Plume School Equalities Policy 2012
Approved by Governors’
Preface to all policies and procedures.
Plume School aims to be the first choice provider of outstanding learning for the community of Maldon and beyond. The School will provide exciting and challenging academic, vocational and social learning opportunities locally, nationally and internationally. The School will prepare students for a rapidly changing world and nurture a philosophy of lifelong learning that they will maintain into adulthood. All students and staff will be nurtured, motivated and encouraged to be the best they can be.
Plume School’s ethos is founded on a set of key principles which will inspire and be evident in all the School does. These principles are:
- Harnessing the specialism of the Arts
- A culture of high aspirations, high achievement and success for all
- Respect for others and self, with all people feeling valued
- A secure and healthy environment which is at the heart of the community.
The policy outlines the commitment of the staff and Governors of Plume School to ensure that equality of opportunity is available to all members of the School community. For our School this means, not simply treating everybody the same but, understanding and tackling the different barriers which could lead to unequal outcomes for different groups of students in the School. It also means celebrating and valuing the equal opportunity achievements and strengths of all members of the School community. These include: -
• Teaching staff
• Support staff
• Community governors
• Multi-agency staff linked to the School
• Visitors to the School
• Students on placement
We believe that equality at our School should permeate all aspects of School life and is the responsibility of every member of the School and wider community. Every member of the School community should feel safe, secure, valued and of equal worth.
At our School, equality is a key principle for treating all people the same irrespective of their gender, ethnicity, disability, religious beliefs, sexual orientations, age or any other recognised area of discrimination.
Vision and Ethos
The philosophy of our School talks of valuing the individuality of all our students. We are committed to giving all our students every opportunity to achieve the highest of standards. Within this ethos of achievement, we do not tolerate bullying and harassment of any kind. We actively tackle discrimination against those with a disability, racial discrimination, sexual harassment and discrimination and promote equal opportunities and good relations between and amongst all. We aim to ensure that Plume School promotes the individuality of all our students, irrespective of ethnicity, attainment, age, disability, gender or background. We are committed to ensuring that positive action is taken where necessary to redress the balance of inequality that may exist. We aim to reflect the diversity of our local community and society and ensure that the education we offer fosters positive attitudes to all people.
Our School admissions policy is equally open to students of all groups.
We believe that these commitments are as important in the context of a School with limited ethnic diversity as well as in a School with a more ethnically diverse population.
Below is a list of legislation that we as a School used as our guidance when preparing this policy:
• The Equality Act (2006) amended the requirements of the Equal Pay Act
(1970) and the Sex Discrimination Act
• The Disability Discrimination Act (2005)
• The Race Relations Act (1976)
• The Race Relations Amendment Act (2000)
• The Human Rights Act (2000)
• The Children’s Act (2004)
• The European Directives
• The Employment Equality (Sexual Orientation) Regulations 2003 and the
Employment Equality (Religion or Belief) Regulations 2003
• The respective Codes of Practice associated with the legislation
This policy reflects the consensus of opinion of the whole School community. It has been drawn up as a result of discussing within a working party made up of representatives of teaching and support staff, parents, governors, student representatives and under community representatives.
Monitoring and Review
Equality is identified as an area requiring careful and ongoing monitoring in the School Improvement Plan and due regard is given promoting all aspects of equality within the plan. The person on the staff responsible for co-ordinating the monitoring and evaluation is the Special Educational Needs Coordinator. S/he will be responsible for:
• Leading discussions, arranging training, keeping staff updated in designated
staff meetings which will include support to discuss equalities within the
• Working closely with the governor responsible for this area.
• Supporting positively the evaluation activities that moderate the impact and success of the policy .
We regularly review the impact of our policies on the needs, entitlements and outcomes for students, staff and parents from the equality strands referred to in this policy. We pay specific reference to the impact that our policies have on the attainment of students from different groups.
We make regular assessments of students’ learning and use this information to track students’ progress, as they move through the School. As part of this process, we regularly monitor the performance of different groups, to ensure that all groups of students are making the best possible progress. We use this information to adjust future teaching and learning plans, as necessary. Resources are available to support groups of students where the information suggests that progress is not as good as it should be. The governing body receives regular updates on student performance information.
School performance information is compared to national data and Local Authority data, to ensure that students are making appropriate progress when compared to all Schools and to Schools in similar circumstances.
As well as monitoring student performance information, we also regularly monitor a range of other information. This relates to:
• Exclusions and truancy
• Incidents of racism, disability, sexist incidents and all forms of bullying;
• Parental involvement
• Participation in extra curriculum activities
Our monitoring activities enable us to identify any differences in student performance. This allows us to take appropriate action to meet the needs of specific groups and to set targets in our strategic plan, in order to make the necessary improvements.
Promoting Equality through the Curriculum
Teaching and Learning
We aim to provide all our students with the opportunity to succeed, and to reach the highest level of personal achievement. To do this, teaching and learning will:
- Ensure quality of access for all students and prepare them for life in a diverse society;
- Use materials that reflect a range of cultural backgrounds, without stereotyping;
- Promote attitudes and values that will challenge discriminatory behaviour;
- Provide opportunities for students to appreciate their own culture and religions and celebrate the diversity of other cultures;
- Use a range of sensitive teaching strategies when teaching about different cultural and religious traditions;
- Develop students’ advocacy skills so that they can detect bias, challenge discrimination, leading to justice and equality;
- Ensure that the PSHE, Citizenship and RE curriculum cover issues of equalities, diversity, religion, human rights and inclusion;
- All subject departments, where appropriate, promote and celebrate the contribution of different ethnic groups to the subject matter;
- Seek to involve all parents in supporting their child’s education;
- Provide educational visits and extra-curricular activities that involve all student groupings.
- Take account of the performance of all students when planning for future learning and settling challenging targets;
- Make best use of all available resources to support the learning of all groups of students;
- Identify resources that support staff development.
There is a consistently high expectation of all students regardless of age, gender, ethnicity, ability or social background. All students are encouraged to improve on their own achievements and not to measure themselves against others. Parents are also encouraged to view their own children’s achievements in this light.
To secure the desired outcomes we recognise:
- Teacher enthusiasm is a vital factor in achieving a high level of motivation and good results from all students;
- Adults in the School will try to provide good, positive role models in their approach to all issues relating to equality of opportunity;
- The School should place a very high priority on the provision for special educational needs and disability. We aim to meet all students’ learning needs including the more able by carefully assessed and administered programmes of work (see SEN policy/Handbook and Disability Policy)
- The School must provide an environment in which all students have equal access to all facilities and resources;
- All students are to be encouraged to be actively involved in their own learning;
- A range of teaching methods are to be used throughout the School to ensure that effective learning takes place at all stages for all students.
At the School, we aim to ensure that;
- Planning reflects our commitment to equality in all subject areas and cross curricular themes promoting positive attitudes to equality and diversity;
- Students will have opportunities to explore concepts and issues relating to identity and equality
- All steps are taken to ensure that all students have access to mainstream curriculum by taking into account the cultural and lifestyle backgrounds of all students, their linguistic needs are taken into account and their learning styles are considered.
- All students have access to qualifications which recognise attainment and achievement and promote progression
Ethos and Atmosphere
- At the School, we are aware that those involved in the leadership of the School community are instrumental in demonstrating mutual respect between all members of the School community;
- There should be an ‘openness’ of atmosphere which welcomes everyone to the School;
- The students are encouraged to greet visitors to the School with friendliness and respect;
- The displays around the School are of a high quality and reflect diversity across all aspects of equality of opportunity and are frequently monitored;
- Although physical access to the School is difficult in parts of the school, vehicular access to a School door can be easily arranged for disabled visitors;
- Provision is made to cater for the spiritual needs of all the children through planning of assemblies, classroom based and externally based activities.
Resources and Materials
The provision of good quality resources and materials within the School is a high priority. These resources should:
- Reflect “the reality of an ethnically, culturally and sexual diverse society;”
- Reflect a variety of viewpoints;
- Show positive images of males and females in society including people with disabilities;
- Reflect non-stereotypical images of all groups in a global context;
- Include materials to raise awareness of equal opportunity issues;
- Be equally accessible to all members of School community consistent with health and safety;
- Not include explicitly and implicitly racist, sexist, homophobic or ageist materials.
We recognise that it is important that all members of the School community use appropriate language which:
- Does not transmit or confirm stereotypes;
- Does not offend;
- Creates and enhances positive images of particular groups identified at the beginning of this document;
- Creates the conditions for all people to develop their self esteem;
- Uses correct terminology in referring to particular groups or individuals e.g. Inuit rather Eskimo, Native Americans rather than Red Indians;
- Use first language effectively for learning.
It is the policy of the School to provide equal access to all activities from an early age e.g. girls playing football, boys playing netball and mixed teams wherever possible.
We undertake responsibility for making contributors to extra-curricular activities aware of the School’s commitment to equality of opportunity (e.g. sports helpers, coach drivers) by providing them with written guidelines drawn from this policy.
We try to ensure that all such non staff members who have contract with children adhere to these guidelines and are CRB checked.
Provision for EAL/Bilingual Students
We undertake at the School to make appropriate provision for all EAL/bilingual children/groups to ensure access to the whole curriculum. These groups may include:
- Traveller and Gypsy Roma children;
- Those from refugee families;
- Students whom English is an additional language;
- Students who are new to theUnited Kingdom.
Personal Development and Pastoral Guidance
- Pastoral staff takes account of disability needs, gender, religious and ethnic differences and the experience and needs of particular groups such as Gypsy Roma and Traveller, refugee and asylum seeker students;
- All students are encouraged to consider the full range of career opportunities available to them with no discriminatory boundaries placed on them due to their disability, gender or race;
- All students/staff/parents/carers are given support as appropriate when they experience discrimination. We also recognise that the perpetrators of discrimination are themselves sometimes victims of their personal circumstances and therefore where appropriate remedial work is done to ensure that the actions do not occur again;
- Positive role models are used throughout the School to ensure that different groups of students can see themselves reflected in the School community;
- Emphasis is placed on the value that diversity brings to the School community rather than the challenges.
Staffing and Staff Development
We recognise the need for positive role models and distribution of responsibility among staff. This must include student’s access to a balance of male and female staff at all key stages.
We undertake to encourage the career development and aspirations of all individuals.
It is our policy to provide staff with training and development, which will increase awareness of the needs of different groups of students in the various dimensions of equality of opportunity.
Staff Recruitment and Professional Development
- All posts are advertised formally and open to the widest pool of applicants;
- All those involved in recruitment and selection are trained and aware of what they should do avoid discrimination and ensure equality good practice through the recruitment and selection process;
- Access to opportunities for professional development is monitored on equality grounds;
- Equalities policies and practices are covered in all staff inductions
- All supply staff are made aware of equalities policies and practices;
- Employment policy and procedures are reviewed regularly to check conformity with legislation and impact.
Harassment and Bullying
It is the duty of this School to challenge all types of discriminatory behaviour e.g.:
- Unwanted attentions (verbal or physical);
- Unwelcome or offensive remarks or suggestions about another person’s appearance, character, race, ability or disability, sexuality, gender (or transgender)
- The School has a clear, agreed procedure for dealing with incidents such as these.
Partnerships with Parents/Carers and the Wider Community
We aim to work in partnership with parents to help all students to achieve their potential.
We wish to affirm our continuing commitment to reach out to all diverse groups within our immediate community and beyond. We would do this by:
- All parents/carers being encouraged to participate at all levels in the full life of the School;
- Setting up as part of the School’s commitment to equality and diversity, a group made up of members of the School community including students, staff, local community members, parents/carers, local faith groups and local disability groups has been developed to support the School with matters related to its equalities duties;
- Encouraging members of the local community to regularly join in School activities
- Exploring the possibility of the School having a role to play in supporting new and settled communities.
Responsibility for the Policy
In our School, all members of the School community have a responsibility towards supporting the equality agenda. Responsibilities are laid out as follows:
The Governing Body is responsible for ensuring that:
- The School complies with all equalities legislation relevant to the School community;
- The School’s Equality policy is maintained and updated regularly;
- That procedures and strategies related to the policy are implemented;
- The named Equality Governor will have an overview, on behalf of the governing body, on all racist incidents or incidents which are a breach of this policy and ensure that appropriate action is taken in relation to all said incidents
The Headteacher and Senior Leadership Team are responsible for:
- Along with the Governing body, providing leadership and vision in respect of equality;
- Overseeing the implementation of the Equality Policy;
- Co-ordinating the activities related to equality and evaluating impact;
- Ensuring that all who enter the School are aware of, and comply with, the Equality Policy;
- Ensuring that staff are aware of their responsibilities and are given relevant training and support;
- Taking appropriate action in response to racist incidents, discrimination against persons with a disability and sexual harassment and discrimination.
All staff are responsible for:
- Dealing with incidents of discrimination and knowing how to identify and challenge bias and stereotyping;
- Not discriminating on grounds of race, disability, or other equality issues;
- Keeping up to date with equalities legislation by attending training events organised by the School or Local Authority or recognised training provider.
We ensure that the commitments embodied in our policy statement for equality permeate the full range of our policies and practices:
- Equal opportunities;
- Students’ progress attainment and assessment;
- Behaviour discipline and exclusions;
- Students’ personal development and pastoral care;
- Teaching and learning;
- Admissions and attendance;
- The curriculum;
- All subjects;
- Teaching and learning;
- Staff recruitment and retention;
- Governor/staff training and professional development;
- Partnerships with parents/carers and communities;
- Visits and visitors.
Monitoring, Evaluation and Review
The Governing Body will review this policy at least every two years and assess its implementation and effectiveness. The policy will be promoted and implemented throughout the School.