Equality Policy & Equality Objectives

Equality Statement

Northenden Community School is committed to equality of opportunity and provision for all persons and to the elimination of discrimination and barriers to participation, quality and success for all.  The school recognises, respects and values difference and diversity and aims to promote and celebrate equality and positive attitudes and respect towards one another.  The school is opposed to practices which discriminate against groups or individuals on the basis of their characteristics, including protected characteristics.  The school strives to provide and achieve quality and success for all children and their families, staff and other members of the school community and to treat everyone with respect and dignity.  We strive to be a school where all children and adults will find safety and respect for themselves, their families, circumstances and traditions.  The school recognises its duties under the Equality Act 2010, and Public Sector Equality Duty (PSED), and aims to act through its policies, plans and daily practices to achieve the aims of the Act and PSED.

 
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Respect for Each Other

Quality and Success for All

A Caring Partnership

Broad Equality Aims

The school’s equality and underpinned by the school’s three broad ethos statements:

  • Respect for Each Other
  • Quality and Success for All
  • A Caring Partnership

The school aims to achieve the following broad quality aims:

  • All members of the school community will be treated with respect, kindness and care and receive the support of the school in different ways to enable them to play a full and meaningful part in their own success and that of the school;
  • All groups of learners will benefit from provisions, opportunities and support to enable them to achieve their full academic potential;
  • No group or individual (pupil or employee) will face or experience discrimination, unfairness, difficulty or prejudice on the basis of their characteristics, including those with protected characteristics as defined by the Equality Act 2010;
  • All forms of discrimination, prejudice and stereotyping will be challenged and addressed through this and other relevant policies.

EQUALITY OBJECTIVES

The school has the following equality objectives.  The school will:

  • ensure that all pupils have equality of opportunity in accessing the school curriculum and other activities;
  • promote respect for each other and celebrate diversity;
  • promote quality and success for all;
  • ensure that pupils from all different groups are supported to achieve their full academic potential;
  • ensure that pupils from all different groups have opportunities to further their spiritual, moral, social and cultural development;
  • on an increasing basis, enable access to the building and its areas to all persons with a disability, including:
    • provide disabled toilet facilities;
    • provide a disabled parking space;
    • install a hearing loop at the school office;
  • develop staff awareness of LGBT, LGBT bullying, LGBT issues in schools and gender differences, including gender reassignment;
  • develop the anti-bullying policy to include bullying and harrassment of pupils with different sexual orientations and gender preferences;
  • develop pupils’ understanding and raise the profile of different family structures and same-sex parents through PSHE and SRE teaching, and via curriculum and library resources;
  • work towards the objectives of the Stonewall Bronze, Silver and then Gold Awards (LGBT) over a period of time;
  • ensure that all pupils have opportunities to develop their understanding of people with different faiths and religious beliefs, including those with no religion or beliefs, through their study of Religious Education and visits to different places of worship;
  • promote Fundamental British Values and an understanding of democracy, the law, different faiths and beliefs, rights and responsibilities and discrimination.

Protected Characteristics

The protected characteristics defined by the Act in relation to pupils are:

  • sex
  • race
  • disability
  • religion or belief
  • sexual orientation
  • gender reassignment
  • pregnancy or maternity

In addition to the above, the Act also defines protected characteristics with regard to employees:

  • age *
  • marriage and civil partnership

Equality Policy Statements (Pupils)

Sex Discrimination (Pupils)

The school will promote “quality and success for all” pupils and their families regardless of their sex.  The school will promote equality and opportunity and provision to meet the needs of boys and girls equally.  It will do so, for example, by ensuring that the school’s curriculum and teaching, including resources, reflect the equal aspirations, abilities and career opportunities for boys and girls, and men and women, society.  The school will avoid using stereotypical language to define the roles of men and women in society, including parent structures and in the workplace.  The school will act positively to address sex equality issues which have been identified, including, for example, introducing plans to raise the attainment of boys in writing or the participation of girls in after-school sports. 

Single Sex Sport

Although the Equality Act forbids discrimination in access to benefits, facilities and services, the Act does contain an exception with permits single-sex sports.  It applies to participation in any sport or game, or other activity of a competitive nature, whether the physical strengths, stamina or physique of the aver girl would put her at a disadvantage in competition with the average boy.  While this exception allows the school to have a boys-only football team, the school must demonstrate that it takes steps to allow girls to have equal opportunities to participate in comparable sporting activities.  Where separate teams exists, the school must ensure one team is not treated less favourably than the other.

The school will challenge pupils’ and adults’ views, actions or behaviour which discriminate against, stereotype, diminish or derogate the characteristics, roles, skills or abilities of girls and boys, or men and women.

Race Discrimination (Pupils)

The school will promote “quality and success for all” pupils and their families regardless of their race, country of origin, nationality, cultural background or ethnicity.  The school will promote equality and opportunity and provision to meet the needs of pupils from all racial and national backgrounds.  It will do so, for example, by ensuring that the school’s curriculum and teaching, including resources, reflect and celebrate racial, cultural and national diversity and achievements.  The school will act positively to address racial equality issues which have been identified, including, for example, introducing plans to raise the attainment of black pupils or providing additional teaching support for those for whom English is an Additional Language or for pupils who have recently arrived from another country.  The school will also act to raise the profile of the achievements or cultural differences between different nations, e.g. through art, music and other activities.

The school will challenge pupils’ and adults’ views, actions or behaviour which discriminate against, stereotype, diminish or derogate the characteristics, roles, skills or abilities of people of different races or people from different countries or cultural backgrounds.

Religious or Belief Discrimination (Pupils)

The school will promote “quality and success for all” pupils and their families regardless of their religion, faith or belief.  The school will promote equality and opportunity and provision to meet the needs of pupils from all religions and faiths.   It will do so, for example, by ensuring that the school’s curriculum and teaching, including resources, reflect and respect differences in religious belief and faith.  The school will act positively to address religious or faith equality issues which have been identified, including, for example, ensuring representation and celebration of different faith events and festivals across the school year or ensuring that families of a particularly faith or religion are not indirectly excluded from school activities and events.

The school will challenge pupils’ and adults’ views, actions or behaviour which discriminate against, stereotype, diminish or derogate the characteristics, roles, skills or abilities of people of different religions or faith.  The exception to this is would be where a person holds, expresses or acts upon extremist views, possibly as a result of radicalisation.

Religious Belief and Sexual Orientation (Pupils)

There is relationship between protection because of sexual orientation and protection of religious freedom.  Many people’s views on sexual orientation/sexual activity are grounded in religious belief.  It is not the intention of the Equality Act or the school to undermine the position of staff or families with specific religious beliefs.  However, the school will act to uphold its responsibilities.  Staff will teach curriculum content or answer questions in accordance the this policy, both respecting the views of those with religious beliefs and those of or associated with people with a different sexual orientation.  For staff, having a view about something does not amount to discrimination.  It is not unlawful for staff to express personal views.  However, all staff will remember that they are in a very influential position and all staff will remember that their ability to express a view should not extend to allowing them to discriminate against others.

Discrimination by Sexual Orientation (Pupils)

The school will promote “quality and success for all” pupils and their families regardless of their sexual orientation.  The school will promote equality and opportunity and provision to meet the needs of pupils and families who identity as heterosexual, gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender or questioning.   It will do so, for example, by ensuring that the school’s curriculum and teaching, including resources, reflect and respect differences in sexual orientation, relationships and family structures.  The school will act positively to address sexual orientation equality issues which have been identified, including, for example, through ensuring representation in lessons and books of different family structures, through specific provision and support for those children who identify as LGTB, and the provision of some non-gender-specific toilet facilities. The school will also aim to achieve the objectives set out by the Stonewall School Champions Award scheme at Bronze, Silver and then Gold level over a number of years.  The school will ensure that all gay, lesbian or bi-sexual pupils, or the children of gay, lesbian or bi-sexual parents and the parents, are not treated less favourably than other pupils or parents.

The school will challenge pupils’ and adults’ views, actions or behaviour which discriminate against, stereotype, diminish or derogate the characteristics, roles, skills or abilities of people of different sexual orientation.  This will particularly be achieved through the school’s Anti-Bullying Policy, including its procedures for dealing with homophobic bullying.

Discrimination by Gender Reassignment (Pupils)

The school will promote “quality and success for all” pupils and their families regardless of the gender to which they identify or their gender reassignment at any stage.  Gender reassignment is defined in the Equality Act 2010 as applying to anyone who is undergoing, has undergone or is proposing to undergo a process (or part of a process) of reassigning their sex by changing physiological or other attributes.  This definition means that in order to be protected under the Act, a pupils will not necessarily have to be undertaking a medical procedure to change their sex but must be taking steps ot live in the opposite gender, or proposing to do so.  The protection against discrimination because of gender reassignment includes protection discrimination based on perception or association.  Schools needs to make sure that all gender variant pupils, or the children of transgender parents, do not receive less favourable treatment from that given to other pupils.

The school will act positively to address equality issues which arise with regard to gender reassignment, including, for example, support for the pupil and their family and training and awareness for staff in addressing the pupil by his or her preferred gender or name.

TThe school will challenge pupils’ and adults’ views, actions or behaviour which discriminate against, stereotype, diminish or derogate the characteristics, appearance, roles, skills or abilities of pupils at any stage of gender reassignment.   This will particularly be achieved through the school’s Anti-Bullying Policy.

Discrimination by Marriage and Civil Partnership (Pupils/Parents)

 The school will promote “quality and success for all” pupils and their families regardless of marital status of the pupils’ parents.  The school will promote equality and opportunity and provision to meet the needs of pupils and families of different family structures, including those where parents are not married, married or in a civil partnership.  It will do so, for example, by ensuring that the school’s curriculum and teaching, including resources, reflect and respect differences in relationships and family structures.

The teaching about marriage will be done in a sensitive, reasonable, respectful and balanced way.  The school, or individual teachers, are not under a duty to support, promote or endorse marriage of same-sex couples.  Teaching will be based on facts and should enable pupils to develop an understanding of how the law applies to different relationships.

The school will challenge pupils’ and adults’ views, actions or behaviour which discriminate against, stereotype, diminish or derogate the sex, gender, characteristics or roles of pupils’ family structures or parents.  

Pregnancy and Maternity (Pupils and Former Pupils)

The school will promote “quality and success for all” pupils and former pupils and their families regardless of their status as an expectant or existing parent.  Although unlikely in the primary school setting, the school will provide support for and treat no less favourably any pupil or former pupil who is pregnant or is to become a parent.  Where this does occur in the case of a pupil, guidance about the education provision and support for the pupil will be sought from the Local Authority.

Disability Discrimination (Pupils)

The school will promote “quality and success for all” pupils and their families regardless of their physical ability or disability.  The Act defines a disability as when a person has a “physical or mental impairment which has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on that person’s ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities.

The school will act positively to address equality issues relating to disability.  For example, the school will:

  • Increase the extent to which disabled pupils can participate in the curriculum alongside other pupils;
  • make reasonable adjustments to ensure that disabled pupils, at the school now or in the future, are not placed at a disadvantage;
  • improve the physical environment and carry out a programme of adaptations to the school building to ensure increasing barrier-free access to all areas, particularly where new plans are put in place to extend or later parts of the school building;
  • provide devices, auxiliary aids or services for a disabled pupil when it would be reasonable to do so to alleviate any substantial disadvantage that the pupil faces in comparison to non-disabled pupils;
  • improve the accessibility of information to disabled pupils.

The school will also raise the profile of persons with disabilities, including for example, celebrating the work and achievements of disables people in society and through its curriculum resources.

The school will challenge pupils’ and adults’ views, actions or behaviour which discriminate against, stereotype, diminish or derogate the characteristics, roles, skills or abilities, lives or circumstances of pupils with disabilities.

Equality Policy Statements (Employees)

Age Discrimination (Employees)

With regard to employees, the school will provide the same opportunities for staff of all ages.    This provision includes at the recruitment stage, during and after employment.   The school will not, for example, ask candidates applying for a post to declare their date of birth or introduce benefits or other activities for staff which discriminate against or exclude staff in a particularly age group over the age of 18.

The school will challenge pupils’ and adults’ views, actions or behaviour which discriminate against, stereotype, diminish, question or derogate the characteristics, roles, skills or abilities of people of any age.  This includes, for example, employees or potential employees nearing or beyond a traditional retirement age and perhaps younger members of staff whose ability or experience is questioned in the context of their age.

Sex Discrimination (Employees)

With regard to employees, the school will provide the same opportunities for both male and female staff.  This includes at the recruitment stage and whilst in employment.  The school will not, for example, express a preference to employ a man or woman for a particular role, unless it is justified or the school aims to address a significant imbalance between male and female staff.  This provision includes at the recruitment stage, during and after employment. 

The school will challenge pupils’ and adults’ views, actions or behaviour which discriminate against, stereotype, diminish, question or derogate the characteristics, roles, skills, abilities or lives of male and female staff.

Race Discrimination (Employees)

With regard to employees, the school will provide the same opportunities for staff of all races, countries and cultural backgrounds, provided that they are eligible for employment in the United Kingdom and can read, write and speak English to the standard required by all staff to carry out their role in school, communicate effectively with other staff and support pupils effectively in their learning.  This provision includes at the recruitment stage, during and after employment. 

The school will challenge pupils’ and adults’ views, actions or behaviour which discriminate against, stereotype, diminish, question or derogate the characteristics, roles, skills, abilities or lives of staff with different racial, national or cultural backgrounds.

Religion or Belief Discrimination (Employees)

With regard to employees, the school will provide the same opportunities for staff of religions and beliefs, including those with no religion or beliefs.  Staff will be expected to show respect for all religions and practices of faith and to teach Religious Education but will not be expected to participate in religious observance, including prayer.  This provision includes at the recruitment stage, during and after employment. 

The school will challenge pupils’ and adults’ views, actions or behaviour which discriminate against, stereotype, diminish, question or derogate the characteristics, roles, skills, abilities or lives of staff with different religious beliefs.  The exception to this provision is in the case of an employee or potential employee who has a history of extremist views or radicalisation and may be a safeguarding risk to pupils.

Sexual Orientation Discrimination (Employees)

With regard to employees, the school will provide the same opportunities for staff of all sexual orientations, including gay men, lesbians, bisexual or transgender men or women.  Staff will be expected to show respect people of all sexual orientations.  This provision includes at the recruitment stage, during and after employment. 

The school will challenge pupils’ and adults’ views, actions or behaviour which discriminate against, stereotype, diminish, question or derogate the characteristics, roles, skills, abilities, family structure or lives of staff with different sexual orientations.

Gender Reassignment Discrimination (Staff)

With regard to employees, the school will provide the same opportunities for all staff, including those at any stage of gender reassignment.   Staff will be expected to show respect for people who identify as any gender.  This provision includes at the recruitment stage, during and after employment.  The school may take positive steps to recognise the needs of those undergoing gender reassignment, including, for example, the provision of a unisex staff toilet.  This provision includes at the recruitment stage, during and after employment. 

The school will challenge pupils’ and adults’ views, actions or behaviour which discriminate against, stereotype, diminish, question or derogate the characteristics, roles, skills, abilities, family structure, appearance or lives of staff at any stage of gender reassignment.

Marriage and Civil Partnership Discrimination (Employees)

With regard to employees, the school will provide the same opportunities for all staff regardless of their marital or civil partnership status.  Staff will be expected to show respect for people who are single, married, in a civil partnership, separated and divorced.  This provision includes at the recruitment stage, during and after employment.  The school will not, for example, treat married people any more favourably with regards to a work-life balance than those who are single.  This provision includes at the recruitment stage, during and after employment. 

The school will challenge pupils’ and adults’ views, actions or behaviour which discriminate against, stereotype, diminish, question or derogate the characteristics, roles, skills, abilities or lives of staff as a result of their marital or civil partnership status.

Pregnancy and Maternity Discrimination (Employees)

With regard to employees, the school will provide the same opportunities for all staff, including those who are about to be or are parents.  This provision includes at the recruitment stage, during and after employment.  The school will consider, for example, applications for flexible working from all parents, ensure that those returning from maternity, paternity or share parental leave return to their existing role in school, and make specific provision for expectant mothers with regard to their health and safety.

The school will challenge pupils’ and adults’ views, actions or behaviour which discriminate against, stereotype, diminish, question or derogate the roles, skills, potential or abilities of parents or expectant mothers.

Disability Discrimination (Employees)

With regard to employees, the school will aim to provide the same opportunities for all staff regardless of their physical ability or disability.  The school will, for example, make reasonable adjustments and provide working aids to enable disabled staff to carry out their duties.

The school will challenge pupils’ and adults’ views, actions or behaviour which discriminate against, stereotype, diminish, question or derogate the characteristics, roles, skills, abilities or circumstances of staff who have a disability or illness.

SCHOOL GENERAL (PUBLIC SECTOR) DUTIES

 The General Duty applies to all protected characteristics and requires schools, when carrying out their functions, to have due regard to the need to:

  1. Eliminate discriminate, harassment and victimisation and any other conduct prohibited by the Act;
  2. Advance equality of opportunity between those who share a relevant protected characteristics and those who not share it;
  3. Foster good relations across all characteristics – between people who share a protected characteristic and people who do not share it.

Eliminating Discrimination and any other conduct prohibited by the Act

In having due regard to this general duty, the school will:

  • share its ethos, values and aims and its commitment to equality with staff, parents, pupils and visitors;
  • ensure that all of its policies, procedures and practices are underpinned and have reference to the school’s Equality policy;
  • ensure that the school’s Equality Policy is monitored by the school’s Governing Body, the Senior Leadership Team and other staff;
  • provide training to all staff with regard to Equality provisions and issues;
  • make reasonable adjustments to the school environment and make the school environment as accessible and welcoming as possible for pupils, staff and visitors to the school;
  • ensure where reasonably possible that all pupils are able to take part in all curriculum activities, including extra-curricular activities, educational visits and residential visits;
  • monitor educational and participation to ensure that pupils are not disadvantaged on the grounds on a protected characteristic;
  • consider equality implications whenever policies and procedures are developed and whenever significant decisions are made about the day-to-day life of the school;
  • bullying and incidents of prejudice are dealt with in accordance with the relevant policy, recorded and monitored
  • have due regard to equality issues when recruiting and appointing new staff
  • review teaching and learning policies, the curriculum and resources to ensure that they promote diversity and avoid stereotyping

Advancing Equality of Opportunity between those who share a relevant protected characteristic and those who do not share it.

 In having due regard to this general duty, the school will:

  • promote the sharing of information and partnership between the school and parents;
  • collect, analyse and evaluate attainment and other data and monitor the progress and achievement of groups of learners;
  • publish attainment data for groups with protected characteristics, where numbers of those in protected groups are significant and publication of limited data does not identify individual pupils;
  • create and implement plans to close any gaps in attainment or other performance
  • collect, analyse and evaluate information about staff recruitment, retention and training opportunities to ensure that all staff have equality of opportunity in the workplace;
  • engage and consult with those people who are affected by a policy or activity in the design of new in the review of existing policies;
  • encourage pupils and families with particular characteristics to participate fully in school activities
  • offer disabled access to the building on a increasing basis, have a disabled parking space, a disabled toilet and other aids which enable access for those with particular characteristics, e.g. a hearing loop.
  • consider the dietary requirements of religious and other groups
  • use a range of strategies to ensure that teaching includes and meets the needs of all learners;
  • provide additional or targeted support to those with a particular characteristics where it is needed, for example, for a disabled pupil or member of staff, or for a pupil for whom English is an Additional Language

Foster good relations with people across all protected characteristics

 In having due regard to this general duty, the school will:

  • share its ethos, values and aims with all staff and pupils;
  • prepare children for life in a diverse society
  • ensure that the curriculum is inclusive and relevant to all groups of pupils
  • design activities which promote the spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of all pupils;
  • teach about respect, difference and diversity
  • teach about the impact of stereotyping, prejudice and discrimination through PSHE, citizenship and across the curriculum;
  • use materials and resources that reflect the diversity of the school population;
  • provide opportunities for pupils to appreciate their own culture and celebrate the diversity of other cultures;
  • include in its curriculum the contribution of different cultures to world history and achievement;
  • promote positive messages about equality and diversity through displays, school assemblies, visitors and whole-school events;
  • seek and analyse the views of stakeholders of the school.