Equal Opportunities Policy and Equality Information

Meadow High School

Equality Objectives Policy and Equality Information

(Single Policy Document)

May 2018

 

EQUALITY OBJECTIVES POLICY

Our Legal Duties

Legislation relating to equality and discrimination is laid out in the Equality Act 2010.

This legislation covers employment (work), the provision of services and public functions, and education. Employers (schools) are liable for discriminatory acts of their employees if they did not take reasonable steps to prevent such acts.

Employees can be liable for acts (where an employer took reasonable steps to prevent such acts).

The ‘Protected Characteristics’ within equality law are:

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

 

‘Prohibited Conduct’ (acts that are unlawful):

  • Direct discrimination – Examples: Less favourable treatment because of a protected characteristic.
     
  • Indirect discrimination – Examples: A provision, criterion or practice that puts a person at a particular disadvantage and is not a proportionate means of achieving a legitimate aim.
     
  • Harassment – Examples: Conduct which has the purpose or effect of violating dignity or creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment. It includes harassment by a third party (e.g. customer or contractor) in the employment context.
     
  • Victimisation - Subjecting a person to a detriment because of their involvement with proceedings (a complaint) brought in connection with this Act.
     
  • Discrimination arising from disability - Treating someone unfavourably because of something connected with their disability (such as periods of absence from work or medical conditions) and failure to make reasonable adjustments.
     
  • Gender reassignment discrimination – Examples: Not allowing reasonable absence from work for the purpose of gender-reassignment in line with normal provision (such as sick leave).
     
  • Pregnancy/maternity related discrimination – Examples: Unfavourable treatment because of pregnancy or maternity. It includes unfavourable treatment of a woman or girl because she is breastfeeding.
     
  • Discrimination by association or perception – Examples: Discriminating against someone because they “look gay”, or because they have a gay brother; discriminating against someone because they care for a disabled relative.

 

Public Sector Duties (applies to schools):

At Meadow High School we will, in the exercise of its functions, give due regard to the need to (in relation to protected characteristics above):

1. Eliminate discrimination, harassment, victimisation and any other prohibited conduct.

2. Advance equality of opportunity (removes or minimise disadvantage; meet people’s needs; take account of disabilities; encourage participation in public life).

3. Foster good relations between people (tackle prejudice and promote understanding). In practice, ‘due regard’ means giving relevant and proportionate consideration to the duty, so decision makers in schools must have due regard when making a decision, developing a policy or taking an action as to whether it may have implications for people because of their protected characteristics.

 

Schools are required to, and Meadow High school will:

  • Take reasonable steps to avoid disadvantage caused by a provision, criterion or practice or a physical feature that puts a disabled person at a substantial disadvantage compared to a non-disabled person. This involves removing or avoiding a physical feature - for example steps and providing features such as ramps and/or lifts where necessary.
     
  •  Take reasonable steps to provide auxiliary aids/services.
     
  •  Provide information in an accessible format.
     
  •  Develop and implement (by allocating appropriate resources) Accessibility Plans which will:

       1. Increase disabled pupils’ access to the school curriculum

             2. Improve the physical environment

             3. Improve provision of information.

 

The duty is an anticipatory and continuing one that schools owe to disabled pupils generally, regardless of whether the school knows that a particular pupil is disabled or whether the school currently has disabled pupils. At Meadow High School we will plan ahead for the reasonable adjustments that it may need to make, working with the relevant admissions authority as appropriate.

For more information download guidance from the DfE:

http://www.education.gov.uk/aboutdfe/policiesandprocedures/equalityanddiversity/a00 64570/the-equality-act-2010

 

And Equality Human Rights website:

http://www.equalityhumanrights.com

Which includes the guidance for education providers (schools) The Education and Inspections Act 2006 introduced a duty on all maintained schools in England to promote community cohesion.

 

Responsibilities: Governing Body:

  • Ensure that the school complies with equality-related legislation.
     
  • Ensure that the policy and its procedures are implemented by the Head teacher.
     
  • Ensure all other school policies promote equality.
     
  • Give due regard to the Public Sector Equality Duty when making decisions.

 

Head teacher:

  • Implement the policy and its related procedures.
     
  • Make all staff aware of their responsibilities and provide training as appropriate to enable them to effectively deliver this policy.
     
  • Take appropriate action in any case of actual or potential discrimination.
     
  • Ensure that all staff understands their duties regarding recruitment and providing reasonable adjustments to staff. It is unlawful for an employer to enquire about the health of an applicant for a job until a job offer has been made, unless the questions are specifically related to an intrinsic function of the work - for example ensuring that applicants for a PE teaching post have the physical capability to carry out the duties. Schools should no longer require job applicants to complete a generic health questionnaire. Neither should a school seek out past sickness records until they have made a job offer.
     
  • Ensure that all staff and pupils are aware of the process for reporting and following up bullying and prejudice-related incidents.

 

All staff:

  • Enact this policy, its commitments and procedures, and their responsibilities associated with this policy.
     
  • Deal with bullying and discriminatory incidents, and know how to identify and challenge prejudice and stereotyping.
     
  • Promote equality and good relations and not discriminate on any grounds.
     
  • Attend such training and information opportunities as necessary to enact this policy and keep up to date with equality legislation.
     
  • To be models of equal opportunities through their words and actions.

 

Pupils:

  • Refrain from engaging in discriminatory behaviour or any other behaviour that contravenes this policy.

 

Visitors (e.g. parent helpers, contractors):

  • To be aware of, and comply with, the school‘s equality policy.
     
  • To refrain from engaging in discriminatory behaviour (for example, racist language) on school premises.

Appendix

Definitions:

Equality: This is more clearly defined as equality of opportunity and outcome, rather than equality of treatment. This means treating people fairly and according to their needs as some people may need to be treated differently in order to achieve an equal outcome.

Inclusive: Making sure everyone can participate, whatever their background or circumstances.

Diversity: Recognising that we are all different. Diversity is an outcome of equality and inclusion.

Cohesion: People from different backgrounds getting on well together (good community relations). There is a shared vision and sense of purpose or belonging. Diversity is valued. Relationships are strong, supportive and sustainable. Cohesion is an outcome of equality and inclusion.

Community: From the school’s perspective, the term “community” has a number of meanings:

  • The school community – the students we serve, their families and the school‘s staff.
  • The community within which the school is located – in its geographical community, and the people who live and/or work in that area.
  • The community of Britain – all schools by definition are part of it.
  • The global community – formed by European and international links.

Gender Dysphoria: Gender dysphoria is a recognised condition in which a person feels that there is a mismatch between their biological sex and their gender identity. Biological sex is assigned at birth, depending on the appearance of the infant. Gender identity is the gender that a person “identifies” with, or feels themselves to be.

Equality Policy

Our Equalities Policy is in line with national guidance and contains information about how the school complies with the Public Sector Equality Duty. We also give guidance to staff and outside visitors on our approach to promoting equality.

Visions and Aims of Meadow High School

Vision

Our School will provide a happy, safe and stimulating learning environment, where everyone will be inspired and supported to do their personal best.

Aims

Our Aim is that all children and young people at Meadow High School are entitled to an appropriate education, one that meets their needs, promotes high standards and the fulfilment of potential.

 

We promise to:

  • have high aspirations and expectations for all our pupils
     
  • ensure that individuals achieve their personal best
     
  • encourage independence, life skills, self-confidence and positive self esteem
     
  • help our pupils to become confident individuals living fulfilling lives 
     
  • support our pupils to make a successful transition into adulthood, be this employment, further education or training
     
  • have an inclusive community, which values truth, diversity and mutual respect
     
  • have effective communication with all parents/carers and other partners
     
  • recognise, celebrate and record the achievements of all

 

Equality Objectives

Our Equality Objectives reflect the school's priorities and draw upon available data and other evidence. Careful analysis of this is undertaken in order to ensure that we are working to achieve improved outcomes for different groups.

 

For 2018-2019 our Equality Objectives are:

  • To use performance data to monitor student achievement and respond to variations between groups of learners, subjects, courses and key stages, trends over time and comparisons with other schools
     
  • To continue to utilise the skills of the staff to promote fairness, equality and good relations in the context of their role
     
  • To continue to provide an environment that welcomes, protects and respects diverse people
     
  • To ensure that all students are given the opportunity to make a positive contribution to the life of the school by ensuring there is a broad and balanced curriculum that encompasses aspects beyond the classroom
     
  • To ensure a full revision of our PSHCE curriculum covering key health and safety aspects (specific reference to staying safe).
     
  • To address cultural events through the curriculum and assemblies to increase student awareness and understanding of issues in different communities

 

Reviewing Objectives:

We will review and update our equality objectives every year and report annually to the Governing Body on progress towards achieving them. We involve and consult staff, pupils, governors, parents and carers as appropriate throughout the year. Specific tasks relating to these objectives can be found within the School Development Plan.

 

Date of Production

Governor Signature

May 2018

 

Date of Review

Governor Signature

3 yearly