Equality Policy

Revision History

Version Date Comments  

Review Date

2 Autumn 2015 Amended, approved and issued Autumn 2017
1 Autumn 2014 First draft, Approved & Issued Autumn 2015

This single policy replaces separate policies that the school has on race, disability and gender to eliminate discrimination and to advance equality of opportunity and foster good relations. It reflects the legal duties set out in the Equality Act 2010 and non-statutory guidance set out by the government in December 2011 and March 2012. Part 1 sets out the legal duties and part 2 sets out the schools aims to promote equality of opportunity and to comply with the Act.

The primary aim of St John’s CE (A) Primary School is to enable all pupils to take part, as fully as possible, in every aspect of school life and to achieve their full potential.

  • St John’s will take steps to advance equality of opportunity, foster good relationships and eliminate discrimination and harassment across all the protected characteristics (age, race, gender, re-assignment, disability, marriage, civil partnership, religion, belief, pregnancy and maternity, gender, sexual orientation) within the school community). The guiding principles in this policy refer to all individuals and are equally applicable to pupils, staff, governors and visitors to St John’s.
  • The school is aware of the duty to have “due regard” when making a decision or taking an action and will assess whether it has implications for people with protected characteristics and will keep this under review on a continuing basis.

St John’s has an Accessibility plan attached to this policy. The policy is reviewed every 3 years.

From September 2012 schools have a duty to supply auxiliary aids and services as reasonable adjustments where they are not being supplied through SEN statements if the adjustment is reasonable St John’s will comply with this duty.

St John’s will actively promote the principles of fairness and juice for all to comply with the PSED. St John’s will ensure all pupils have equal access to the full range of educational opportunities provided and will constantly strive to remove any form of indirect discrimination that may form barriers to learning. The school will challenge stereotyping and prejudice whenever it occurs. St John’s will celebrate the diversity of the community and show respect for all groups and pupils.

Legal Framework

Duties as identified in the Equality Act 2010 and its Schedules. There are nine strands (known as Protected Characteristics):

  • disability;
  • ethnicity (including Gypsy and Traveller groups);
  • gender;
  • gender identity and transgender;
  • faith, religion and belief;
  • marriage and civil partnership;
  • sexual orientation (homophobia);
  • pregnancy and maternity;
  • age

Each relates to direct discrimination, discrimination by association, discrimination by perception, indirect discrimination, harassment and victimisation. St John’s will seek to achieve positive action in respect of the Act. All schools have a duty to comply with the Equality Act 2010 and Public Sector Duties. St John’s is mindful of the Public Sector Equality Duty which came into force on 5th April 2011 and will publish information on the school website and update annually with at least one equality objective. Our three priority objectives are:

  • Schools must carry out accessibility planning or for disabled pupils and implement accessibility plans aimed at increasing the extent which disabled pupils can participate in the curriculum.
  • Improve the physical environment to enable disabled pupils to take better advantage of education facilities and services provided.
  • Improve availability of assessable information to disabled pupil and their parents/carers.

Good Practice

  1. We strive to achieve a cohesive community and expect that children respect one another and behave with respect to one another, and that their parents/carers feel fully engaged in the school.
  2. We aim to enhance a wider sense of community locally, as well as in the context of the UK and the World communities.
  3. We support 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. Through our policies and actions we undertake to ensure that every child and young person is healthy, safe, is able to enjoy and achieve in their learning experience, and is able to contribute to the wider community.
  4. We consider it prudent and sensible to maintain the practice of logging racist incidents and reporting them to the LA. We monitor and log incidents that discriminate against children and young people or adults in our school with protected characteristics, e.g., homophobic bullying. We also monitor and log bullying incidents directed towards those with special educational needs.

Guided Principles

In fulfilling our legal obligations we are guided by these principles:

Principle 1: All learners are of equal value

We see all learners and their parents/carers of equal value:

  • Whether or not they are disabled,
  • Whatever their ethnicity, culture, religious affiliation, national origin or national status,
  • Whatever their gender or gender identity,
  • Whatever their sexual identity.

Principle 2: We recognise and respect difference

Treating people equally (principle 1 above) does not necessarily involve treating them all the same. Policies, procedures and activities must not discriminate but must nevertheless take account of differences of life-experience, outlook and background, and in the kinds of barrier and disadvantage which people may face, in relation to:

  • disability, so that reasonable adjustments are made;
  • ethnicity, so that different cultural backgrounds and experiences of prejudice are recognised;
  • gender, so that the different needs and experiences of girls and boys, woman and men are recognised;
  • sexual identity.

Principle 3: We foster positive attitudes and relationships and a shared sense of cohesion and belonging.

Policies, procedure and activities promote:

  • positive attitudes and actions towards disabled people, good relations between disabled and nondisabled people, and an absence of harassment of disabled people;
  • positive interaction, good relations and dialogue between groups and communities different from each other in terms of ethnicity, culture, religious affiliation, national origin or national status, and an absence of prejudice related bullying in incidents;
  • mutual respect and good relations between boys and girls, woman and men and an absence of sexual and homophobic harassment.

Principle 4: We observe good equalities practice in staff recruitment, retention and development.

Policies and procedures benefit all employees and potential employees, for example in recruitment and promotion and in continuing professional development.

  • whether or not they are disabled;
  • whether their ethnicity, culture, religious affiliation, national origin or national status;
  • whatever their gender and sexual identity and with full respect for legal rights relating to pregnancy and maternity.

Principle 5: We aim to reduce and remove inequalities and barriers that already exist

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:

  • disabled and non-disabled;
  • people of different ethnic, cultural and religious backgrounds;
  • girls and boys, woman and men;
  • gay people as well as heterosexual.

Principle 6: We consult and involve widely

People affected by a policy or activity should be consulted and involved in the design of new policies and in the review of existing ones. Consultation involves:

  • disabled and non-disabled;
  • people of different ethnic, cultural and religious backgrounds;
  • girls and boys, woman and men;
  • gay people as well as heterosexual

Principle 7: We address prejudice related bullying

We oppose all forms of prejudice which stand in the way of fulfilling legal duties listed above:

  • prejudices around disability and special educational needs;
  • prejudices around racism and xenophobia, including those that are directed against religious groups and communities, for example anti-Semitism and Islamophobia, and those that are directed against Travellers, migrants and people seeking asylum;
  • prejudice reflecting sexism or homophobia.

Principle 8: Society as a whole should benefit

Policies and activities should benefit society as a whole, both locally and nationally, by fostering greater social cohesion and greater participation in the public life of:

  • disabled and non-disabled;
  • people of different ethnic, cultural and religious backgrounds;
  • girls and boys, woman and men;
  • gay people as well as heterosexual.

Principle 9: Objectives

Each year we formulate and publish specific and measureable equality objectives, based on the evidence we have collected and published, in relation to:

  • disability;
  • ethnicity, religion and culture;
  • gender.

Curriculum

  • Staff will ensure the curriculum is accessible for all pupils with Special Education Needs and Disabilities (SEND) for those for who English is not their first language, auxiliary aids and services will be provided for those where reasonable adjustments are required. By planning ahead, staff will ensure that all pupils are able to take part in extracurricular activities and visits, and the school will monitor the uptake of them to ensure no-one is disadvantaged on the grounds of a protected characteristic.
  • Curriculum information will be evaluated by looking specifically at equality groups as well as the standard analysis carried out by the school and adjusted as appropriate to ensure that equality groups are supported positively.
  • As the curriculum is reviewed teaching and learning will reflect the guiding principles as set out above.

Staff and Governors

  • The Governing Board is responsible for ensuring that the school complies with legislation and that the policy and its related procedures and action plans are implemented.
  • A Governor and the Head Teacher has the role of monitoring the implementation of this policy.
  • All staff are expected to adhere to this policy and:
  • promote equality and inclusion in their classrooms, amongst colleagues and with visitors to the school;
  • deal with any prejudice related incidents that may occur;
  • plan and deliver curricular and lessons that reflect our Guiding Principles;
  • provide and analyse quantitative and qualitative data that supports better understanding of equality groups and any issues that may arise, e.g., attendance, bullying, exclusion;
  • undertake or support Equality Impact Assessment (Equality Analysis) process;
  • attend appropriate training that enables St John’s CE (A) Primary School to keep up-to-date with equality issues.

All staff and Governors have access to training and a selection of resources which discuss and explain the concepts of equality, diversity and community cohesion. We value the opportunity to take a holistic approach in fulfilling our Equality Duties.

All staff and Governors will exercise their Safeguarding responsibilities in relation to equality matters and ensure that any bullying or challenging of Human Rights is addressed immediately.

St John’s CE (A) Primary School is opposed to all forms of prejudice that could act as a barrier to achieving our legal duties and a cohesive community. These include:

  • disability;
  • special educations needs;
  • racism and xenophobia;
  • gender and transgender;
  • religious groups and communities;
  • Travellers, migrants, refugees and people seeking asylum;
  • Sexism and homophobia.

Click here to view the Disability Equality Scheme Action Plan (2015-2018)

Equality Policy – Version 2 – Autumn 2015