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Single Equality Policy
We welcome our duties under the Equality Act 2010 as both a provider of education and as an employer.
We believe that all pupils and members of staff should have the opportunity to fulfil their potential whatever their background, identity and circumstances. We are committed to creating a community that recognises and celebrates difference within a culture of respect and co-operation. 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 pupils, staff, governors and parents/carers.
This document outlines the principles, which will guide our approach to working with our school community and enabling an open culture.
National and Legal Context
We recognise that we have duties under the Equality Act 2010 in relation to the school community to eliminate discrimination, advance equality of opportunity and foster good relations in relation to age (applicable only to staff), disability, ethnicity, gender (including issues of transgender, maternity and pregnancy), religion and belief, sexual orientation and marital status (applicable only to staff).
We also recognise that we have a duty under the Education & Inspections Act 2006 to promote community cohesion, i.e. developing good relations across different cultures and groups.
We also appreciate that these duties reflect the international human rights standards as expressed in the UN Convention on Rights of the Child, the UN Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities, and the Human Rights Act 1998.
South Wonston Primary School is a large village school serving pupils from Worthy Down Military Base and nearby villages. The school is situated in the village of South Wonston which is 5 miles north of Winchester, with a population of approximately 2,300. The large majority of pupils at the school are White British with about 30% from a military background. A small minority come from other ethnic groups with a few speaking English as an additional language.
To fulfil our legal obligations, we are guided by a number of principles:
All pupils, families and staff are of equal value
We see all pupils, potential pupils, their parents and carers, and staff as of equal value:
We recognise and respect difference
We recognise that treating people equally does not necessarily involve treating them all the same. We recognise that our policies, procedures and activities must not discriminate but must take account of diversity and the kinds of barriers and disadvantage that staff, parents/carers or pupils may face in relation to their protected characteristics:
We foster positive attitudes and relationships, and a shared sense of cohesion and belonging
We intend that our policies, procedures and activities should promote:
We observe good equalities practice in relation to staff
We ensure that our policies and practices for all staff and potential staff throughout the employment lifecycle, i.e. from recruitment through to the cessation of employment and beyond, are applied fairly and consistently across all groups with full respect for legal rights, taking into account aspects applicable to particular groups (e.g. duty to make reasonable adjustments for disabled staff).
We aim to reduce and remove inequalities and barriers that already exist
We intend that our policies, procedures and activities avoid or minimise any possible negative impacts and we aim to reduce inequalities that exist between groups and communities different from each other.
We consult and involve to ensure views are heard
In our development of policies, we engage with groups and individuals, including pupils who are affected by a policy or activity to ensure that their views are taken into account. For policies and activities affecting pupils, we will take account of views expressed at school council; for parents, through parent governor representation and for staff, through staff governor representation. Where necessary, we will consult more widely with specific groups.
We aim to foster greater community cohesion
We intend that our policies, activities and curriculum offer foster greater social cohesion and provide for an equal opportunity to participate in public life irrespective of the protected characteristics of individuals and groups.
We will set ourselves new objectives every four years, but keep them under review and report annually on progress towards achieving them.
Application of the principles within this policy statement:
The principles outlined in the policy statement will be applied and reflected in:
Addressing prejudice and prejudice-related bullying
The school is opposed to all forms of prejudice including, but not limited to prejudice related to protected characteristics. We will ensure that prejudice-related incidents in relation to staff and pupils are recorded and dealt with appropriately.
Roles and responsibilities
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 and that arrangements are in place to deal with any concerns or unlawful action that arises.
The headteacher is responsible for implementation of this policy, ensuring that all staff are aware of their responsibilities and given appropriate training and support and for taking appropriate action in any cases of unlawful discrimination, harassment or victimisation.
All staff are expected to work in accordance with the principles outlined in this policy to:
· promote an inclusive and collaborative ethos in their practice
· deal with any prejudice-related incidents that may occur
· plan and deliver curriculum and lessons
· support pupils in their class who have additional needs