After the Equality Act 2010 was introduced fully in April 2011 there was longer a requirement that schools should draw up and publish equality schemes or policies. It is still good equalities practice for a school to make a statement about the principles that underpin equality diversity and inclusion in school.
Our school’s principles reflect our ethos and values. They, together with our equality Information and objectives, reflect wider school development priorities. We aim to develop a culture of inclusion and diversity where everyone connected to the school feels proud of their identity.
1. We welcome our duties under the Equality Act 2010 to eliminate discrimination, advance equality of opportunity and foster good relations in relation to age (as appropriate), sex, disability, ethnicity, gender, gender identity, religion and belief and sexual orientation.
2. We welcome our duty under the Education and Inspections Act 2006 to promote community cohesion and more recent directives to teach about character and values through SMSC in the curriculum.
3. We recognise these duties are essential, and that they reflect international human rights standards as expressed in 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.
4. In fulfilling the legal obligations cited above, we are guided by nine principles:
Principle 1: All learners are of equal value.
We see all learners and potential learners, and their parents and carers, as of equal value:
- whether or not they are disabled or have mental health challenges
- whatever their ethnicity, culture, national origin or national status
- whatever their gender and gender identity
- whatever their religious or non-religious affiliation or faith background
- whatever their sexual orientation
Principle 2: We recognise and respect difference.
Treating people equally (Principle 1 above) does not necessarily involve treating them all the same. Our policies, procedures and activities must not discriminate but must nevertheless take account of differences of life-experience, outlook and background, and the kinds of barrier and disadvantage which people may face, in relation to:
- disability, so that reasonable adjustments are made, and emotional wellbeing promoted
- ethnicity, so that different cultural backgrounds and experiences of prejudice are recognised
- gender, so that the different needs and experiences of girls and boys, non-binary people, women and men, are recognised
- religion, belief or faith background, or having no religious beliefs
- sexual identity
- gender identity
Principle 3: We foster positive attitudes and relationships, and a shared sense of cohesion and belonging.
We intend that our policies, procedures and activities promote:
- positive attitudes towards disabled people, good relations between disabled and non-disabled people, and an absence of harassment of disabled people. Emotional resilience and wellbeing
- 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 and incidents
- mutual respect and good relations between boys and girls, and women and men, and an absence of sexual and homophobic, biphobic and transphobic language or discrimination
Principle 4: We observe good equalities practice in staff recruitment, retention and development.
We ensure that policies and procedures should benefit all employees and potential employees, for example in recruitment and promotion, and in continuing professional development:
- whether or not they are disabled or face mental health challenges
- whatever their ethnicity, culture, religious belief or non-belief, national origin or immigration 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
- people of different ethnic, cultural and religious backgrounds
- girls and boys, women and men
- children from disadvantaged backgrounds
Principle 6: We aim to 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. We consult and involve:
- disabled people as well as non-disabled
- people from the ethnic, cultural and religious backgrounds that make up our community
- both women and men, and girls and boys
- people of all sexual orientations
Principle 7: Society as a whole should benefit.
We intend that our policies and activities should benefit society as a whole, both locally and nationally, by fostering greater social cohesion, and greater participation in public life of:
- disabled people as well as non-disabled
- people of a wide range of ethnic, cultural and religious backgrounds
- both women and men, girls and boys
- people of all sexual orientations
- gender diverse people
Principle 8: We base our practices on sound evidence.
We maintain and publish quantitative and qualitative information about our progress towards greater equality in relation to:
Principle 9: Data.
Each year we formulate and publish data we have collected in relation to:
- ethnicity, religion and culture
5. We recognise that the actions resulting from a policy statement such as this will have an impact if we set ourselves challenging and measurable objectives to demonstrate this commitment.
6. We keep each curriculum subject or area under review in order to ensure that teaching and learning reflect the principles set out in paragraph 4 above.
Through the curriculum we aim to:
- respect, embrace and value differences between people.
- prepare pupils for life in a diverse society.
- make the school a place where everyone feels welcomed and valued
- ensure that an inclusive ethos is maintained
- acknowledge the existence of racism and religious hostility and take steps to prevent them
- support our young people to express and deal with their emotions and difficulties
- help pupils to explore and understand one-another’s lifestyles and beliefs as well as exploring shared values
Ethos and organisation
7. We ensure the principles listed in paragraph 4 above apply to the full range of our policies and practices, including those that are concerned with:
- pupils' progress, attainment and achievement
- pupils' personal development, welfare and well-being
- teaching styles and strategies
- admissions and attendance
- staff recruitment, retention and professional development
- care, guidance and support
- behaviour, discipline and exclusions
- working in partnership with parents, carers and guardians
- working with the wider community
- safeguarding children in education
- promoting emotional health and wellbeing
Addressing prejudice and prejudice-related bullying
8. The school is opposed to all forms of prejudice which stand in the way of fulfilling the legal duties referred to in paragraphs 1–3:
- prejudices around disability and special educational needs
- prejudices around racism and xenophobia, including those that are directed towards religious groups and communities, for example anti-Semitism and Islamophobia, and those that are directed against Travellers, migrants, refugees and people seeking asylum.
- prejudices reflecting sexism and homophobia, biphobia and transphobia
- prejudice which may be the precursor to radicalisation and extremism
11. There is clear guidance for teachers defining how prejudice-related incidents should be identified, assessed, recorded and dealt with. All staff, teaching and support, should view dealing with and resolving identity-based incidents as vital to the wellbeing of the school
12. We take seriously the expectation that we will report regularly to the local authority about the numbers, types and seriousness of race-related incidents at our school and how they are dealt with. We also draw on the support of Northumbria Police and partner organisations such as Show Racism the Red Card
Roles and responsibilities
13. The governing body is responsible for ensuring that the school complies with legislation, and that this policy and its related procedures and action plans are implemented.
14. A member of the governing body has a watching brief regarding the implementation of this policy.
15. The headteacher is responsible for implementing the policy; for ensuring that all staff are aware of their responsibilities and are given appropriate training and support; and for taking appropriate action in any cases of unlawful discrimination.
16. All staff are expected to:
- promote an inclusive and collaborative ethos in their classroom
- challenge any prejudice-related incidents that may occur
- plan and deliver curricula and lessons that reflect the principles in paragraph 4 above
- support pupils in their class for whom English is an additional language
- keep up-to-date with equalities legislation relevant to their work
Information and resources
18. We ensure that the content of this policy is known to all staff and governors and, as appropriate, to all pupils and their parents and carers.
19. All staff and governors have access to a selection of resources and training which discuss and explain concepts of equality, diversity and community cohesion in appropriate detail.
20. We respect the religious beliefs and practice of all staff, pupils and parents, and comply with reasonable requests relating to religious observance and practice.
Staff development and training
21. We ensure that all staff, including support and administrative staff, receive appropriate training and opportunities for professional development, both as individuals and as groups or teams.
Breaches of the policy
22. Breaches of this policy will be dealt with in the same ways that breaches of other school policies are dealt with, as determined by the headteacher and governing body.
Monitoring and evaluation
23. We collect, study and use quantitative and qualitative data relating to the implementation of this policy, and make adjustments as appropriate.
24. In particular we collect, analyse and use data in relation to achievement, broken down as appropriate according to disabilities and special educational needs; ethnicity, language, disadvantage and gender.