Single Equality scheme

Purpose of the Equality Scheme

This equality scheme is the school’s response to the specific and general duties in the current equality legislation. It is an attempt to capture how the school is systematically establishing and implementing good practice in equality and diversity across all areas of school life. This includes a response to all aspects of social identity and diversity as set out in the North Yorkshire County Council’s Equality Policy Statement:

“we oppose all forms of unlawful or unfair discrimination, whether because of race, colour, ethnic or national origin, sex or gender reassignment, marital status, family status, sexuality, religion or beliefs, disability, age or any other condition or requirement which places a person at a disadvantage and cannot be justified”.

 This Equality Scheme sets out how the school will:

  • eliminate discrimination;
  • eliminate harassment related to any aspect of social identity or diversity;
  • promote equality of opportunity;
  • promote positive attitudes to all aspects of social identity and diversity;
  • encourage participation by disabled people and people representing different aspects of social identity in public life;
  • take steps to take account of difference even where that involves treating some people more favourably than others.

This document provides, therefore, a scheme which embraces for our school a Race Equality Scheme, a Gender Equality Scheme, a Disability Equality Scheme and the school’s Equality Policy. It is reviewed every three years and reported on annually.

An Accessibility Plan for the school sets out how the school will increase access to education for disabled pupils in the three areas required by the planning duties in the Disability Discrimination Act:

  • increasing the extent to which disabled pupils can participate in the school curriculum;
  • improving the environment of the school to increase the extent to which disabled pupils can take advantage of education and associated services;
  • improving the delivery to disabled pupils of information which is provided in writing for pupils who are not disabled.

1.2 Equality Legislation

This equality scheme responds to the current equalities legislation:

  • Race Relations Act (RRA) 1976/2000 statutory positive duty to promote racial equality, promote good race relations and eliminate unlawful racial discrimination;
  • Sex Discrimination Act (SDA) 1975 (and Regulations 1999), Gender Equality Duty 2007 statutory positive duty to promote gender equality and eliminate unlawful gender discrimination;
  • Employment Equality (religion or belief) (sexual orientation) Regulations 2003 extended to education, Equality Act (Part 2) 2007. The Act sets out that is unlawful for schools to discriminate against a person:

a) in the terms on which it offers to admit him/her as a pupil:

b) by refusing to accept an application to admit him/her as a pupil, or

c) where he/she is a pupil of the establishment:

i) in the way in which it affords him/her access to any benefit, facility or service,

ii) by refusing him/her access to a benefit, facility or service,

iii) by excluding him/her from the establishment,

iv) by subjecting him/her to any other detriment. (There are specific exemptions for faith schools.)

  • Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) 1995/2005 statutory positive duty to promote equality of opportunity for disabled people: pupils, staff, parents, carers and other people who use the school or may wish to, and eliminate unlawful discrimination;
  • Education and Inspections Act 2006, duty to promote community cohesion.

What kind of a school are we?

2.1 School Vision and Values

The school’s vision and values statement reflects the school’s ambitions for all its pupils. The school embraces the North Yorkshire Inclusion statement that emphasises that individuals and groups of learners who may be vulnerable to exclusion; marginalisation and underachievement are identified and receive targeted provision to ensure their presence, participation and achievement.

2.2 School Context

The nature of the school population and context to inform action planning for the equality scheme:

  • The school serves a recognised area, from which parents seeking admission will normally be offered a place for the child(ren); including children with SEND. Surplus places are offered to children outside the normal catchment area subject to approval of NYCC.
  • The school is committed to providing an environment that allows all children full access to all areas of learning. Teaching and social spaces are organised efficiently and the school anticipates and plans for access.
  • The ethnic composition is mainly white British
  • Our children are monitored in Reading, Writing and Maths every term and discussions are held with staff about pupil progress. Vulnerable groups are highlighted and all available information is used in the target setting process. The school operates a rigorous system of self-evaluation.

2.3 Responsibilities

The Governing Body and School Leadership Team will:

  • be proactive in promoting equality and tackling discrimination in all areas;
  • maintain an overview of the Equalities Scheme which will be a regular agenda item at governor meetings and ensure that all staff, parents and pupils adhere to it;
  • work in partnership with others to tackle discrimination, and establish, promote and disseminate good practice in equalities;
  • encourage, support and enable all pupils and staff to reach their full potential.

The Governing Body is responsible for:

  • ensuring that the school complies with all relevant equalities legislation (see para. 1.2);
  • ensuring, with assistance from the Headteacher, that the policy and its related procedures and strategies are implemented;
  • electing a nominated governor with responsibility for Equalities who, with the Headteacher, will report to the full governing body.

The Headteacher is responsible for:

  • co-ordinating all equality work within the school;
  • ensuring that the policy and its related procedures and strategies are implemented on a day to day basis;
  • ensuring that all staff are aware of their responsibilities under the policy and that they are given appropriate training and support to enable them to fulfil these responsibilities;
  • initiating disciplinary action against staff or pupils who discriminate;
  • dealing with reported incidents of racism, harassment or other forms of discrimination.

The Senior Leadership Team is responsible for:

  • maintaining and sharing with all the staff those vulnerable pupils and how their needs will be met;
  • for ensuring the specific needs of staff members are addressed;
  • for gathering and analysing the information on outcomes of vulnerable pupils and staff;
  • for monitoring the response to reported incidents of a discriminatory nature;

All staff should:

  • know how to deal with incidents of concern, and how to identify and challenge bias and stereotyping;
  • know procedures for reporting incidents of racism, harassment or other forms of discrimination;
  • not discriminate on racial, disability or other grounds;
  • keep themselves up to date with relevant legislation and attend training and information events organised by the school or LA;
  • ensure that pupils from all groups are included in all activities and have full access to the curriculum;
  • promote equality and diversity through teaching and through relations with pupils, staff, parents, and the wider community.

All pupils will:

  • treat each other with respect;
  • experience a curriculum and environment which is respectful of diversity and difference and prepares them well for life in a diverse society;
  • understand the importance of reporting discriminatory bullying and racially motivated incidents;

Visitors and contractors are responsible for complying with the school’s Equality Scheme – non-compliance will be dealt with by the Headteacher.

 3.1 Involvement Processes

Policies are vital to identify and consolidate thinking regarding appropriate provision for pupils, however, they are often viewed as an end, when they should be seen as a process - always evolving in response to changes and evidence from impact assessments. When developing this Equality Scheme, the school is clear that this is a process which must be informed by the involvement of all participants such as pupils, parents, school staff, governors and external agencies. This will ensure that the school gleans insights into the barriers faced by people from different social identity backgrounds and learns the best ways to overcome such barriers. This Scheme will be informed, therefore, by:

  • the views and aspirations of pupils themselves from different social identity backgrounds;
  • the views and aspirations of parents of pupils from different social identity backgrounds;
  • the views and aspirations of staff from different social identity backgrounds;
  • the views and aspirations of members of the community and other agencies, including voluntary organisations, representing different social identity backgrounds;
  • the priorities in the North Yorkshire Children and Young People’s Plan.

3.2 Mechanisms for involvement

At this school the following mechanisms will ensure the views of pupils inform the Equality Scheme and action plan:

  • School council;
  • Parent View Questionnaire (OFSTED)
  • Individual interviews with pupils involved in incidents of a discriminatory nature;
  • Individual interviews with pupils experiencing changes in their personal life;
  • The work of the SENCO

At this school the following mechanisms will ensure the views of staff inform the Equality Scheme and action plan:

  • Regular staff meetings with specific agenda items;
  • Individual discussions with staff as a part of performance management.

At this school the following mechanisms will ensure the views of parents and the community inform the Equality Scheme and action plan:

  • Feedback through the parent forum meetings
  • Yearly Parents evening

4 Making it happen

4.1 Implementation of Policy

This scheme is supported through the Strategic School Development Plan. The SSDP has:

  • clear allocation of responsibility;
  • clear allocation of resources, human and financial;
  • clear timescales;
  • expected outcomes and performance criteria;
  • specified dates for review;

The effectiveness of this Scheme will be evaluated and reflected in:

  • discussions with the School Improvement Partner form NYCC and the diocese.

4.2 Publication

This Equality Scheme will be published and available to anyone requesting a copy.

 4.3 Review

This Scheme will be reviewed annually and re-written every 3 years.