Newbold Church School and The Nest @ NCS Nursery is an inclusive school and we welcome people from all backgrounds. We ensure that everyone is treated fairly and without prejudice. Please read our Equality Information and Objectives policy to find out a little more about how we do this.
We believe that different cultures, talents and life experiences bring richness and vibrancy to school life and help create an environment that supports us all in learning from each other.
We aim to be a community where everyone is treated fairly and with tolerance and respect. We want everyone to flourish and reach their potential, and we recognise that for some pupils’ extra support is needed to help them to achieve and be successful.
We take seriously our duties to eliminate discrimination, promote equality of opportunity and foster good relations between people of all backgrounds. This duty is set out in the Equality Act of 2010, which covers sex, race, disability, religion or belief, sexual orientation, gender reassignment and pregnancy or maternity.
We have a clear Equality Information policy with objectives and we have an Accessibility Plan to support equal access for children, staff, parents and carers.
Equality at Newbold Church School
Newbold Church School is an inclusive school where we focus on the well-being and progress of every child 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 of different groups.
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.
Our approach to equality is based on the following 7 key principles
- 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 recognize, respect and value difference and understand that diversity is a strength. We take account of differences 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 a 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 children. We expect that all pupils can make good progress and achieve to their highest potential
- We work to raise standards for all pupils, but especially for the most vulnerable. We believe that improving the quality of education for the most vulnerable groups of pupils raises standards across the whole school.
Purpose of the policy
The Equality Act 2010 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 pupils or treat them less favourably because of their sex (gender), race, disability, religion or belief, gender reassignment, sexual orientation or pregnancy or maternity. Age and marriage and civil partnership are also “protected characteristics” but are not part of the school provisions related to pupils. The Act requires all public organisations, including schools to comply with the Public Sector Equality Duty and two specific duties The Public Sector Equality Duty or “general duty” This requires all public organisations, including schools to Eliminate unlawful discrimination, harassment and victimisation Advance equality of opportunity between different groups Foster good relations between different groups Two “specific duties”
This requires all public organisations, including schools to
1. Publish information to show compliance with the Equality Duty by April 6th 2012
2. Publish Equality objectives at least every 4 years which are specific and measurable by April 6th 2012
Our 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 outside visitors about our approach to promoting equality.
Development of the policy
When developing the policy we took account of the DfE guidance on the Equality Act and also the Ofsted inspection framework , which places a strong focus on improving the learning and progress of different groups and on closing gaps in standards.
We note that OFSTED has a statutory duty to report on the outcomes and provision for pupils who are disabled and those who have special educational needs. 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 information about our responsibilities under the Equality Act are also included in our school development plan, self-evaluation review, the school web site and newsletters.
The Equality Act also applies to schools in their role as employers, and the way we comply with this are found in our recruitment policy.
What we are doing to eliminate discrimination, harassment and victimisation
We take account of equality issues in relation to admissions and exclusions; the way we provide education for our pupils and the way we provide access for pupils to facilities and services. We are aware of the Reasonable Adjustment duty for disabled pupils – designed to enhance access and participation to the level of non-disabled pupils and stop disabled children being placed at a disadvantage compared to their non-disabled peers. The Headteacher ensures that all appointment panels give due regard to this policy so that no one is discriminated against when it comes to employment, promotion or training opportunities.
We 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. We take seriously the need to consider the equality implications when we develop, adapt and review any policy or procedure and whenever we make significant decisions about the day today life of the school.
We actively promote equality and diversity though the curriculum and by creating an environment which champions respect for all. Our admissions arrangements are fair and transparent, and we do not discriminate against pupils by treating them less favourably on the grounds of their sex, race, disability, religion or belief, sexual orientation, gender reassignment, pregnancy or maternity
Behaviour, Exclusions and Attendance
The school Policy on Behaviour takes full account of the duties under the Equality Act. We make reasonable, appropriate and flexible adjustment for pupils with a disability. We closely monitor data on exclusions and absence from school for evidence of over-representation of different groups and take action promptly to address concerns.
The school challenges all forms of prejudice and prejudice-based bullying, which stand in the way of fulfilling our commitment to inclusion and equality:
– 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 treat all bullying incidents equally seriously. We keep a record of different prejudice-related incidents and provide a report to the governors about the numbers, types and seriousness of prejudice-related incidents at our school and how we dealt with them. This data is then reviewed and we take action to reduce incidents.
What are we doing to advance equality of opportunity between different groups
- We know the needs of our school population well and collect and analyse data in order to inform our planning and identify targets to achieve improvements
- We have procedures, working in partnership with parents and carers, to identify children who have a disability through our pupil admission procedures
- We collect data and monitor progress and outcomes of different groups of pupils and use this data to support school improvement. We take action to close any gaps.
- We collect, analyse and publish data
- We also collect, analyse and use data in relation to attendance and exclusions of different groups. We are aware that the legislation relates mainly to current but also to future pupils.
- We avoid language that runs the risk of placing a ceiling on any pupils’ achievement or that seeks to define their potential as learners, such as “less able”. We use a range of teaching strategies that ensures we meet the needs of all pupils. We provide support to pupils at risk of underachieving
- We are alert and proactive about the potentially damaging impact of negative language in matters such as race, gender, disability and sexuality.
In addition to avoiding or minimising possible negative impacts of our policies, we take opportunities to maximise positive impacts by reducing and removing inequalities and barriers that may already exist between, for example:
– disabled and non-disabled people
– people of different ethnic, cultural and religious backgrounds
– girls and boys
We ensure equality of access for all pupils to a broad and balanced curriculum, removing barriers to participation where necessary.
We will take positive and proportionate action to address the disadvantage faced by particular groups of pupils with particular protected characteristics, such as targeted support. The actions will be designed to meet the school’s Equality Objectives.
What we are doing to foster good relations
- We prepare our pupils 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 pupils.
- We teach about difference and diversity and the impact of stereotyping, prejudice and discrimination through PSHE and citizenship and across the curriculum.
- We use materials and resources that reflect the diversity of the school, population and local community in terms of race, gender, sexual identity and disability, avoiding stereotyping.
- We promote a whole school ethos and values that challenge prejudice based discriminatory language, attitudes and behaviour.
- We provide opportunities for pupils to appreciate their own culture and celebrate the diversity of other cultures.
- We include the contribution of different cultures to world history and that promote positive images of people
- We provide opportunities for pupils to listen to a range of opinions and empathise with different experiences
- We promote positive messages about equality and diversity through displays, assemblies, visitors and whole school events
Other ways we address equality issues
- We maintain records of all training relating the Equalities
- Our monitoring records include evaluations of aspects of Equalities
- We keep minutes of meetings where equality issues are discussed
- We have a rolling programme for reviewing all of our school policies in relation to equalities and their impact on the progress, safety and wellbeing of our pupils.
- The implications for equalities of new policies and practices are considered before they are introduced.
In order to ensure that the work we are doing on equalities meets the needs of the whole school community we:
- Review relevant feedback from the annual parent questionnaire, parents’ evening and or focus meetings or Governors meetings
- Secure and analyse responses from staff surveys, staff meetings and training events
- Review feedback and responses from the school council and PSHE lessons
- Analyse issues raised in Annual reviews or reviews of progress on individual education plans/ personalised provision maps, mentoring and support;
- Ensure that we secure responses and feedback at Governing Body Meetings
Monitoring and reviewing objectives
We review and update our equality objectives every two years and report annually to the governing body on progress towards achieving them. We involve and consult staff, pupils, governors and parents and carers. On achieving our Equality objectives, we will monitor the impact to ensure that:
Children have increased access to lessons and assemblies which recognise and celebrate equality and diversity
All staff have an enhanced understanding of equality and diversity and have the confidence to deliver key lessons
Identified children and families access support to provide stability at home and in school.
Groups of pupils with particular protected characteristics to achieve the best possible outcomes from their relative starting points.
Groups of pupils with particular protected characteristics are able to access the wider curriculum provided beyond the National Curriculum.
All Children have a good understanding and can speak without prejudice about different relationships
All elements of the school community can access correspondence and information published by the school, allowing parents and carers to support their children’s learning fully.
Analysis on internal and external data for progress and achievement continues to reflect positive comparisons between all children groups of pupils with particular protected characteristics.
Roles and Responsibilities
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 action plans are implemented.
Every governing body committee keeps aspects of the school’s commitment to the Equality Duty under review, for example, in terms of standards, curriculum, admissions, exclusions, personnel issues and the school environment. Governors annually review the Equality Policy and evaluate the success of the school’s Equalities Work.
Headteacher and Leadership team
The Headteacher is responsible for implementing the policy; for ensuring that all staff are aware of their responsibilities and are given appropriate training and support; and for taking appropriate action in any cases of unlawful discrimination.
Teaching and Support Staff
All teaching and support staff will:
- promote an inclusive and collaborative ethos in their classroom
- challenge prejudice and discrimination
- deal fairly and professionally with any prejudice-related incidents that may occur
- plan and deliver curricula and lessons that reflect the school’s principles, for example, in providing materials that give positive images in terms of race, gender and disability
- maintain the highest expectations of success for all pupils
- support different groups of pupils in their class through differentiated planning and teaching, especially those who may (sometimes temporarily) find aspects of academic learning difficult
- keep up-to-date with equalities legislation relevant to their work
We will provide training and guidance on Equalities for all staff new to the school as part of the induction procedure. We will go through the principal expectations and duties of the Equality Act at a whole staff meeting at the start of the school year.
All visitors to the school, including parents and carers are expected to support our commitment to equalities and comply with the duties set out in this policy.
Equal Opportunities for staff
- This section deals with aspects of equal opportunities relating to staff. 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 also concerned to ensure wherever possible that the staffing of the school reflects the diversity of our community.
- 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 ensure that all staff, including support and administrative staff, receive appropriate training and opportunities for professional development, both as individuals and as groups or teams.
Monitoring and Reviewing the policy
We review the information about equalities in the policy annually and make adjustments as appropriate. Our review involves pupils, staff, governors and parents and carers.
Disseminating the policy
This Equality Information Policy along with the Equality Objectives are available
- on the school website
- as paper copies in the school office
- as part of induction for new staff
We ensure that the whole school community knows about the policy and objectives through the school newsletter, assemblies, staff meetings and other communications.
We publish on the school’s website copies of relevant policies and guidance, including those on behaviour, anti-bullying and special educational needs.
Equality Act guidance
Updated June 2022