APPLEFORD SCHOOL EQUALITY & DIVERSITY POLICY SINGLE EQUALITY POLICY

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1 EQUALITY & DIVERSITY POLICY SINGLE EQUALITY POLICY Statement of Intent Appleford School is committed to providing equality and opportunity and anti-discriminatory practice for all children and families. Introduction We welcome the equality duties on schools, and regard these as essential for achieving the five outcomes of the Every Child Matters framework. We believe that all pupils and members of staff should have the opportunity to fulfil their potential whatever their background, identity and circumstance. We are committed to creating a community that recognises and celebrates difference within a culture of respect and cooperation. We appreciate that a culture which promotes equality will create a positive environment and a shared sense of belonging for all who work, learn and use the services of our school. We recognise that equality will only be achieved by the whole school community working together our learners, staff, governors and parents in particular. Throughout this Scheme, parents can be taken to mean mothers, fathers, carers and other adults responsible for caring for a child. This Equality and Diversity Scheme provides a framework for our school to promote equality, inclusion and good community relations, and to tackle prejudice, discrimination and their causes in a holistic and proactive way. Our Scheme is based on the core principles that its effectiveness will be determined by: active involvement with key stakeholders, not just in developing this Scheme but also in its review and implementation; proactive leadership; prioritising activities that produce specific, tangible improved outcomes; removal of attitudinal and cultural barriers. Aim We aim to: provide a secure environment in which all our children can flourish and in which all contributions are valid; include and value the contribution of all families to better our understanding of equality and diversity; provide positive non-stereotyping information about different ethnic groups and people with disabilities; improve our knowledge and understanding of issues of equality and diversity; and make inclusion a thread which runs through all our activities in school and the boarding community. The legal framework for this policy is: Race Relations Act 1976; Race Relations Amendment Act 2000; Sex Discrimination Act 1986; Children s Act 1989; and Special Educational Needs and Disability Act Page 1 of 5

2 National and Legal Context for Diversity We have duties to promote race, disability and gender equality. The general duty to promote race equality means that we must have due regard to: eliminating unlawful racial discrimination; promoting equality of opportunity; promoting good relations between people of different racial groups. The general duty to promote disability equality means that we must have due regard to: promoting equality of opportunity between disabled people and other people; eliminating unlawful discrimination; eliminating disability- related harassment; promoting positive attitudes towards disabled people; encouraging participation by disabled people in public life; taking steps to take account of disabled peoples disabilities, even where that involves treating disabled people more favourably than other people. The disability equality general duty reinforces the reasonable adjustment duties of the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA). In particular, it complements, and in some cases overlaps with, the anticipatory duty to make adjustments. The general duty to promote gender equality means that we must have due regard to: 1. eliminating unlawful discrimination and harassment; 2. promoting equality of opportunity between men and women. Schools also have specific duties under these three promotional duties and this Scheme demonstrates our response to both the general and specific duties. Schools have a duty to promote community cohesion, developing good relations across different cultures, ethnic, religious and non-religious and socio-economic groups. Although there are no statutory requirements for schools to have a policy or action plan for promoting community cohesion, we do have one in place. Although there are no equivalent promotional duties in relation to age, sexual orientation and religion or belief, we must ensure that we do not discriminate on these grounds. This Scheme includes our priorities and actions to eliminate discrimination and harassment for these equality areas. Methods We will use the following methods to achieve our aims: Admissions See our separate policy. We advertise our service widely. We reflect the diversity of members of our society in our publicity and promotional materials. We provide information in clear, concise language, whether in spoken or written form. We can provide information in a different language if required. We base our admissions policy on fair systems and within the framework of our Statement of Purpose. Page 2 of 5

3 We do not discriminate against a child with a disability or refuse a child entry to the school as a day pupil because of any disability. However, due to the arrangements of the boarding facilities, we are currently unable to admit a pupil who is wheelchair bound. Employment Posts are advertised and all applicants are judged against explicit and fair criteria. The applicant who best meets the criteria is offered the post, subject to references and checks by the Criminal Records Bureau. This ensures fairness in the selection process. All job descriptions from the date of this policy will include a statement which specifically requires a commitment to equality and diversity as part of their specifications. We monitor our application process to ensure that it is fair and accessible. Training We seek out training opportunities for staff and volunteers to enable them to develop practices which enable all children to flourish. We review our practices regularly to ensure that we are fully implementing our policy for equality and diversity. Activities The school ethos and activities in school encourage children to develop positive attitudes to people who are different from themselves. We will work to encourage children to empathise with others. We do this by: making children feel valued and good about themselves; ensuring that children have equality of access to learning; reflecting the widest possible range of communities in the choice of resources; avoiding stereotypes of derogatory images in the selection of materials; celebrating a wide range of festivals; creating an environment of mutual respect and tolerance; helping children to understand that discriminatory behaviour and remarks are unacceptable; and ensuring that the activities offered are inclusive of children with special educational needs and children with disabilities. Valuing Diversity in Families We welcome the diversity of family life and work with all families. We encourage children to contribute stories of their everyday life into school. We encourage parents/carers to take part in the life of school and to contribute fully. For parents who have a first language other than English, we value the contribution their culture and language offer. We offer a flexible payment system for families of different means i.e. bursaries & school residential trips. Gender Equality What we have already achieved: Equality and gender issues are part of the PSHEE & CE programme of study. Page 3 of 5

4 All subject areas are promoted inclusively and at the time of option choices pupils are spoken to about their potential for subjects. Pupils likes and aptitudes are considered with them irrespective of gender. We want to do more by: continuing to review attainment data by gender. We will also continue to encourage staff to use a range of teaching approaches and to adapt these according to a variety of circumstances, including gender, where appropriate. All school documentation makes it clear that any kind of discrimination is unacceptable. We have also: Implemented government sex and relationship guidance to support teachers to deal honestly and sensitively with sexual orientation issues and questions. Made explicit within our anti-bullying policy that homophobic or faith bullying and harassment will not be tolerated. We want to do more by: undertaking inter-faith initiatives. providing specific training to support staff to implement this policy. Impact Assessment All school policies will be impact assessed with regard to disability, gender, and race at the time of review and any issues arising will form part of our SES Action Plan. Working in Partnership We recognise that achieving equality, inclusion and good community relations involves working effectively and in partnership with others. Putting the Scheme into practice and Raising Awareness We recognise that our Scheme is a public document that should be available to any interested stakeholder. We will promote and publish our Scheme by: informing parents and other stakeholders about the scheme on our website and making it available on request providing relevant training for staff providing a summary in our prospectus, including our vision and key priorities discussing with pupils via School and Year Councils ensuring that all new staff have working knowledge of all policies and procedures Links with other school policies School policies that link with, and have informed this Scheme, include: Inclusion Pupil support Anti-bullying Behaviour Curriculum PDL including SRE Admissions Roles and responsibilities All proprietors, staff and stakeholders should recognise that they have a specific role and responsibility in their day-to-day work to: promote equality, inclusion and good community relations Page 4 of 5

5 challenge inappropriate language and behaviour tackle bias and stereotyping respond appropriately to incidents of discrimination and harassment and report these highlight to the senior leadership team any staff training or development that they require to carry out the above role and responsibilities All governors, staff and stakeholders will also ensure that pupils are encouraged to recognise that they have a role and responsibility to themselves and others so that they understand and are able to: promote equality, inclusion and good community relations challenge inappropriate language and behaviour tackle bias and stereotyping work to promote anti-bullying strategies respond appropriately to incidents of discrimination and harassment and understand the action needed to report these. Food We work in partnership with parents to ensure that the medical, cultural and dietary needs of children are met. We help children to learn about a range of food, cultural approaches to mealtimes and eating and to respect the differences among them. Meetings Meetings are arranged to ensure that all pupils and families can contribute their views and talents to the life of the school. Information about meetings is communicated in both written and verbal forms to ensure that all parents have information about access to the meetings. This policy has been written by the school s Senior Management Team and adopted by the staff of Appleford School. Adopted Director Dated: June 2015 Date of Review: June 2016 Page 5 of 5

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