Public bodies such as schools have a duty, under the 2010 Equality Act, to ensure they promote equality within their organisation.
The Equality Act makes explicit our responsibility to have due regard to the need to:
- Eliminate discrimination and other conduct that is prohibited by the Act
- Advance equality of opportunity between people who share a protected characteristic and people who do not share it
- Foster good relations across all characteristics - between people who share a protected characteristic and people who do not share it.
In this respect, a protected characteristic could be any one of a multitude of factors that are shared by particular groups of people, but will include characteristics such as race, disability, sex, age, religion or belief, sexual orientation, pregnancy and maternity and gender reassignment. Central to a commitment to fulfil this responsibility is a recognition that all groups with protected characteristics fall within the compass of the human race as a whole, and who by definition therefore have equal status and equal rights.
Our equality objectives are based on the principles of human rights and human dignity, and can be summarised as follows:
- To ensure that the school retains a culture of advancing equality both in its policies and its practices.
- To develop the children's understanding of, and commitment to, the promotion of equality and the elimination of discriminatory practices and beliefs.
- To deepen an understanding among all children and staff of the strengths and needs of all protected characteristic groups.
- To continue to seek ways in which the culture, policies and practices within school can be further improved to advance equality and to eliminate discrimination.
- To celebrate the rich variety of individual and group characteristics which constitute our school community, as well as the wider world.
The following list covers some of the main ways in which we seek to implement our responsibilities to ensure equality within school.
- Whenever we review policies in school, we always take into account any relevant equal opportunity implications. Where relevant, the details of equal opportunity considerations will be specifically identified. The school's key policies are kept updated on our website, and all our policies are available by request at the school office.
- We regularly analyse the progress and attainment of all children in the school, including the progress and attainment of specific pupil groups. Where we identify significant variations between the children who share a protected characteristic and children in the school generally, we then explore the reasons behind this. It is important to ensure that children in particular groups are not being inadvertently disadvantaged, but it is equally important not to assume that the discrepancy is necessarily a consequence of a particular characteristic. This means that we look at children individually, and examine why the discrepancy is showing up, so that we are best placed to support children in the way that is most appropriate for them. We also recognise that each child is an individual, composed of a multitude of characteristics, and their inclusion in one or more protected characteristic groups should not be seen to define them without reference to everything else that goes to make the whole child.
- All aspects of the curriculum are open to all children, and we will always make adaptations where necessary to accommodate the particular needs of a child or group of children.
- We model the British values of respect and tolerance to all people, irrespective of characteristics, and we consider it our moral duty to promote and develop this understanding and good practice in the children themselves. When a child demonstrates intolerance or disrespect with regard to the characteristics of another person, we will work with that child to strengthen their understanding of why their behaviour or language has not been appropriate. In line with our teaching of the academic curriculum, we believe that education is by far the most effective response to incidents of intolerance or disrespect.