INITIAL EQUALITIES IMPACT ASSESSMENT FORM

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1 IITIAL EQUALITIES IMPACT ASSESSMET FORM To be undertaken when adopting or reviewing policies/procedures or for savings proposals/ restructures and transformations. Equality Impact Assessments must be undertaken before a decision is made. Your assessment needs to demonstrate that you have given due regard to the equalities protected characteristics and the equalities duties and that this policy/ procedure/ proposal is not in breach of the equality duties. The aim is to support members make informed decisions about the policy/savings proposal balanced against any likely adverse impact. You must advice members about what actions are proposed to mitigate any adverse impact identified by affected stakeholders during your consultation or from your data analysis. Due regard will require you to ensure that your decisions impact in a fair way: where there is evidence that particular equalities groups will be negatively affected by a decision, action should be taken to address this. make your decisions based on evidence: EIA provides a clear and structured way to collect, assess and put forward relevant evidence. make decision-making more transparent: a process which involves those affected by the savings proposal, which is based on evidence and is much more open and transparent. This is more likely to engender trust in decision-makers and in your decisions. provide a platform for partnership working: EIA offers an opportunity for organisations to work in partnership to consider the impact on members of their shared communities and how they might best collaborate and co-ordinate financial decisions. enable decision makers to assess whether the decision might amount to unlawful discrimination and/or might impact on the promotion of equality of opportunity and/or might impact on the promotion of good relations, and if so the extent and nature of those impacts. 1

2 Directorate: Children s Services and Lifelong Learning Section: Targeted and Locality Person Responsible for the assessment (include name of author if different) Jennie Burrow ame of the proposal/policy to be assessed: CSLL 21 Education Psychologist Date of Assessment - January Briefly describe the policy/ proposal its aim and expected outcomes. The consultation document details proposed changes to the current London Borough of Hounslow Early Intervention teams structure. The proposal is to reduce the number of Educational Psychology posts by one. The aim of this proposal is to contribute to the required savings. This proposal will reduce the EP s capacity to deliver a range of preventive and early intervention services to Early Years Settings, Children s Centres, Schools and parents, including family support. 2. Who is the policy/ proposal going to impact on and in what way? Please use evidence to support your assessment. Use separate sheets if necessary. Current post-holders within the Early Intervention Teams will be affected and this will reduce by 1 FTE the capacity within Educational Psychology team from 10 to When will the decision be taken? 1 st March 2011 at Borough Council 2

3 4. Are there concerns that the decision could have an impact on the following:- Please explain or attach evidence of your answers to these questions (a) Racial groups. (b) People due to their religion or belief (c) Transgender groups (d) People due to age (e) People due to disability (f) People due to gender (g) People due to sexual orientation (h) fostering good relations and community cohesion (i) attitudes towards disabled people (j) participation of disabled people (k) Human rights 5. Which equalities duties will be engaged by this proposal and will require due regard to be given before a decision is made? (See summary of equalities duties below) 6. What actions can you take to mitigate any findings of impact? Set out fully the actions you propose in the Action Plan below. The employment equality duties will be observed by ensuring that the proposed changes follow the Council s equal opportunities policy. Within the proposed structure each of the three areas will have Educational Psychologists assigned to them. There will be reduced capacity but the broad range of services to vulnerable children and young people with special educational needs will continue to be provided. Where schools require advice or support above these requirements, they will be able to commission and or broker the additional support needed. The proposal will give due regard to the equalities duties which the Local Authority has to a statutory obligation to fulfil to its schools and pupils. 3

4 7. Are there any relevant groups or stakeholders who you can approach to explore their views on the policy/proposal? You must consult/involve those who will be affected by the decision. YES/O Please list the relevant groups and how the views of these groups will be obtained. Or state the reason why you have not approached groups/users affected by your proposal The consultation document is currently being shared with: All staff in LBH Children s services and Lifelong learning Members of LBH Children s Services and Lifelong Learning Management Team Union representatives: Staff Side secretary, ASPECT, ATL, AHT, UT, ASUWT, ASCL HR Department Lead Member for Children s Services and Family Lead Member for Children s Services and Education Headteacher representatives A public consultation has been undertaken with Hounslow residents. 8. Please explain in detail the views of the relevant groups who have been consulted on the issues involved and the dates when this happened. (please use a separate sheet if necessary) See section 7 no specific views have been fedback on this proposal. 4

5 9. Taking into account the views of these groups, and the available evidence, please clearly state the risks associated with the decision, weighed against the benefits of the decision. Will the impact be high, medium or low? High Impact is likely to be high if the savings proposal has significant relevance to the substance of the equality duty. So consider size and scale of impact of policy/savings proposal or service restructure on staff, users/residents and other affected stakeholders. The impact can also be high if there is a potential for challenge of breach of equalities duties from affected stakeholders who have a protected equality characteristic. (see overview of legal duties below. If impact is likely to be high the proposal may require a full EIA to be undertaken) Impact Low: Government legislation and reduction of grant funding make change imperative The proposed structure allows for the statutory role of the LA to be fulfilled. Meeting the needs of children with Special Educational eeds continues to be high priority within the CSLL Directorate. Low If the proposal is relevant to the equality duty but the impact is remote or peripheral to the substance of the Equality duty then complete this Initial Impact Assessment form. Maintain a rigour in your EVIDECE base to support your low impact assessment. Medium If your proposal is not assessed as high or low then it is likely to be medium risk. You may not need a full Equality Impact Assessment provided you set out a robust evidence base in this Initial Equality Impact Assessment form as set out above. The due regard given to the equality duties must be commensurate with the impact of the policy/proposal or decision. 10. What are the main conclusions and key actions/ recommendations of this equality impact assessment? (You can use the information in this section and from section 6 above and section 11 below to inform the main report to members ) Some suggested conclusions are detailed below: The EIA has not identified any potential for discrimination or adverse impact and due regard has been given to equality duties. The proposed restructure should go ahead, subject to Departmental consultation exercise. There will be a reduction in capacity but still sufficient staff to fulfil Statutory duties in respect of the Special Educational eeds Education Act i) o major change is required the EIA has not identified any potential for discrimination or adverse impact and due regard has been given to equality duties. ii) Adjustments be made to remove barriers identified by the EIA or to mitigate adverse impacts. 5

6 iii) Continue despite having identified some potential for adverse impact or missed opportunities to promote equality. (The justification and proportionality considerations should be included and should be in line with the duty to have due regard. ) iv) Stop and rethink or proceed to a comprehensive EIA when an EIA shows actual or potential unlawful discrimination. 10. As a result of this initial assessment is a more comprehensive impact assessment necessary?(note if you have answered high to question 9 a full EIA for savings/transformation should be done).( See equalities section under Corporate services on the intranet for separate guidance on how to undertake a full EIA) o Signed (completing officer) Jennie Burrow Signed (Manager) (Completed forms must be attached as an appendix to your Executive report and forwarded to your departmental web rep to be placed on the web in response to the duty to publish Equality Impact Assessments) 6

7 Equalities Impact Assessment Action Plan Where the assessment indicates a potential negative impact, consideration should be given to means of reducing or mitigating the negative effects. At this stage an Action Plan should be developed to address any concerns/issues raised in your Impact Assessment. This should also set out arrangements for reviewing the actual impact of the proposals once they have been implemented. The plan should be integrated into the appropriate Service or Business Plan. If relevant please list below any recommendations for action that you plan to take as a result of this equality impact assessment. Issue Action Required Lead Officer Timescale Resource Implications Comments 7

8 Is the policy/savings proposal/restructure/transformation decision likely to breach equalities duties below? If the proposal/policy is not remote or peripheral to the substance of the duties set out below then an EIA is relevant. Overview of Equality Act 2010 General Public Sector Equalities duties Equality Act Section149, Part 11, Public Sector Equality Duty (1) A public authority must, in the exercise of its functions, have due regard to the need to- (a) Eliminate discrimination, harassment, victimisation and eliminate any other conduct that is prohibited by or under the Act; (b) Advance equality of opportunity between persons who share a relevant protected characteristic and person who do not share it; (c) Foster good relations between persons who share a relevant protected characteristic and persons who do not share it; (2) A person who is not a public authority but who exercises public functions must, in the exercises of those functions, have due regard to the matters mentioned in subsection1 above. (3) Having due regard to the need to advance equality of opportunity between persons who share a relevant protected characteristic and persons who do not share it involves having due regard, in particular, to the need to- a) remove or minimise disadvantages suffered by persons who share a relevant characteristic that are connected to that characteristic; b) take steps to meet the needs of persons who share a relevant protected characteristic that are different from the needs of persons who do not share it; c) encourage persons who share a relevant protected characteristic to participate in public life or in any other activity in which participation by such persons is disproportionately low. (4) The steps involved in meeting the needs of disabled persons that are different from the needs of persons who are not disabled include, in particular, steps to take account of disabled persons disabilities. (5)Having due regard to the need to foster good relations between person who share a relevant protected characteristic and persons who do not share it involves having due regard, in particular, to the need to: a) Tackle prejudice, and b) Promote understanding. (6) Compliance with the duties in this section may involve treating some persons more favourably than other; but that is not to be taken as permitting conduct that would otherwise be prohibited by or under this Act. 8

9 (7) The relevant protected characteristics are: a) Age; b) Disability; c) Gender reassignment; d) Pregnancy and maternity; e) Race; f) Religion or belief; g) Sex; h) Sexual orientation. Equality Act Section 20, Part 2 - Duty to make adjustments for disabled people (1) Where a provision, criterion or practice of a public body puts a disabled person at a substantial disadvantage in relation to a relevant matter in comparison with persons who are not disabled, to take such steps as it is reasonable to have to take to avoid the disadvantage. (2) Where a physical feature puts a disabled person at a substantial disadvantage in relation matter in comparison with persons who are not disabled, to take such steps as it is reasonable to have to take to avoid the disadvantage. (3) Where a disabled person would, but for the provision of an auxiliary aid, be put at a substantial disadvantage in relation to a relevant matter in comparison with persons who are not disabled, to take such steps as it is reasonable to have to take to provide the auxiliary aid. 9

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