S9 Equality Policy
The school complies with current legislation concerning unlawful discrimination and to promoting best practice in equality of treatment. This policy accords with the Equality Act 2010 via guidance provided by the Department for Education in ‘The Equality Act 2010 and Schools’ (May 2014).
This policy should be read in conjunction with the following school policies:
Child Protection and Safeguarding Policy
Collective Worship Policy
Sex Education Policy
Special Educational Needs Policy and Accessibility Plan
Supporting Students with Medical Conditions Policy
This policy aims to ensure that Maytree Nursery and Infants School is an educationally inclusive school where the teaching and learning, achievements, attitudes and the well-being of every pupil matter. It is fundamental to Maytree that each child is valued equally and accepted as a unique being with her or his distinctive qualities and aptitudes.
As an inclusive school, Maytree’s aim is for all pupils to have the opportunity to access the teaching and learning which takes place in the school, according to their capacities. All pupils may have special needs at different times (including those who are gifted and/or specifically talented) and therefore a wide variety of strategies are used to meet these needs as they arise. Learning diversity is recognised and planned for. Any barriers to learning and participation will be challenged and removed if at all possible subject to what is reasonable for the school’s resources. We aim to consult parents and involve and inform them when special educational provision is made for their child.
It is the intention of Maytree that all pupils be valued and respected, irrespective of academic ability or any particular physical or emotional attributes, gender or cultural, religious, ethnic, racial or socio-economic background.
Incidents of racial, religious, gender, disability or other discrimination including related bullying are recorded and dealt with swiftly and appropriately in line with our ethos, policy guidance and statutory requirements.
The Equality Act 2010 ensures consistency in terms of making the workplace a fair environment and to ensure access to education for those pupils with protected characteristics; increasing the extent to which ALL pupils with protected characteristics can participate in the curriculum; improving the physical environment of schools to increase the extent to which any pupils with protected characteristics can take advantage of education and associated services and by improving the delivery to all stakeholders of information.
The ‘protected characteristics’: Age, disability, gender reassignment, race, religion or belief, sex,
sexual orientation, marriage and civil partnership, and pregnancy and maternity.
(Appendix 1 -Definitions of protected characteristics)
Section 149 of the Equality Act set out the public sector equality duty;
Eliminate unlawful discrimination, harassment and victimisation and other conduct prohibited by or under the Act
Advance equality of opportunity between people who share a protected characteristic and those who do not share it
Foster good relations between people who share a protected characteristic and those who do not share it
The Prevent Duty
The Prevent Duty Guidance: for England and Wales (HMG 2015) came into force on 1 July 2015. The Prevent Duty sets out the need for ‘British Values’ to help everyone live in safe and welcoming communities where they feel they belong. It places duties on schools and registered childcare providers around keeping children safe and promoting their welfare. In particular, the Prevent Duty requires providers to 'have due regard to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism'.
The Special Educational Needs and Disability Code of Practice: 0 to 25 years (2014) Part 3 of the Children and Families Act, published in 2014, relates to provision for children with special educational needs and disabilities. These provisions were outlined in the SEND Code of Practice,
which came into effect on 1 September 2014.
At the heart of the reform is the aspiration for the equal participation of children, young people and their parents in decisions being made about local services, and a focus on improving education and outcomes for children and young people.
The Code (5.1) states that “all children are entitled to an education that enables them to: achieve the best possible educational and other outcomes”.
The school's aims
We have regard for the revised Special Educational Needs and Disability Code of Practice (2014) and ensure that we comply with associated duties in the:
• Early Years Foundation Stage (DfE 2014)
• Working Together to Safeguard Children (DfE 2015)
The aim of this policy is to ensure that all individuals have an equal opportunity to participate fully in school life and to be free of discrimination, harassment and bullying whilst doing so. Through this policy, we prioritise removing barriers to both participation and opportunities, whilst celebrating and promoting the diversity of the school community.
Recognising and respecting difference and diversity
Treating people equally does not necessarily involve treating them the same. Our policies, procedures and activities promote equality and we challenge discriminatory behaviour and language. Nevertheless they take into account differences of life experience, background and
individual needs including the types of barriers and disadvantages that people may face. We respect the religious beliefs and practices of all staff, children and families and comply with reasonable requests relating to religious observance and practice.
Admissions and transitions
Our admissions policy based on SCC guidance and is a fair system. We do not discriminate against any child and will make reasonable adjustment to facilitate places for all children. We aim to fully support all transition phases and understand that different children and their families will need different levels of support to achieve smooth transitions.
Communication and Information
We value and respect all communication, with children, parents/carers, staff and other professionals. We endeavour to listen and schedule meetings at accessible and convenient times.We aim to make information accessible to families using a range of formats including verbal and
visual information, clear written information (including electronic) and translated materials where appropriate. We aim to ensure that all staff, parents, carers and children (where appropriate) know the content of this policy. We provide a complaints procedure and a complaints summary record for parents.
Resources, activities and the environment
We aim to promote an inclusive ethos and offer children a range of relevant resources that positively reflect diversity, as well as suitable activities that reflect their interests. We make reasonable adjustments to ensure planning reflects equality of access to resources and activities
for all children, including those with SEND and those who speak English as an additional language.
We encourage children who speak English as an additional language to also speak their home language and understand the value that this has in contributing to a positive sense of identity, learning and general linguistic development.
Broad Guidelines - staff are expected to:
1. Co-operate and comply with this policy to ensure equality of opportunity
2. Encourage everyone in the school community to work toward an ethos where there is no victimisation, discrimination, either direct or indirect, against anyone on account of their protected characteristic (age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex and sexual orientation; or other circumstances)
3. Not discriminate in the course of their duties nor induce or attempt to induce others to do so
4. Recognise and record students’ strengths and successes to encourage a positive self-image
5. Make provisions so that all children can access the class curriculum and feel part of the class group
6. To be familiar with the school’s SEND policy, the requirements of the Statutory Codes of Practice for SEN, Disability and Race and they must ensure that the codes underpin all aspects of their work
7. Contribute to ensuring that the legislation and policy requirements within the protected characteristics of equality and diversity are implemented into all working practices.
Staff development and training
We ensure that all staff, including support staff and those involved in governance, receives appropriate training and opportunities for professional development to enable them to develop anti discriminatory and inclusive practices. We ensure that staff are confident and fully trained to
meet the individual needs of children.
Employment and Staffing
Posts are advertised and all applicants are judged against explicit and fair criteria. Applicants are welcomed from all backgrounds and we aim for staffing to represent the diversity of the community.
The objectives of the policy include:
Not discriminating against anyone
Promoting the principle of fairness and justice for all through the education provided in the school
Ensuring all pupils have equal access to the full range of educational opportunities provided by the school
Removing any forms of indirect discrimination
We aim to provide equality of opportunities. We aim to promote inclusivity and reduce the impact of educational disadvantages accruing from race, gender, achievement, disability, class, culture, religion, or language, in accordance with the Equality Act 2010. We work to reduce the risks of social exclusion faced by children living in this area.
How these aims are realised:
Tackling racial discrimination and promoting good race relations are major components of ensuring equal opportunities at Maytree. They are discussed in a separate Racial Equality Policy (S17). Issues of culture and language are also addressed in our Policy on meeting the Needs of
Bilingual Learners (CG3 EAL Policy). Our Special Educational Needs Policy (CG4) is also relevant.
The scope of this Policy document is to consider factors not addressed in the documents mentioned above.
Gender equality - Data analysis can evidence gender inequality greater than National differences. A number of measures may be implemented to ensure no inequalities evident.
See our Special Educational Needs Policy for information about our commitment to inclusivity and how the needs of children are assessed and met in the school and Nursery. See also the separate Disability Equality policy and School Access Plan.
Children at Maytree with disabilities are well treated by their peers. Often, however, their disabilities involve communication or social difficulties which can be exacerbated by the fact that they are learning in English as an Additional Language. Such children may be considered to face
disadvantage and risk of social exclusion on a number of fronts, not just one. We therefore do all
we can to support the development of such children.
Maytree children need to achieve as highly as possible, because they Are at risk of potential disadvantage and the risk of social exclusion. It is necessary for us to prioritise success in basic skills in English and Maths. We believe that only if they maximise their success in these areas can
they hope to continue successfully in education.
Social Class factors
Many Maytree children come from families beset by poor socio-economic and difficult domestic circumstances. We do all we can to support these children’s development, paying attention to the developmental needs of the whole child, and not concentrating exclusively on academic
attainment. For such children, we often need to work positively and sympathetically on areas of self-esteem and social orientation alongside academic progress.
In curricular and extra-curricular provision, and in the quality and quantity of adult/child interaction, everyone needs to consider these equal opportunities issues, and to challenge themselves to ensure that their practice is not discriminatory in any way.
Policy reviewed every 3 years
Review date: Summer 2020
Definitions of protected characteristics
Where this is referred to, it refers to a person belonging to a particular age (e.g. 32 year olds) or range of ages (e.g. 18-30 year olds)
A person has a disability if s/he has a physical or mental impairment which has substantial and long-term adverse effect on that person’s ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities
The process of transitioning from one gender to another
Marriage and civil partnership
In England and Wales marriage is no longer restricted to a union between a man and a woman but now includes a marriage between a same-sex couple. This will also be true in Scotland when the relevant legislation is brought into force. Same-sex couples can also have their relationships legally recognised as 'civil partnerships'. Civil partners must not be treated less favourably than married couples (except where permitted by the Equality Act)
Pregnancy and maternity
Pregnancy is the condition of being pregnant or expecting a baby. Maternity refers to the period after the birth, and is linked to maternity leave in the employment context. In the non-work context, protection against maternity discrimination is for 26 weeks after giving birth, and this includes
treating a woman unfavourably because she is breastfeeding
Refers to the protected characteristic of Race. It refers to a group of people defined by their race, colour, and nationality (including citizenship) ethnic or national origins
Religion and belief
Religion has the meaning usually given to it but belief includes religious and philosophical beliefs including lack of belief (e.g. Atheism). Generally, a belief should affect your life choices or the way you live for it to be included in the definition
A man or a woman
Whether a person's sexual attraction is towards their own sex, the opposite sex or to both sexes.
A revised term for 'equal opportunities'. It is based on the legal obligation to comply with antidiscrimination legislation. Equality protects people from being discriminated against and gives people fair access to opportunities, for example, all pupils have the same right of access to services and resources to meet their specific needs. To ensure equality of opportunity some individuals and/or groups may be treated differently in
order to meet their different needs.
The range of visible and non-visible differences that exist between people. Managing diversity effectively recognises, celebrates, and takes into account individuals’ different backgrounds, knowledge, skills and experiences to create a productive educational community, in which everybody feels valued and talents are fully utilised.
The overarching context encompassing equality, diversity and human rights which focuses positively on enabling access to and engaging individuals and/or groups with opportunities, services and facilities. An inclusive ethos is one which encourages full participation to ensure that there is no place in the community where people feel uncomfortable, excluded or not valued.
These are aspects of individuals’ and groups’ identities which are protected from unlawful discrimination, harassment and victimisation in employment, education, training, and in the provision of goods and services. For example, age, disability, gender.
Treating a person less favourably than another in comparable circumstances because of a protected characteristic. In the case of pregnancy and maternity direct discrimination can occur if a person has the protected characteristic without needing to compare treatment to someone else.
Discrimination by Association
Direct discrimination against someone because they are associated with another person with a protected characteristic. This may include, for example, carers of disabled people and elderly relatives, or someone with a partner from another country. Discrimination by Association does not apply to marriage/civil partnerships and pregnancy and maternity leave.
Discrimination by Perception
Direct discrimination against someone because others think they have a protected characteristic (even if they do not). For example someone is treated unfairly as they are assumed to be gay.
Putting in place a policy or practice that has a differential (positive or negative) impact on someone with a protected characteristic compared to someone without one, when this cannot be objectively and legitimately justified.
Discrimination arising from disability
Treating a disabled person unfavourably because of something connected with their disability when this cannot be objectively justified. For example, prohibiting an employee from taking time off for medical treatment.
Failure to make reasonable adjustments
Employers and service providers have a duty to make reasonable adjustments for disabled employees and service users to enable fair access. This duty is anticipatory and must be reviewed on a regular basis to ensure adjustments made are appropriate. Failing to do so is direct disability discrimination.
Unwanted conduct which has the purpose or effect of violating someone’s dignity or which is hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive to someone with a protected characteristic. The Equality Act offers protection to people who do not have a “protected characteristic” but find behaviour offensive, even if not directed at them.
Treating someone unfavourably because they have taken (or might be taking) action under the Equality Act or are supporting someone who is doing so.