Since the Equality Act 2010 came into effect in April 2011 there has no longer been a requirement that schools should draw up and publish equality schemes or policies. It is still good practice, however, for a school to make a statement about the principles according to which it reviews the impact on equalities of its policies and practices, and according to which it gathers and publishes information, and decides on specific objectives.
This model statement has been adapted slightly from one which was developed in the period 2007–08, and first published in 2009. It has been modified in the light of the Equality Act 2010, and of the general and specific duties that the Act entails. There is fuller information about the background in notes at the end.
|1||We welcome our duties under the Equality Act 2010 to eliminate discrimination, advance equality of opportunity and foster good relations in relation to age (as appropriate), disability, ethnicity, gender (including issues of transgender, and of maternity and pregnancy), religion and belief, and sexual identity.|
|2||We welcome our duty under the Education and Inspections Act 2006 to promote community cohesion.|
|3||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 199|
|4||In fulfilling the legal obligations cited above, we are guided by nine principles:
|5||We keep each curriculum subject or area under review in order to ensure that teaching and learning reflect the principles set out in paragraph 4 above.|
Ethos and organisation
|6||We ensure the principles listed in paragraph 4 above apply to the full range of our policies and practices, including those that are concerned with:
o pupils' progress, attainment and achievement
o pupils' personal development, welfare and well-being
o teaching styles and strategies
o admissions and attendance
o staff recruitment, retention and professional development
o care, guidance and support
o behaviour, discipline and exclusions
o working in partnership with parents, carers and guardians
o working with the wider community.
Addressing prejudice and prejudice-related bullying
|7||The school is opposed to all forms of prejudice which stand in the way of fulfilling the legal duties referred to in paragraphs 1–3:
o prejudices around disability and special educational needs
o prejudices around racism and xenophobia, including those that are directed towards religious groups and communities, for example antisemitism and Islamophobia, and those that are directed against Travellers, migrants, refugees and people seeking asylum
o prejudices reflecting sexism and homophobia.
|8||There is guidance in the staff handbook on how prejudice-related incidents should be identified, assessed, recorded and dealt with.|
|9||We keep a record of prejudice-related incidents and, if requested, provide a report to the local authority about the numbers, types and seriousness of prejudice-related incidents at our school and how they are dealt with.|
Roles and responsibilities
|10||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.|
|11||A member of the governing body has a watching brief regarding the implementation of this policy.|
|12||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.|
|13||A senior member of staff has day-to-day responsibility for co-ordinating implementation of the policy.|
|14||All staff are expected to:
o promote an inclusive and collaborative ethos in their classroom
o deal with any prejudice-related incidents that may occur
o plan and deliver curricula and lessons that reflect the principles in paragraph 4 above
o support pupils in their class for whom English is an additional language
o keep up-to-date with equalities legislation relevant to their work.
Information and resources
|15||We ensure that the content of this policy is known to all staff and governors and, as appropriate, to all pupils and their parents and carers.|
|16||All staff and governors have access to a selection of resources which discuss and explain concepts of equality, diversity and community cohesion in appropriate detail.|
|17||We respect the religious beliefs and practice of all staff, pupils and parents, and comply with reasonable requests relating to religious observance and practice.|
Staff development and training
|18||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.|
Breaches of the policy
|19||Breaches of this policy will be dealt with in the same ways that breaches of other school policies are dealt with, as determined by the headteacher and governing body.|
Monitoring and review
|20||We collect, study and use quantitative and qualitative data relating to the implementation of this policy, and make adjustments as appropriate.|
|22||In particular we collect, analyse and use data in relation to achievement, broken down as appropriate according to disabilities and special educational needs; ethnicity, culture, language, religious affiliation, national origin and national status; and gender.|
Background and acknowledgements
- In its overall framework this model policy on all equalities in education is based on the race equality policy that Derbyshire County Council developed in response to the Race Relations Act 2000, and that was included in Here, There and Everywhere: belonging, identity and equality in schools published by Trentham Books in 2004.
- The model statement takes into account guidance issued by several other local authorities, including Buckinghamshire, Cambridgeshire, Dudley, Durham, Hertfordshire, Newcastle, Sheffield and Somerset.
- The list of principles at paragraph 4 is adapted slightly from material in Equality Impact Analysis: a workbook, the most recent version of which was published by the Department for Education in February 2011.
- The phrasing at certain points reflects the specific duties required by the Equality Act 2010 to publish information (principle 8) and to formulate and publish objectives (principle 9).
Insted consultancy, London October 2011