activities the school provides?
  • How has your Equality Policy been shaped by the views, input and involvement of staff, parents and pupils?
  •  Is pupil achievement analysed by race, disability and gender? Are there trends or patterns in the data that may require additional action, and has action been taken to address these?
  • Does the curriculum include opportunities to understand the issues related to race, disability and gender?
  • Are all pupils encouraged to participate in school life? Are pupils who make a positive contribution reflective of the school’s diversity e.g. through class assemblies/school council?
  • Is bullying and harassment of pupils and staff monitored by race, disability and gender, and is this information used to make a difference to the experience of other pupils? Are racist incidents reported to the governing body and local authority on a termly basis?
  • Are visual displays reflective of the diversity of your school community? How are minority ethnic, disabled and both male and female role models promoted positively in lessons, displays and discussions such as circle time and class assemblies?
  • Does the school take part in annual events such as Black History Month, Deaf Awareness Week and One World Week to raise awareness of issues around race, disability and gender?
  • Is the school environment as accessible as possible to pupils, staff and visitors to the school? Are open evenings and other events which parents, carers and the community attend held in an accessible part of the school, and are issues such as language barriers considered?
  • Are the accessibility needs of parents, pupils and staff considered in the publishing and sending out of information, in terms of race, disability and gender?

Equality Policy

1. Mission statement
2. Mainstreaming equality into policy and practice
3. Equal Opportunities for Staff
4. Equality and the law
a. Race
b. Disability
c. Gender
d. Sexual orientation
e. Community cohesion
5. Consultation and Involvement
6. Roles and Responsibilities
7. Tackling discrimination
8. Review of progress and impact
9. Covid-19

1. Mission statement

At Springwell School, we are committed to ensuring equality of education and opportunity for all pupils, staff, parents and carers receiving services from the 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 the school feel proud of their identity and able to participate fully in school life.
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 inclusive teaching. We will tackle discrimination by the positive promotion of equality, challenging bullying and stereotypes and creating an environment which champions respect for all. At Springwell School we believe that diversity is a strength, which should be respected and celebrated by all those who learn, teach and visit here.

2. Mainstreaming equality into policy and practice

The school operates equality of opportunity in its day to day practice in the following ways. 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;
  • 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;
  • Seek to involve all parents in supporting their child’s education;
  • Encouraging classroom and staffroom discussion of equality issues which reflect on social stereotypes, expectations and the impact on learning;
  •  Including teaching and classroom-based approaches appropriate for the whole school population, which are inclusive and reflective of our pupils.

3. Equal Opportunities for Staff

This section deals with aspects of equal opportunities relating to staff at Springwell School. We are committed to the implementation of equal opportunities principles and the monitoring and active promotion of equality in all aspects of staffing and employment. All staff appointments and promotions are made on the basis of merit and ability and in compliance with the law. However we are concerned to ensure wherever possible that the staffing of the school reflects the diversity of our community.

Employer duties

As an employer we need to ensure that we eliminate discrimination and harassment in our employment practice and actively promote equality across all groups within our workforce. Equality aspects such as gender, race, disability, sexual orientation, gender re-assignment and faith or religion are considered when appointing staff and particularly when allocating Teaching and Learning Responsibilities (TLR) or re-evaluating staff structures, to ensure decisions are free of discrimination.

Actions to ensure this commitment is met include:

  •  Monitoring recruitment and retention including bullying and harassment of staff;
  •  Continued professional development opportunities for all staff;
  •  Senior Leadership Team support to ensure equality of opportunity for all.

4. Equality and the law

There are a number of statutory duties that must be met by every school in line with legislation from the Race Relations (Amendment) Act (2003), Disability Equality Duty (2010) and Equality Act (2010).

4a. Race Equality

This section of the plan reflects the general and specific duties of schools as detailed in The Race Relations Act 1976 and as amended by The Race Relations (Amendment) Act 2003.

The General Race Equality Duty requires us to have due regard to the need to:

  • Eliminate racial discrimination;
  • Promote equality of opportunity;
  • Promote good relations between people of different racial groups.

Under our specific duty we will:

  • Prepare an Equality Plan which includes our written policy for race equality;
  • Assess the impact of our policies, on pupils, staff and parents by ethnicity including, in particular, the achievement levels of these pupils;
  •  Monitor the impact our policies have on such pupils, staff and parents towards raising the achievement of minority ethnic groups.

4b. Disability

This section should be read in conjunction with the school’s Special Educational Needs Policy and Accessibility Strategy.

4c. Gender Equality

The Gender Equality Duty 2010 places a general and specific duty on schools to eliminate unlawful discrimination and harassment on the grounds of gender and to promote equality of opportunity between female and male pupils and between women and men and transgender people.

Under our general duty we will actively seek to:

  • Eliminate unlawful discrimination and harassment on grounds of sex and gender reassignment;
  • Promote equality between men and women.

Under our specific duty we will:

  • Prepare and publish an Equality Plan which covers the requirements for a Gender Equality Scheme identifying our gender equality goals and actions to meet them;
  • ! Review and revise this Scheme every three years.

 

4d. Sexual Orientation

The Equality Act 2010 made provision for regulations to be introduced to extend protection against discrimination on grounds of religion or belief to sexual orientation.

The Equality Act (Sexual Orientation) Regulations 2007 came into force on 30 April 2007, and they make discrimination unlawful in the area of goods, facilities and services on grounds of sexual orientation. For schools this means admissions, benefits and services for pupils and treatment of pupils.

4e. Community cohesion

The Education and Inspections Act 2006 inserted a new section 21(5) to the Education Act 2011, introducing a duty on the governing bodies of state schools to promote community cohesion. Community cohesion encompasses promoting good relations between pupils from different races, faiths/beliefs and socio-economic backgrounds. The duty came into force on 1 September 2007.

5. Consultation and Involvement

It is a requirement that the development of this policy and the actions within it have been informed by the input of staff, pupils and parents and carers. We have achieved this by using the following to shape the plan:

  • Feedback from the annual parent questionnaire, parents’ evenings, parent-school forum meetings or governors’ parent-consultation meeting;
  • Input from staff through staff meetings / INSET;
  • Feedback from the school council, PSHE lessons, whole school surveys on children’s attitudes to self and school.
  • Issues raised in annual reviews or reviews of progress on Education Health and Care Plans/Personalised Provision Maps, mentoring and support;
  • Feedback at Governing body meetings.

6. Roles and Responsibilities

The role of governors

  • The governing body has set out its commitment to equal opportunities in this plan and it will continue to do all it can to ensure that the school is fully inclusive to pupils, and responsive to their needs based on race, gender and disability.
  • The governing body seeks to ensure that people are not discriminated against when applying for jobs at our school on grounds of race, gender or disability.
  • The governors take all reasonable steps to ensure that the school environment gives access to people with disabilities, and also strive to make school communications as inclusive as possible for parents, carers and pupils.
  • The governors welcome all applications to join the school, whatever a child’s socioeconomic background, race, gender or disability.
  • The governing body ensures that no child is discriminated against whilst in our school on account of their race, sex or disability.

The role of the headteacher (or senior leader responsible for Equalities)

  • It is the headteacher’s role to implement the school’s Equality Policy and she is supported by the governing body in doing so.
  • It is the headteacher’s role to ensure that all staff are aware of the Equality Policy, and that teachers apply these guidelines fairly in all situations.
  • The headteacher ensures that all appointments panels give due regard to this policy, so that no-one is discriminated against when it comes to employment or training opportunities. 
  • The headteacher promotes the principle of equal opportunity when developing the curriculum, and promotes respect for other people and equal opportunities to participate in all aspects of school life.
  • The headteacher treats all incidents of unfair treatment and any incidents of bullying or discrimination, including racist incidents, with due seriousness.

The role of all staff: teaching and non-teaching

  • All staff will ensure that all pupils are treated fairly, equally and with respect, and will maintain awareness of the school’s Equality Policy.
  • All staff will strive to provide material that gives positive images based on race, gender and disability, and challenges stereotypical images.
  • All staff will challenge any incidents of prejudice, racism or homophobia, and record any serious incidents, drawing them to the attention of the headteacher.
  • Teachers support the work of ancillary or support staff and encourage them to intervene in a positive way against any discriminatory incidents.

7. Tackling discrimination

Harassment on account of race, gender, disability or sexual orientation is unacceptable and is not tolerated within the school environment.

All staff are expected to deal with any discriminatory incidents that may occur. They are expected to know how to identify and challenge prejudice and stereotyping; and to support the full range of diverse needs according to a pupil’s individual circumstances.

Racist and homophobic incidents and other incidents of harassment or bullying are dealt with by the member of staff present, escalating to a class teacher/headteacher where necessary. All incidents are reported to the headteacher and racist incidents are reported to the governing body and local authority on a termly basis.

What is a discriminatory incident?

Harassment on grounds of race, gender, disability, sexual orientation or other factors such as socio-economic status, can take many forms including verbal or physical abuse, name calling, exclusion from groups and games, unwanted looks or comments, jokes and graffiti. A racist incident is defined by the Stephen Lawrence Inquiry Report (1999) as: ‘any incident which is perceived to be racist by the victim or any other person’. Types of discriminatory incident

Types of discriminatory incidents that can occur are:

  • Physical assault against a person or group because of their colour, ethnicity, nationality, disability, sexual orientation or gender;
  • Use of derogatory names, insults and jokes; ! Racist, sexist, homophobic or discriminatory graffiti;
  • Provocative behaviour such as wearing racist, sexist, homophobic or discriminatory badges or insignia;
  • Bringing discriminatory material into school;
  • Verbal abuse and threats;
  • Incitement of others to discriminate or bully due to victim’s race, disability, gender or sexual orientation;
  • Discriminatory comments in the course of discussion; ! Attempts to recruit others to discriminatory organisations and groups;
  • Ridicule of an individual for difference e.g. food, music, religion, dress etc;
  • Refusal to co-operate with other people on grounds of race, gender, disability or sexual orientation.

Responding to and reporting incidents:

It should be clear to pupils and staff how they report incidents. All staff, teaching and nonteaching, should view dealing with incidents as vital to the well-being of the whole school. A suggested procedure for responding and reporting is outlined in both our Behaviour and Complaints policies.

8. Review of progress and impact

This policy has been agreed by our Governing Body. We have a rolling programme for reviewing our school policies and their impact. In line with legislative requirements, we will review progress annually.

We make regular assessments of pupils’ learning and use this information to track pupil progress. As part of this process, we regularly monitor achievement by ethnicity, gender and disability, to ensure that all groups of pupils are making the best possible progress, and take appropriate action to address any gaps.

9. Covid-19

Current research, released by Public Health England and the office of National Statistics among others, show that Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) people are more at risk from Covid-19. There is an officially acknowledged high and disproportionate number of deaths of BAME people from the virus.

We need to be mindful of BAME staff and children’s concerns in relation to having a higher risk of contracting of Covid-19.

The physical and mental health of staff and children should be taken into account in any risk assessment. This policy should be read in conjunction with the Springwell School Covid19 risk assessment which has been developed in a controlled, considered and safe manner and provides for the optimum health and safety of its staff, pupils and wider school community