Equalities

How we make our school inclusive for all our children.

Eltham Church of England Primary School Single Equality Scheme
September 2016

 

Equality Statement

 

Legal Duties

As a school we welcome our duties under the Equality Act 2010. The general duties are to:

  • eliminate discrimination
  • advance equality of opportunity
  • foster good relations

We understand the principle of the act and the work needed to ensure that those with protected characteristics are not discriminated against and are given equality of opportunity.

A protected characteristic under the act covers the groups listed below:

  • age (for employees not for service provision)
  • disability
  • race
  • sex (including issues of transgender)
  • gender reassignment
  • maternity and pregnancy
  • religion and belief
  • sexual orientation
  • marriage and civil partnership (for employees)

In order to meet our general duties, listed above, the law requires us to do some specific duties to demonstrate how we meet the general duties. These are to:

  • publish equality information – to demonstrate compliance with the general duty across its functions (we will not publish any information that can specifically identify any child)
  • prepare and publish equality objectives

To do this we will collect data related to the protected characteristics above and analyse this data to determine our focus for our equality objectives. The data will be assessed across our core provisions as a school. This will include the following functions:

  • admissions
  • attendance
  • attainment
  • exclusions
  • prejudice related incidents

Our objectives will detail how we will ensure equality is applied to the services listed above however where we find evidence that other functions have a significant impact on any particular group we will include work in this area.

We also welcome our duty under the Education and Inspections Act 2006 to promote community cohesion.

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.

In fulfilling our legal obligations we will:

  • recognise and respect diversity
  • foster positive attitudes and relationships and a shared sense of belonging
  • observe good equalities practice, including staff recruitment, retention and development
  • aim to reduce and remove existing inequalities and barriers
  • consult and involve widely
  • strive to ensure that society will benefit

Our ethos (School Mission Statement)

At this school:

We nurture supportive and happy relationships throughout the school so that children look forward to coming to school and feel valued by those around them. Our Christian values underpin everything we do at Eltham C of E. and Prayer and reflection enhances the spiritual and moral development of our children. We strive to nurture an ethos that embodies the phrase, “Love thy neighbour.” Our School Values are:

Love
Resilience
Forgiveness
Understanding
Enthusiasm
Respect

Addressing Prejudice Related Incidents

This school is opposed to all forms of prejudice and we recognise that children and young people who experience any form of prejudice related discrimination may fair less well in the education system. We provide both our pupils and staff with an awareness of the impact of prejudice in order to prevent any incidents. If incidents still occur we address them immediately and report them to the Local Authority using their guidance material. The Local Authority may provide some support.

Responsibility

We believe that promoting Equality is the whole school’s responsibility.

We will ensure that the whole school community is aware of the Single Equality Scheme and our published equality information and equality objectives by publishing them on the school’s website.

Breaches

Breaches to this statement 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.

Monitor and Review

This Equality Policy is supported by a Single Equality Scheme. It is linked to the school development plan and includes targets determined by the governing body for promoting equality. As part of the regular schedule for monitoring policies and other aspects of school life, this policy and the related action plan will be reviewed by Governors. We will update our Action Plan in the light of our review of activities and information gathering undertaken throughout the year. We will formally review our Single Equality Scheme every three years.

Any pattern of inequality found as a result of this monitoring will be used to inform future planning and decision-making.

This policy provides a framework within which all other school polices are implemented.

Date approved by the Governing Body (September 2015)
Date to be reviewed by the Governing Body (September 2017)

School Equalities Information and Objectives

Our school has used the following process to assist them in identifying some of the barriers to their pupils in accessing education provision.

Stage 1: Understanding Our School Community – Pupils

  • What is the school profile?
  • How many children are on roll at the school? 316
  • What information on pupils is collected by protected characteristics?

Using data from the database, the following information was available: Spring 2015

Stage 2: Understanding the Information Gathered

Using the monitoring information gathered the school looked at the following to identify whether there were any obvious gaps or potential issues for pupils in relation to the protected characteristics:

  • Admissions
  • Attainment
  • Attendance
  • Engagement in school activities
  • Exclusions
  • Prejudice related incidents
  • Rewards and sanctions
  • Representation on school bodies e.g school councils,

Attainment

Equality Objective: To explore and understand the issues of FSM pupil progress further so that the school can close the gaps.

Why: Our school’s local statistics bear out the findings of national statistics where non FSM pupils outperform FSM pupils at Key stage 2 in Reading, Writing and Maths. The Average Points Score for pupils from the groups for the past 3 years is shown below:

While we can see a narrowing gap between the groups over time, we would like to work towards eradicating this gap completely over time.

How: Track and provide intervention for FSM pupils. Identify any link to any other protected characteristics alongside FSM. Evaluate the impact of current methods and interventions introduced in the previous and current academic year. Target families known to the school at the earliest opportunity to engage in Early Help.

Outcome: We intend to use the information gathered to further develop and improve FSM pupils’ skills in Reading, Writing and Maths.

Prejudice Related Incidents

Equality Objective:

Raise awareness of sexual orientation and promote positive attitudes towards alternative lifestyles and lessen the chances of the word ‘gay’ being used negatively or for colloquial humour. To promote Southwark Diocese publication ‘Valuing All God’s Children’ on homophobic bullying.

Why: Through monitoring behaviour logs it was observed that on occasions the term ‘gay’ is used as a derogatory term or in the context of colloquial humour. In general the children had little knowledge of people with this protected characteristic, nor the impact that using this terminology has.

How: Follow the guidance ‘Valuing All God’s Children’. Use circle time, RE and PSHE sessions to tackle any incidents of homophobic name calling and remarks. We will use Restorative Approaches and work with children who demonstrate negative attitudes.

Outcome: To raise awareness of this protected characteristics and to reduce the number of prejudice related incidents.

Employment

We recognise our duties under the Equality Act in respect of the staff we employ. We have set the following objectives:

Equality Objective:

To be aware that our workforce should reflect the community with which the school serves

Why: We recognise that it is important to have a workforce that represents the community we serve, and to which the children relate.

How: We are committed to the implementation of equal opportunities principles and the monitoring and active promotion of equality in all aspects of staffing and employment. All staff appointments and promotions are made on the basis of merit and ability and in compliance with the law. We are however, also commited to ensure wherever possible that the staffing of the school reflects the diversity of our community.

Outcome: Have a more diverse workforce to represent the community we serve.

Equality Objective:

Ensure we maintain a diverse and professional workforce.

Why: We want all staff to feel valued and be able to realise their full potential.

How: As an employer we strive to ensure that we eliminate discrimination and harassment in our employment practice and actively promote equality across all groups within our workforce. We respect the religious beliefs and practice of all staff, pupils and parents, and comply with reasonable requests relating to religious observance and practice. We will ensure that all staff are given the opportunity to access all developmental opportunities. This includes internal and external CPD as well as taking on leadership roles within the school setting. Analyse staff questionnaires annually in relation to professional development. Analyse data on which staff attend courses, etc.

Outcome: To have a professional workforce that feels valued, and treated fairly in accessing training and development opportunities to develop their professionalism.

Additional Objectives:

Our data did not identify any areas of concern in relation to religion or belief or to age. However we have decided to include actions in the area noted below:

  • In order to keep the school’s Distinctive Christian Character we will maintain a high profile on our Religious Education Programme and include how Christianity relates to the other major religions of the world, including visiting different places of worship as part of our school curriculum activities as appropriate.