Lees Brook is an inclusive school where we focus on the well-being and progress of every student and where all members of our community are of equal worth.
We believe that the Equality Act provides a framework to support our commitment to valuing diversity, tackling discrimination, promoting equality and fostering good relationships between people. It also ensures that we continue to tackle issues of disadvantage and underachievement.
We recognise that these duties 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.
• All learners are of equal value. Whether or not they are disabled, 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 and whatever their sexual orientation.
• We recognise, respect and value difference and understand that diversity is a strength. We take account of difference and strive to remove barriers and disadvantages which people may face, in relation to disability, ethnicity, gender, religion, belief or faith and sexual orientation. We believe that diversity is strength, which should be respected and celebrated by all those who learn, teach and visit here.
• We foster positive attitudes and relationships. We actively promote positive attitudes and mutual respect between groups and communities different from each other.
• We foster a shared sense of cohesion and belonging. We want all members of our school community to feel a sense of belonging within the school and wider community and to feel that they are respected and able to participate fully in school life.
• We observe good equalities practice for our staff. We ensure that policies and procedures benefit all employees and potential employees in all aspects of their work, including in recruitment and promotion, and in continuing professional development.
• We have the highest expectations of all our students. We expect that all students can make good progress and achieve to their highest potential.
• We work to raise standards for all students, but especially for the most vulnerable. We believe that improving the quality of education for the most vulnerable groups of students raises standards across the whole school.
The Equality Act 2012 was introduced to ensure protection from discrimination, harassment and victimisation on the grounds of specific characteristics (referred to as protected characteristics). This means that schools cannot discriminate against students or treat them less favourably because of their sex (gender), race, disability, religion or belief, gender reassignment, sexual orientation or pregnancy.
Age and marriage and civil partnerships are also ‘protected characteristics’ but are not part of the school provisions related to students.
The Act requires all public organisations, including schools to comply with the Public Sector Equality Duty and two specific duties
The Public Sector Duty or ‘general duty’ which requires schools to:
• Eliminate unlawful discrimination, harassment and victimisation
• Advance equality of opportunity between different groups
• Foster good relations between different groups
Two ‘specific duties’ which require schools to:
• Publish information to show compliance with the Equality Duty
• Publish equality objectives at least every four years which are specific and measurable
This policy describes how the school is meeting these statutory duties and is in line with national guidance. It includes information about how the school is complying with the Public Sector Equality Duty and also provides guidance to staff and visitors about our approach to promoting equality
Although this policy is the key document for information about our approach to equalities in line with the Public sector Equality Duty, we ensure that our responsibilities under the Equality Act are also included in our school development plan, self evaluation review, the school website and newsletters. There are also references in the behaviour, admissions, SEN and anti-bullying policies as well as minutes of meetings involving governors, the whole staff, the senior leadership team and the student council. The duties of the school as an employer are reflected in our Safer Recruitment policy.
This policy was developed by the Equality Task group in consultation with students, staff, governors, parents and carers and community groups.
In developing this policy we took account of Ofsted requirements to ensure that:
• Disabled students and those who have special educational needs have achieved since joining the school.
• Gaps are narrowing between the performance of different groups of students, both in the school and in comparison to those of all students nationally.
• Teaching strategies, including setting appropriate homework together with support and intervention, match individual needs.
• Student’s behaviour towards and respect for, other young people and adults, and their freedom from bullying, harassment and discrimination is maintained.
• Teachers manage the behaviour and expectations of students to ensure that all students have an equal and fair chance to thrive and learn in an atmosphere of respect and dignity.
• We provide a broad and balanced curriculum that meets the needs of all students, enables all students to achieve their full educational potential and make progress in their learning, and promotes their good behaviour and safety and their spiritual, moral and cultural development.
• Take account of equality issues in relation to admissions and exclusions; the way we provide education for our students and the way we provide access for student access to facilities and services.
• Are aware of the Reasonable Adjustment duty for disabled students and ensure that disabled students are not disadvantaged in terms of access or participation.
• Ensure that all appointment panels give due regard to this policy and the Safer Recruitment Policy to ensure that no one is discriminated against when it comes to employment, promotion or training opportunities.
• Ensure that those who are affected by a policy or activity are consulted and involved in the design of new policies, and in the review of existing ones.
• Take seriously the need to consider the equality implications when we develop, adapt and review any policy and procedure and whenever we make significant decisions about the day to day planning of the school.
• Actively promote equality and diversity through the curriculum and by creating an environment which champions respect for all.
• Ensure our admissions arrangements are fair and transparent, and we do not discriminate against students by treating them less favourably on the grounds of their sex, race, disability, religion or relief, sexual orientation, gender reassignment or pregnancy.
• Challenge all forms of prejudice and prejudice based bullying which stand in the way of fulfilling our commitment to inclusion and equality including:
- prejudices around disability and special educational needs
- prejudices around race, religion
Behaviour, Exclusions and Attendance
• The school policy on Behaviour takes full account of the new duties under the Equality Act.
• We make reasonable, appropriate and flexible adjustment for students with a disability.
• We monitor data on exclusions and absence from school for evidence of over-representation of different groups and take action promptly to address concerns.
Addressing prejudice and prejudice based bullying
The school challenges all forms of prejudice and prejudice based bullying which stand in the way of fulfilling our commitment to inclusion and equality including:
- prejudices around disability and special educational needs
- prejudices around race, religion or belief, for example anti-Semitism and Islamophobia, Travellers, migrants, refugees and people seeking asylum
- prejudices around gender and sexual orientation, including homophobic and transphobic attitudes
We keep a record of any prejudice related incidents and report to Governors about the numbers, types and seriousness and how we they were dealt with. We review this termly and continually take action to reduce incidents.
• Will take positive and proportionate action to address the disadvantage faced by particular groups of students with particular protected characteristics, such as targeted support.
• Know the needs of our school population very well and collect and analyse data in order to inform our planning and identify targets to achieve improvements.
• Have procedures, working in partnership with parents and carers and external agencies, to identify children who have a disability through our pupil admission meetings
• Collect data and monitor progress and outcomes of different groups of students and use this data to support school improvement.
• Avoid language that runs the risk of placing a ceiling on students’ achievement or that seeks to define their potential as learners.
• Use a range of teaching strategies that ensures we meet the needs of all students and remove barriers to participation where necessary.
• Provide support to students at risk of underachieving.
• Are alert and proactive about the potentially damaging impact of negative language in matters such as race, gender, disability and sexuality.
• Ensure equality of access for all students to a broad and balanced curriculum, removing barriers to participation where necessary.
• Prepare our students for life in a diverse society and ensure that there are activities across the curriculum that promotes the spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of our students.
• Teach about the difference and diversity and the impact of stereotyping, prejudice and discrimination through Citizenship and across the curriculum.
• Use materials and resources that reflect the diversity of the school, population and community in terms of race, gender, sexual identity and disability and avoid stereotyping.
• Promote a whole school ethos and values which challenge prejudice based discriminatory language, attitudes and behaviour.
• Provide opportunities for students to appreciate their own culture and celebrate the diversity of other cultures.
• Include the contribution of different cultures to world history and promote positive images of people from different cultures.
• Provide opportunities for students to listen to a range of opinions and empathise with different experiences.
• Promote positive messages about equality and diversity through displays, assemblies, visitors, and whole school events.
• Include Equalities matters in our Newsletters to parents and carers.
• Are committed to the implementation of equal opportunities principles and the monitoring and active promotion in all aspects of staffing and employment
• Ensure that all staff appointments and promotions are made on the basis of merit and ability and in compliance with safer recruitment guidelines
• Ensure that the staffing complement reflects the needs of the students
• Respect the religious beliefs and practice of all staff and comply with reasonable requests relating to religious observation and practice
• Ensure that all staff receive appropriate training and opportunities for professional development as individuals or in groups/teams
The objectives which we identify represent the school’s priorities and are the outcome of a careful review of data and other evidence. They also take into account national and local priorities and issues. We evaluate our success in meeting the Public Service Equality Duties by the extent to which we achieve improved outcomes for the different groups.
Our Equality objectives for 2017-2019 are:
• To narrow the gap in performance of SEN and Pupil Premium students
• To anticipate the needs of incoming students from Eastern Europe
• To train all members of staff and governors involved in recruitment on equal opportunities and non-discrimination
We collect, analyse and publish data on:
• The school population by gender and ethnicity
• The % of students identified as having special educational need and/or disability and by their principal need or disability
• Year groups in terms of ethnicity, gender and proficiency in English
• Inequalities of outcome and participation related to ethnicity, gender, disability and proficiency in English
• Analysis of standards reached by different groups at the end of each key stage eg FSM, SEN, LAC, Migrants, Refugees
Our Accessibility Plan 2017-2019 is designed to increase the extent to which students with disability can participate in the curriculum, improve the physical environment and improve the availability of accessible information to disadvantaged groups.
We expect all members of the school community and visitors to support our commitment to promoting equalities and meeting the requirements of the Equality Act. We will provide training, guidance and information to enable them to do this.
The Governing Body is responsible for ensuring that the school complies with legislation, and that this policy and its related procedures and actions are implemented. Governing Body sub-committees keep aspects of the school’s commitment to the Equality Duty under review in terms of standards, curriculum, admissions, exclusions, premises, finance and personnel.
The Headteacher is responsible for implementing the 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.
Teaching and Support staff will:
• Promote an inclusive and collaborative ethos in their classroom/work area
• Challenge prejudice and discrimination
• Deal fairly and professionally with any prejudice-related incidents that may occur
• Maintain the highest expectations of success for all students
• Support different groups of students through differentiated planning and teaching
• Keep up to date with equalities legislation relevant to their role
We review the information and data in the policy annually and make adjustments as appropriate. The review involves students, staff, governors, parents and carers.
This policy along with the Equality Objectives and data is available:
• On the school website
• On the school network
• On display for visitors
• As part of Induction for new staff