Equality Policy. 1. Introduction

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1 Equality Policy 1. Introduction Parkside Middle School is an average-sized middle deemed secondary school with 516 pupils on roll in Years 5, 6, 7 and 8. Most pupils are from White British backgrounds and a few are from minority ethnic families. The proportion of pupils with Special Educational Needs and / or disabilities is 16%. In addition, there are a small number of children who are Looked After. 2. Policy Aims It is our aim to provide equality of education and opportunity for all pupils, staff, parents/ carers who are connected with Parkside Middle School irrespective of race, gender, differences in ability, disability, religion or belief and social background. We value the uniqueness of every member of our school community and believe that every individual is to be valued and respected. We aim to develop a culture of inclusion 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, including Special Educational Needs and medical needs. We will use this data to support pupils, raise standards and ensure inclusive and personalised 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 Parkside Middle School we believe that diversity is a strength which should be respected and celebrated by all those who learn, teach and visit here. 3. Legal Framework The School acknowledges its duties under the Equality Act The Equality Act 2010 introduces a single equality duty on public bodies to include a number of protected characteristics that qualify for protection from discrimination- race, disability (this includes all pupils with Special Educational Needs (SEN) and those with long term medical needs in addition to all pupils with long-term impairments which have a significant impact on their day-today activities as recommended by the Disability Equality in Education (DEE); anyone with cancer or surviving cancer; people with HIV or Multiple Sclerosis or any long term debilitating illness, from the point of diagnosis; anyone with a mental impairment; and the protected characteristics as per the Act: age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex and sexual orientation. Page 1 of 5

2 The 9 protected characteristics are detailed at the end of the policy. We are committed to: 1. Eliminating conduct that is prohibited by the Act; 2. Advancing equality of opportunity between people who share a protected characteristic and people who do not share it; 3. Fostering good relations across all characteristics between people who share a protected characteristic and people who do not share it. The Equality Act 2010 merges the following Acts: Equal Pay Act 1970; Sex Discrimination Act 1975; Race Relations Act 1976; Disability Discrimination Act 1995; The Employment Equality (Religion or Belief) Regulations 2003; The Employment Equality (Sexual Discrimination) Regulations 2003; The Employment Equality (Age) Regulations 2006; The Equality Act 2006, Part 2; The Equality Act (Sexual Orientation) In addition a new section 21 (5) of the Education and Inspections Act 2006 introduced a duty on governing bodies of state schools to promote community cohesion and came into effect on 1 September Community cohesion encompasses promoting good relations between pupils from different races, faiths / beliefs and socio-economic backgrounds. 4. Equal Opportunities for Staff 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. The school adheres to the principles set out in the Worcestershire Safer Recruitment Policy. 5. Teaching and Learning The school operates equality of opportunity in its day to day practice. We aim to provide all our pupils with the opportunity to succeed, and to reach the highest level of personal achievement. 6. Admissions and Exclusions Our admissions arrangements are fair and transparent and do not discriminate on race, gender, disability or socio-economic factors. Exclusions will always be based on the school s Behaviour Policy. We will closely monitor exclusions to avoid the development of any discriminatory trends. Page 2 of 5

3 7. Tackling Discrimination Harassment on account of race, gender, disability, belief 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 pupils individual circumstances. Racist and homophobic incidents and other incidents of harassment or bullying are dealt with by the member of staff present, escalating to the class teacher and / or 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. 8. Description of a discriminatory incident Harassment on grounds or race, gender, disability, belief, 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. 9. Responding to and reporting incidents It should be clear to pupils and staff how they report incidents. All staff, teaching and non-teaching, should view dealing with incidents as vital to the well-being of the whole school (see diagram on the following page). 10. Complaints Should there be a complaint regarding the Equality Policy the school will follow the complaints policy. Such complaints should be made within 90 days of the incident in question, otherwise the Governing Body will not be obliged to investigate them unless there are mitigating circumstances. Policy Dated September 2017 Policy Review Date September 2019 Headteacher.. Chair of Governors... Page 3 of 5

4 Incident Member of staff to investigate further (if incident reported) or challenge behaviour immediately. Incident reported to Headteacher and agreement made on who is best to progress to next stage. Response to victim and family Response to perpetrator and family Action taken to address issue with year group / school if necessary e.g. through assembly. Incident form to be completed and filed. Incidents to be reported to Governing Body and Local Authority on a termly basis. Page 4 of 5

5 The Equality Act 2010 The 9 protected characteristics 1. Age The Act protects employees of all ages but remains the only protected characteristic that allows employers to justify direct discrimination. 2. Disability The Act states that it is unfair to treat a disabled person unfavourably because of something connected with a disability. Indirect discrimination now also covers disabled people, which means that a job applicant could claim that a particular rule or requirement disadvantages people with that disability. 3. Gender reassignment It is discriminatory to treat people who propose to start to or have completed a process to change their gender less favourably, for example, because they are absent from work for this reason. 4. Marriage and civil partnership The Act continues to protect employees who are married or in a civil partnership. Single people are however not protected by the legislation against discrimination. 5. Pregnancy and maternity The Act continues to protect women against discrimination because they are pregnant or have given birth. 6. Race The Act continues to protect people against discrimination on the grounds of their race, which includes colour, nationality, ethnic or national origin. 7. Religion or belief The Act continues to protect people against discrimination on the grounds of their religion or their belief, including a lack of any belief. 8. Sex The Act continues to protect both men and women against discrimination on the grounds of their sex, for example paying women less than men for doing the same job. 9. Sexual orientation The Act continues to protect bisexual, gay, heterosexual and lesbian people from discrimination on the grounds of their sexual orientation. Page 5 of 5

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