Equity Policy

 

Equality Policy  

 

Version

1.1

Review Date

1.9.19

 Review Cycle

 Annually

 Review Due

 1.9.20

 Author / Owner

 

Shirley Levy

 

General Statement

Winchelsea School supports the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and the UN Convention on the Rights of People with disabilities and the Human Rights Act 1998. Through our policies and actions, we undertake to ensure that every child and young person is healthy, safe, is able to enjoy and achieve in their learning experiences, and is able to contribute to the local wider community. 

The school’s actions are intended to ensure the school’s adherence to its public duties and to bring together the school’s approach for promoting equality in its policies and procedures and to ensure that these are reflected in our day-to-day practices and interactions with the whole school community.  The whole school community is considered to consist of pupils, staff, governors, parents and carers and all stakeholders within our extended school community. 

In addition to meeting the duties described above, our actions will embody the school’s key principles and values, which include: 

  • We strive to make the best possible provision for all pupils, regardless of disability, ethnicity, culture, religious belief, national origin or status, gender or sexual orientation.
  • We respect diversity. We believe the process of taking necessary steps to ensure that every young person is given an equality of opportunity to develop socially, to learn and to enjoy community life.  This means that we do our best to make reasonable adjustments for disability, recognise and celebrate cultural differences, and understand the different needs and experiences of boys and girls. 
  • Equality is not simply about protecting the potentially vulnerable. We believe that all children may be disadvantaged by the holding of prejudicial views and seek to promote good relationships between all groups, and positive attitudes towards disabled people, people from different ethnic or cultural groups or faith backgrounds and people of different gender or sexual orientation. 
  • We value staff for their ability and potential to help us make the best possible provision for the children in our school, regardless of disability, ethnicity, culture, religious belief, national origin, gender or sexual orientation.
  • We are proactive in our efforts to identify and minimise existing barriers or inequalities.
  • We seek the views of all groups affected by the policies and work of our school, and try to involve them in policy review where practical.
  • We recognise our role in promoting community cohesion and British values.

The Public Sector Equalities Duty  

The Equalities Act 2010 harmonises and streamlines previous different pieces of antidiscrimination law introduced over the last forty years.   

From April 2011, all schools have been bound by what is known as the Public Sector Equality Duty from the Equalities Act 2010 and this statement outlines how this school endeavours to have due regard for the three main components of this duty in relation to the nine protected characteristics, all of which are explained below. 

Three Main Components of the Public Sector Equalities Duty

This school has considered what each of the three aims of the Public Sector Equalities Duty means in its own context and is committed to carrying them out: 

  1. Eliminate Discrimination – this school will take clear actions that will endeavour to redress any harassment (defined by us as verbal, emotional or physical attacks that happen more than once) and victimisation (defined by us as being singled out to be persistently intentionally harmed) of children/young people or adults that has changed their ability to function in the school environment in their usual way.
  2. Advance Equality of Opportunity – this school believes that it is the responsibility of every member of the whole school community to ‘narrow the gaps’ (theirs and/or other people’s) in order to make progress socially, emotionally and academically.
  1. Foster Good Relations – this school will draw on and emphasise the common purposes within it in order to support, develop and achieve harmonious relationships across the whole school community. We aim for all children, parents and carers to be fully engaged in school life.

Protected Characteristics

The Equality Act 2010 brings together a number of existing laws for ease of use. The Act sets out the personal characteristics that are protected by the law and the behaviour that is deemed unlawful, i.e. direct discrimination, discrimination by association, discrimination by perception, indirect discrimination, harassment and victimisation.  

The Act explains that having due regard for advancing equality involves:

  • Removing or minimising disadvantages suffered by people due to their protected characteristics.
  • Taking steps to meet the needs of people from protected groups where these are different from the needs of other people.
  • Encouraging people from protected groups to participate in public life or in other activities where their participation is disproportionately low.

The nine Protected Characteristics to which these aims are applied are:

  • Age
  • Disability
  • Race
  • Gender Reassignment
  • Sex
  • Marriage and civil partnership
  • Pregnancy and maternity
  • Religion and belief
  • Sexual orientation

*different treatment because of age is not unlawful direct or indirect discrimination if it can be justified (for example as a proportionate means of meeting a legitimate aim). Age is the only protected characteristic that allows employers to justify direct discrimination, i.e. setting a maximum age for employment

Guiding Principles Underlying the Implementation of the Equalities Duty Aims 

The Equalities Act explains that having due regard of the aims to eliminate discrimination and to foster good relations will involve the need to tackle prejudice and promote understanding.   

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WARNING - It must be noted that all schools have a duty to comply with the Equality Act 2010 and its public sector duties.  Failure to do so could result in legal action against the school’s Governing Body. Employees of the school acting on behalf of the Governing Body are also liable for their own discriminatory actions.   

To fulfil the school’s legal obligations and to reinforce our ethos, 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;
  • Whatever their ethnicity, culture, religious affiliation, national origin or national status;
  • Whatever their gender or gender identity;  Whatever their sexual identity.

Principle 2

We Recognise and Respect Difference 

Treating people equally (Principle 1 above) does not necessarily involve treating them all the same. Policies, procedures and activities must not discriminate but never the less take account of differences of life experience, outlook and background, and in the kinds of barrier and disadvantage which people may face, in relation to:

  • Disability, so that reasonable adjustments are made;
  • Ethnicity, so that different cultural backgrounds and experiences of prejudice are recognized;
  • Gender, so that the different needs and experiences of girls and boys, women and men are recognized;  Sexual identity.

Principle 3

We Foster Positive Attitudes and Relationships and a Shared Sense of Cohesion and Belonging 

The school’s policies, procedure and activities need to promote:

  • Positive attitudes and actions towards disabled people, good relationships between disabled and non-disabled people, and an absence of harassment of disabled people.
  • 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.
  • Mutual respect and good relationships between girls and boys, women and men and an absence of sexual and homophobic harassment.

Principle 4

We Observe Good Equalities Practice in Staff Recruitment, Retention and Development 

The school’s policies, procedures need to benefit all employees and potential employees, for example in recruitment and promotion and in continuing professional development:

  • Whether or not they are disabled.
  • Whatever their ethnicity, culture, religious affiliation, national origin or national status.
  • Whatever their gender and sexual identity and with full respect for legal rights relating to pregnancy and maternity.
  • Whatever their age.

Principle 5

We Aim to Reduce and Remove Inequalities and Barriers 

In addition to avoiding or minimising possible negative impacts of our policies, the school takes opportunities to maximise positive impacts by reducing and removing inequalities and barriers that may already exist between: 

  • Disabled and non-disabled;
  • People of different ethnic, cultural and religious backgrounds;
  • Girls and boys, women and men;  People of any sexual orientation.

Principle 6

We Consult and Involve Widely 

People affected by a policy or activity should be consulted and involved in the design of new policies and in review of existing ones as far as practical considerations allow.   Consultation involves:

  • Disabled and non-disabled;
  • People of different ethnic, cultural and religious backgrounds;
  • Girls and boys, women and men;  People of any sexual orientation.

Principle 7

We Address Prejudice and Prejudice Related Bullying 

There is no place at Winchelsea School for prejudice or bullying.

The school opposes any form of prejudice which might prevent the school from fulfilling its legal duties.  Such prejudice can concern issues of:

  • Disability and special educational needs;
  • Racism and xenophobia, including those that are directed against religious groups and communities, for example anti-Semitism and Islam phobia, and those that are directed against travellers, migrants, refugees and people seeking asylum;  Sexism or homophobia.

Principle 8

Society as a Whole Should Benefit  

School 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 and non disabled;
  • People of different ethnic, cultural and religious backgrounds;
  • Girls and boys, women and men;  People of any sexual orientation.

Principle 9 

The Setting of Objectives 

In order to ensure that the school has due regard for the application of these principles, an Equalities Action Plan has been drawn up.  This will be reviewed annually and refreshed on a four year cycle.

The school is required by law to publish information which demonstrates compliance with the equalities duties and then also prepare and publish specific and measurable objectives.  An Action Plan is the most effective means of meeting this end.    

The Implementation of Change

When significant new policies or procedures are introduced, the school should undertake an Equality Impact Assessment (EQIA) to ensure that the intended change does not have the potential to produce any unforeseen consequences and inadvertently discriminate against any disadvantaged or vulnerable people.

Collecting and Analysing Equality Information for Pupils  

Winchelsea School is an inclusive school.  We will record incidents of bullying/prejudice of any kind in line with Borough of Poole guidelines.

We use the curriculum and teaching to enhance the self-esteem of all those it serves and to provide a learning environment in which each individual is encouraged to fulfil her or his potential. 

We collect and analyse the following equality information for our pupils: 

  • Attainment levels
  • Progress levels
  • Attendance levels
  • Behaviour Data
  • Exclusions
  • Attendance at Extended School activities/extra curricular activities (e.g. school trips) 
  • Participation in School Council

Collecting and Analysing Equality Information for Employment and Governance

Winchelsea School is committed to providing a working environment free from discrimination, victimisation and harassment. 

Winchelsea School also aims to recruit an appropriately qualified and skilled workforce and Governing Body that is able to provide a service that respects and responds to the diverse needs of the school community. 

The School Workforce Census enables us to collect data on staff relating to gender, race and disability.  All staff vacancies are filled using the Local Authority application process which contain requests for information relating to ethnicity, gender and disability.  However,  applicants can choose to indicate whether or not they wish to give this information. Information relating to an applicant’s age is not collected as part of the initial recruitment process.

All information relating to staff is kept on the school’s central personnel databases – Employee First as well as RM Integris. 

We collect and analyse the following profile information for our staff: 

  • Applicants for employment (via local authority recruitment forms);
  • Staff profile;
  • Attendance on staff training events;
  • Disciplinary and grievance cases – if any;  Staff appraisals/performance management. 

Admissions and Exclusions

Our admissions arrangements are fair and transparent, and do not discriminate on race, gender, disability or socio-economic factors.

Exclusions are a last resort and will always be based on the school’s Behaviour Policy.   Each case will be treated individually and we will closely monitor exclusions to avoid any potential adverse impact and ensure any discrepancies are identified and dealt with.

Consultation and Involvement

It is a requirement that the development of the Action Plan has been informed by the input of staff, pupils and parents and carers. We have achieved this by using the following to shape the plan:

  • Feedback from the annual parent questionnaire, parents’ evening, parent-teacher structured conversation meetings;
  • Input from staff surveys or through staff meetings / INSET (In Service Training);
  • Feedback from the school council, PSHE (Personal, Social and Health Education) lessons, whole school surveys on children’s attitudes and responses to self and school;
  • Issues raised in annual reviews, PEP (Personal Education Plan) and CIN (Child In Need) meetings or reviews of progress on Individual Education Plans as well feedback from other in school sources;
  • Feedback at Governing Body meetings;
  • School data.

Roles and Responsibilities

The Governing Body will ensure that the school complies with statutory requirements in respect of this scheme and associated Action Plan. 

The Headteacher is responsible for the implementation of this scheme, and will ensure that staff are aware of their rights and responsibilities, that they are given necessary training and support and report progress to the Governing Body. 

The Headteacher has day-to-day responsibility for co-ordinating the implementation of this scheme. 

Staff are expected to adhere to this policy and to attend any appropriate training as well as  promoting an inclusive and collaborative ethos in the school.  Staff are expected to challenge inappropriate language and behaviour, respond pro-actively and appropriately to incidents of discrimination and harassment, ensure appropriate support for children, maintain a good level of awareness of equalities issues and avoid the reinforcement of stereotyping. 

Staff are also expected to plan and deliver lessons which adhere to the school’s equality framework.

Staff will also provide and analyse quantitative and qualitative data that supports better understanding of any equality issues which might arise as well as undertaking and supporting all relevant equality impact assessment processes.

The pupils have a responsibility to themselves and others to treat each other with respect, to feel valued and to speak out if they witness or are subject to any inappropriate language or behaviour. 

The school will take steps to ensure all visitors to the school, including parents/carers, adhere to this commitment to equality. 

Rights Respecting Schools

The Rights Respecting Schools Award (RRSA) recognises a school’s achievement in putting the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child into practice within the school and beyond

For a school to receive accreditation, it must evidence that it has reached the four standards of a Rights Respecting School. A school uses these standards and other guidance provided to plan and monitor progress.

There are four RRSA Standards:

Standard A: Rights-respecting values underpin leadership and management

The best interests of the child are a top priority in all actions. Leaders are committed to placing the values and principles of the CRC at the heart of all policies and practice.

Standard B: The whole school community learns about the CRC

The Convention is made known to children and adults. Young people and adults use this shared understanding to work for global justice and sustainable living.

Standard C: The school has a rights-respecting ethos

Young people and adults collaborate to develop and maintain a rights-respecting school community, based on the CRC, in all areas and in all aspects of school life.

Standard D: Children and young people are empowered to become active citizens and learners

Every child has the right to say what they think in all matters affecting them and to have their views taken seriously. Young people develop the confidence, through their experience of an inclusive rights-respecting school community, to play an active role in their own learning and to speak and act for the rights of all to be respected locally and globally.

This school successfully achieved Level 1 RRSA in January 2017.

Annual Review of Progress 

The action plan will be reviewed on an annual basis by representatives of the staff and the Governing Body.

 Ongoing Evolution of the Equality Action Plan

 We will continue to involve people from all aspects of our school community in the ongoing evolvement of our actions.  This includes: 

  • A regular item at School Council meetings to discuss equality and diversity issues;    A regular item at staff meetings;
  • School open days/evenings for the wider school community to celebrate the work of  pupils and give the opportunity for feedback, including plays and performances;    Regular reviews of the Equality Plan by the Governing Body.

Publishing the Equality Action Plan

The Equality Action Plan will be made accessible to all persons within our local and school community in the following ways: 

  • Publication on the school website;
  • Raise awareness of the plan through the school newsletter, assemblies, staff induction and meetings;
  • Provide hard copies when requested.

Commissioning and Procurement 

Winchelsea School is required by law to ensure that when it purchases services from another organisation that it will complies with equality legislation.  

Ensuring Equality of Opportunity and Participation

The school will ensure that:

  • An appropriate range of interventions and approaches will be adopted to uplift pupil attainment.
  • Pupil achievement is monitored through a range of cohort groups including level of need, socio-economic groups, race, gender and disability.
  • Where there are any trends or patterns in the data that may require additional action to narrow attainment gaps, that appropriate actions are undertaken.
  • All staff are aware of the school’s Equality Action Plan.
  • The talents of all pupils are recognised and celebrated.
  • There is an inclusive approach to ensuring all pupils are given the opportunity to make a positive contribution to the life of the school e.g. through involvement in the School Council, class assemblies, school performances, fund raising etc.
  • All children can take part in all aspects of the curriculum, including educational visits and journeys.
  • Extended school activities such as after-school clubs, holiday clubs take into account pupil needs and access issues and pupils attending reflect the diversity of the school population in terms of race, gender, disability and socio-economic status.
  • Staff, governors, pupils, parents and carers will continue to be involved in the future development of the Equality Plan through input and feedback from surveys, staff meetings, School Council meetings, parents evenings etc.

The school will provide:

  • Support for pupils who are under-achieving, in order to make progress in their learning and their personal well-being, i.e. ensuring that children with visual impairment have accessible texts, appropriate compensatory ICT (Information and Communications Technology) tools.
  • Additional support for parents of under-achieving children (e.g. reporting progress, discussing needs).
  • Additional support for disabled parents/carers and staff to help them to play a full part in the life of the school (e.g. providing a sign interpreter for a deaf parent; ensuring that meetings are held in the most accessible parts of the school to support wheelchair users).

Elimination of Discrimination and Harassment

The school will:

  • Develop and adapt its procedures on anti-bullying to include equality perspectives.
  • Support staff to challenge and address any bullying and harassment that is based on a person’s race, gender or ethnicity.
  • Keep a record and report how these incidents are dealt with to the Governing Body and Local Authority on a termly basis.
  • Review its approach to race, gender and disability bullying and harassment whenever it reviews its policy on behaviour.

Parent Information

27 Mar 2020

Please find attached some information regarding SEND children & families. If you have any questions, please get in touch. SEND_Letter_to_Parents.pdf SENDIASS_Letter.pdf SENDIASS_FactSheet.pdf Rega...

Friday 27th March - AM

27 Mar 2020

The only update so far today is.... IT'S TIME FOR A SING-A-LONG!!!!!! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zg9BzBLvpJ8 Regards,Geoff 

Friday 27th March - PM

27 Mar 2020

Hi everyone! Well, what a week that's been!!! I hope you are all doing ok. Thank you so much for your help and support this week. You have allowed us to be safely open for everyone who needed us to be...

Important Information

26 Mar 2020

Domestic Abuse As we all do our best to cope with coronavirus and the measures we are all taking to conquer it, our thoughts are with those adult and children living with abusive perpetrators. Where h...

Resources

26 Mar 2020

Please see attched for some recommended YouTube Channels and Websites. Website_Links_for_Parents.pdf I have added this to the Updates tab on the website too. Regards,Geoff CherrillHeadteacher

Thursday 26th March - AM

26 Mar 2020

Sorry about the flurry of messages this morning! I just needed to share some stuff with you all. I'm sure you're all going to be sick of me soon!! Just a quick message this morning.... I know some of...

Messages to Staff

26 Mar 2020

I have just posted a video and left the comments on. Please feel free to post any messages to your amazing school staff on this video. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xwyoO_zM-RE All other videos will...

Thursday 26th March - PM

26 Mar 2020

Hi everyone! I hope you are all ok and you are keeping safe. If you haven't already been in touch with us about Free School Meals, please contact us tomorrow, as we are able to help you with this. If...

Wednesday 25th March - AM

25 Mar 2020

Hi everyone! I hope you're all doing ok and enjoying the sunshine if you can! Nothing new to update you on so far today, so a couple of reminders... Please keep getting people to subscribe to the YouT...

Wednesday 25th March - PM

25 Mar 2020

Good afternoon everyone! I hope you are all ok and everyone is managing to keep calm!! Again, I have nothing new to update at the moment. However, I understand a few of you are anxious about a couple...

Tuesday 24th March - AM

24 Mar 2020

Good morning! Thank you all so much for keeping so many of your children at home. Once again, we have been able to stay open for those families who need us to be open.  I have no doubt that many...

Tuesday 24th March - PM

24 Mar 2020

Todays afternoon message will be on the YouTube channel shortly! Please keep sharing the link! Regards,Geoff 

Monday 23rd March

23 Mar 2020

Good morning! Thank you all for your help today! I have a huge number of staff absent from school and your support has meant we can be open for those families who need us to be open. Please can I emph...

Staff Contact

23 Mar 2020

I know some of you are starting to feel really anxious. In case it helps, I have added class teacher email addresses to the 'Updates' tab on the website home page. Please feel free to contact your cla...

Monday 23rd March - PM

23 Mar 2020

Good afternoon everyone, We have had a good day today! The pupils in school have all been great. Thanks again for your support.  I don't have anything new to update but I just wanted to say somet...

Monday 23rd March - Evening

23 Mar 2020

Following tonights announcement, please can you keep your children at home unless absolutely necessary. I am extremely unlikely to have many staff available to me in the next few days. I need to be ab...

Sunday Update

22 Mar 2020

Happy Mothers Day to you all! Following yesterdays advice about social distancing, I wanted to be clear about a few things -  I wil open the school gate today between 11am and 1pm. You are welcom...

On a positive note...

22 Mar 2020

Next week, we will start looking at how to put in place some amazing ideas from staff for you all. This will include some video messages, book readings and some challenges for you to do at home with y...

Just remembered...

22 Mar 2020

Until further notice, children do not have to wear school uniform to school.  I know some of the children prefer to wear uniform and thats fine if they do! Whatever is easiest for you all! Regard...

Sunday Evening

22 Mar 2020

Hi everyone, I hope you've all had a good day. Again, it was lovely to see some of you earlier today. Big thanks to those staff who called in too! Tomorrow we will welcome back some of our pupils and...

Safeguarding

21 Mar 2020

Although this is an unprecedented situation, it is still vital that we continue to keep our children safe. To help with this, I have attached some safeguarding guidance for you all. We have also set u...

Saturday Update

21 Mar 2020

Hi everyone...hope you're all ok. Nothing new..just checking in. It was really lovely to see a few of you today! I will open again tomorrow from 11am to 1pm. I hope it helped! I think I will find a wa...

Update - Friday 20th March

20 Mar 2020

Good morning! I hope you are all ok and the children are safe and well! Please see attached the latest update. Covid_19_Letter_4_20_March_2020.docx Official_Key_Worker_List.docx If you have any questi...

Free School Meals Update

20 Mar 2020

If your child receives Free School Meals and you have chosen to keep them at home, please contact me if you are concerned about being able to provide food. We will help! I have a long term plan but ov...

Visual Support

20 Mar 2020

Work Packs for pupils remaining at home are now on their way to you. However, please find attached some visual support documents which might be useful to you.  Visual_Support.pdf Visual_Activitie...

Important Update - 20th March

20 Mar 2020

Good afternoon, Attached is the plan for next week. Please make sure you read through the plan and contact us if you have any questions. I will continue to provide updates over the weekend. Please kee...

Friday Message

20 Mar 2020

Hi everyone...hope you're all ok! Nothing new to update but wanted to ask you all a favour. I know all of our pupils are vulnerable but some of our parents have children with very complex and very cha...

Update

19 Mar 2020

Good Morning! I will provide an update for you all at around 10.00am this morning. In the meantime, please could you avoid calling the school office unless you are reporting that a child or family mem...

Provisional Plan

19 Mar 2020

Please see the attached letter. Please ensure that you respond to the requests in this letter within the requested timeframe. Covid_19_Letter_3_19_March_2020.docx A big thank you from me for your pati...

Transport Update

19 Mar 2020

I have been advised that, at present, the intention is to provide transport for those of you who are entitled to it and would like your children to attend next week. This may change due to staffing le...

Update

19 Mar 2020

Good afternoon!  I hope you are all doing ok! I would like to thank you all for your patience and support today. I really do appreciate it. We now have a plan in place for the rest of this term....

Support

19 Mar 2020

Over the past few days, we have been working to develop a number of things which may help families in the coming weeks. This is particularly important for those families with NHS staff. If any family...

Update

19 Mar 2020

Good evening everyone! I hope you are all keeping safe and healthy!  I don't have much by way of an update but I expect to get more information tomorrow. However, I have heard tonight that my ama...

Coronavirus Social Stories

18 Mar 2020

Dear Parents and Carers Please see attached social stories. Coronavirus_social_story.pdf Coronavirus_one_page_social_story.pptx Social stories are a way of simplifying information for children. Pleas...

School Closure

18 Mar 2020

Please be advised that I have taken the decision to close the school on Thursday 19th March & Friday 20th March. I have made this decision for operational reasons and NOT because we have any confi...

Message from Geoff

18 Mar 2020

I know that tonights news has created more questions than it has answered. Please do not worry or speculate about what may happen. I will be clarifiyng a few things in the morning and will then update...

Parents/Carers Support

17 Mar 2020

Dear Parents/Carers In order for us to support families at this challenging time please could any Parent/Carers who currently work in the NHS contact the school. This is simply so we can see if we can...

Update

16 Mar 2020

Please be advised that we have cancelled all swimming sessions until after the Easter holiday.  We will keep you updated with any other changes throughout this week. Thanks for your understanding...

Coronavirus Update

11 Mar 2020

Dear Parents/Carers Following the recent news about a confirmed case of the virus at a local gym, I have received a number of queries from Parents/Carers. The current advice from Public Health England...

Sport Relief - Friday 13 March 2020

11 Mar 2020

Dear Parent/Carer, On Friday 13 March, we will be raising awareness and money for Sport Relief. Details taken from the Sport Relief website provides information about how monies raised is spent: &lsqu...

Coronavirus Government Advice to Parents

11 Mar 2020

Dear Parent/Carer, Please find shown below the latest government advice to parents: What to do if pupils, students or staff in your institution are contacts of a confirmed case of COVID-19. The defin...

Department for Education - Coronavirus Advice

11 Mar 2020

Dear Parent/Carer, Government Coronavirus Action Plan On Tuesday, the Coronavirus action plan was launched. This document sets out what the UK as a whole has done to tackle the Coronavirus (COVID-19),...