Equality Information & Objectives
At Aston Rowant CofE Primary School we ensure that everyone is treated fairly and without prejudice. Please read our Equality Policy to find out a little more about how we do this.
Aston Rowant CofE 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 recognise that these duties reflect international human rights standards as expressed in the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, the UN Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities, and the Human Rights Act 1998.
Our approach to equality is based on the following 7 key principles
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.
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. The Act requires all public organisations, including schools to comply with the Public Sector Equality Duty and two specific duties The Public Sector Equality Duty or “general duty” This requires all public organisations, including schools to Eliminate unlawful discrimination, harassment and victimisation Advance equality of opportunity between different groups Foster good relations between different groups Two “specific duties”
This requires all public organisations, including schools to
1. Publish information to show compliance with the Equality Duty by April 6th2012
2. Publish Equality objectives at least every 4 years which are specific and measurable by April 6th 2012
This policy describes how the school is meeting these statutory duties and is in line with national guidance. It includes information about how the school is complying with the Public Sector Equality Duty and also provides guidance to staff and outside visitors about our approach to promoting equality.
Appendix 1 is a checklist of key equality considerations
Appendix 2 shows the school’s Equality Objectives for 2012-2014 in an Equality Action Plan
Development of the policy
When developing the policy we took account of the DfE guidance on the Equality Act 2010 and also the Ofsted inspection framework 2012, which places a strong focus on improving the learning and progress of different groups and on closing gaps in standards.
We note that OFSTED has a statutory duty to report on the outcomes and provision for pupils who are disabled and those who have special educational needs. 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. 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 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:
– prejudices around disability and special educational needs
– prejudices around race, religion or belief, for example anti-Semitism and Islamophobia, Travellers, migrants, refugees and people seeking asylum
– prejudices around gender and sexual orientation, including homophobic and transphobic attitudes.
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. This data is then reviewed and we take action to reduce incidents.
What are we doing to advance equality of opportunity between different groups
We also collect, analyse and use data in relation to attendance and exclusions of different groups. We are aware that the legislation relates mainly to current but also to future pupils – we will for example, be sufficiently prepared if a Visually Impaired, Hearing impaired or Gypsy Roma Traveller pupil joins our school.
We avoid language that runs the risk of placing a ceiling on any pupils’ achievement or that seeks to define their potential as learners, such as “less able”. We use a range of teaching strategies that ensures we meet the needs of all pupils. We provide support 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.
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.
We will take positive and proportionate action to address the disadvantage faced by particular groups of pupils with particular protected characteristics, such as targeted support. The actions will be designed to meet the school’s Equality Objectives.
What we are doing to foster good relations
Other ways we address equality issues
In order to ensure that the work we are doing on equalities meets the needs of the whole school community we:
Publishing Equality Objectives (see Equality Action Plan/ School Development Plan)
The objectives which we identify represent our school’s priorities and are the outcome of a careful review of and analysis of data and other evidence. They also take into account national and local priorities and issues.
We evaluate our success in meeting the Public Service Equality Duties by the extent to which we achieve improved outcomesfor the different groups. We produce Equality data Analysis which inform our discussions about the Equality Objectives.
Our Equality Objectives are:
We produce an Equality Action Plan that shows how we will achieve our objectives. This is part of our school development plan.
Monitoring and reviewing objectives
We review and update our equality objectives every two years and report annually to the governing body on progress towards achieving them. We involve and consult staff, pupils, governors and parents and carers.
Roles and Responsibilities
We expect all members of the school community and visitors to support our commitment to promoting equalities and meeting the requirements of the Equality Act. We will provide training, guidance and information to enable them to do this.
The governing body is responsible for ensuring that the school complies
with legislation, and that this policy and its related procedures and action plans are implemented. A member of the governing body has a watching brief regarding the implementation of this policy.
Every governing body committee keeps aspects of the school’s commitment to the Equality Duty under review, for example, in terms of standards, curriculum, admissions, exclusions, personnel issues and the school environment. Governors annually review the Equality Policy and evaluate the success of the school’s Equalities Work taking account of quantitative evidence (e.g. data) and qualitative evidence (e.g. surveys)
Headteacher and Leadership team
The Headteacher is responsible for implementing the policy; for ensuring that all staff are aware of their responsibilities and are given appropriate training and support; and for taking appropriate action in any cases of unlawful discrimination. A senior member of staff has day-to-day responsibility for co-coordinating implementation of the policy and for monitoring outcomes. She will have expert and informed knowledge of the Equality Act.
Teaching and Support Staff
All teaching and support staff will:
We will provide training and guidance on Equalities for all staff new to the school as part of the induction procedure. We will go through the principal expectations and duties of the Equality Act at a whole staff meeting at the start of the school year. Staff will receive a certificate of attendance.
All visitors to the school, including parents and carers are expected to support our commitment to equalities and comply with the duties set out in this policy. We will provide guidance and information in school newsletters to enable them to do this.
Staff responsible for equalities: Mrs France
Lead governor: Dr Taylor
Equal Opportunities for staff
Monitoring and Reviewing the policy
We review the information about equalities in the policy annually and make adjustments as appropriate. Our review involves pupils, staff, governors and parents and carers.
Disseminating the policy
This Equality Policy along with the Equality Objectives and data is available
We ensure that the whole school community knows about the policy, objectives and data through the school newsletter, assemblies, staff meetings and other communications.
We publish on the school’s website copies of relevant policies and guidance, including those on behaviour, anti-bullying and special
Check list for school staff and governors
implementation of the policy and monitoring outcomes
requirements of the Equality Policy
difference and diversity (i.e. different groups) and takes action if there is a cause for concern