Equality of Opportunity
Equality Statement 2018-2019
The Public Sector Equality Duty 2011 has three aims under the general duty for schools/academies and other settings:
1. To eliminate unlawful discrimination, harassment and victimisation and other conduct prohibited by the Act by removing or minimising disadvantages suffered by people due to their protected characteristics. The eight protected groups relate to race, disability, sex, gender reassignment, age, pregnancy and maternity, religion and belief and sexual orientation.
2. To advance equality of opportunity between people who share a protected characteristic and those who do not by taking steps to meet the needs of people from protected groups where these are different from the needs of other people.
3. To foster good relations between people who share a protected characteristic and those who do not by encouraging people from protected groups to participate in public life or in other activities where their participation is disproportionately low.
Equality Targets for St Mary’s Catholic Primary School
The Equalities Act (2010) requires that schools and other public services show that they are advancing the equalities agenda by publishing objectives that are specific and measurable.
At St Mary’s Catholic Primary School we aim to provide an environment in which everyone involved in the school community is valued and has equality of opportunity. We are ambitious for all our pupils and seek to remove barriers to the progress of any pupil. The school makes all children feel welcome and free from discrimination irrespective of individuality, race, language, gender, class, lifestyle, religion, cultural background, age, sexual orientation or disability. This Equality of opportunity is concerned with justice for all, raising expectations, and enabling each individual to fulfil his or her potential.
We have adopted an inclusive policy based on the principle of entitlement. We believe that all children are entitled to:
- Pupils who are entitled to Pupil Premium Grant allocation to achieve levels of progress that are at least in line with other pupils.
- All SEN pupils to make at least expected progress from their staring points
Our Equality Targets will be reviewed termly and any further action identified and used to indform our school improvemnt plan.
Equality of Opportunity Policy
This policy outlines the commitment of the staff and Governors of St. Mary’s Catholic Primary School to ensure that equality of opportunity is available to all members of the school community. These include:
Visitors to the school
Students on placement.
Equal opportunities should permeate all aspects of school life, and is the responsibility of every member of the school community.
This policy statement reflects the consensus of opinion of the whole school community. It has been drawn up as a result of discussion within a working party made up of representatives of teaching and non-teaching staff, parents, governors and pupil representatives.
The implementation of the policy is the responsibility of all individuals within the school community. The responsibility for keeping the issue of equal opportunity at a high level of priority at all times and in all areas, is that of the equal opportunity co-ordinator who is the Headteacher.
All members of the school community should be aware that every individual has a right to be considered of equal value and be given equal opportunities regardless of:
In the context of the school we feel the most appropriate definition is that:
Equal opportunity is the right of everyone to equal chances, and each individual is respected for who they are.
Ethos and Atmosphere
At St. Mary’s Catholic Primary 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 children are encouraged to greet visitors to the school with friendliness and respect.
The displays around the school are of high quality and reflect diversity across all aspects of equality of opportunity.
Although physical access to the school is difficult under normal circumstances 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 both assemblies and classroom activities.
There is a consistently high expectation of all pupils regardless of age, gender, ethnicity, ability or social background. All pupils 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.
Teacher enthusiasm is a vital factor in achieving a high level of motivation and good results from all pupils.
The adults in the school try to provide good, positive role models in their approach to all issues relating to equality of opportunity.
The school places a very high priority on the provision for special educational needs. We aim to meet all pupils’ learning needs including the more able by carefully assessed and administered programmes of work (see SEN policy).
The school provide an environment in which all pupils have equal access to all facilities and resources.
All pupils are actively involved in their own learning.
A range of teaching methods is used throughout the school to ensure that effective learning takes place at all stages for all pupils.
The taught curriculum
At St. Mary’s Catholic Primary School we aim to ensure that our planning reflects our specific commitment to equality of opportunity in all subject areas and cross curricular themes in line with the National Curriculum 2000.
Our planning takes account of the differing needs of pupils and their progression.
We have a commitment to evaluate our curricular outcomes each term to ensure that what we have actually planned takes place. These evaluations are completed by the Headteacher.
Resources and Materials
The provision of good quality resources and materials within St. Mary’s Catholic Primary School is a high priority. These resources should:
reflect “the reality of an ethnically and culturally diverse society”
reflect a variety of viewpoints
show positive images of males and females in society including disabled people
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 or sexist materials.
We recognise that it is important at St. Mary’s Catholic Primary School 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 eg Native Americans rather than Red Indians.
Organisation of Learning
When organising groups for various activities, consideration is always given to the composition of the group, to provide a balance appropriate to the activity.
At St. Mary’s Catholic Primary School we try to make our environment culturally diverse, and we are very conscious of the need to provide first hand experiences for the pupils to encounter people from other cultures. We do this by studying other religions and cultures through the ‘Here I Am’ programme and by making the children aware of the world around them when planning topic work around a theme.
It is the policy of this school to provide equal access to all activities from an early age eg 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 (eg 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 contact with children adhere to these guidelines.
Provision for Bilingual pupils
We undertake at St. Mary’s Catholic Primary School to make appropriate provision for all bilingual groups to ensure access to the whole curriculum. These groups may include:
those from refugee families
pupils whose home language is not a standard form of English
pupils for whom English is an additional language.
While there is a need for pupils to learn to communicate in standard English we believe that their home language should be celebrated and respected.
Staffing and Staff Development
We are bound by the legal requirements of the Sex Discrimination Act 1975 and the Race Relations Act 1976, the Disability Discrimination Act 1995.
We recognise the need for positive role models and distribution of responsibility among staff. This must include pupils access to a balance of male and female staff at both 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 pupils in the various dimensions of equality of opportunity.
Harassment and Bullying
It is the duty of this school to challenge all types of discriminatory behaviour eg
unwanted attentions (verbal or physical)
unwelcome or offensive remarks or suggestions about another person’s appearance or character.
The school has a clear, agreed procedure for dealing with incidents such as these (see Behaviour Policy, Anti-bullying Policy)
Parents and the Wider Community
We aim to work in partnership with parents to help all pupils to achieve their potential
We wish to affirm our continuing commitment to reach out to other cultural groups within our immediate community and beyond.
Monitoring and Review
Equality of opportunity is identified as an area requiring careful and ongoing monitoring in the School Development Plan.
The person on the staff responsible for co-ordinating the monitoring and evaluation of the policy is St. Mary’s Catholic Primary School. S/he will be responsible for:
Leading discussions in designated staff meetings which will include support staff, to discuss issues of equal opportunities within the school community.
Working closely with the Governor responsible for this area who is
Monitoring the following will enable the school to see where equality of opportunity needs to be more intensely focused:
participation in extra-curricular activities
exclusions and persistent absence
continuous assessment of children’s learning
racist and sexist incidents
results from screening for specific learning needs