Public Sector Equality Duty
At Hadley Wood we ensure that everyone is treated fairly and without prejudice. Please read our Equalities Policy to find out a little more about how we do this.
Hadley Wood Primary 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 6 key principles:
- All learners are of equal value
All learners at Hadley Wood School are recognised as learners of equal value regardless of their personal characteristics.
- We recognise, respect and embrace 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 background, disability, mental health, race, ethnicity, gender, religion, belief or faith, sexual orientation and financial position. We believe that diversity is a strength, which should be respected and celebrated by all those who learn, teach, support and visit Hadley Wood.
- We foster positive attitudes and relationships
At Hadley Wood School, we actively promote positive attitudes and mutual respect between groups and communities different from each other, encouraging our articulate children to discuss their beliefs and differences on an even platform. We pride ourselves on being a Values-based School, with a focus on the core vision and values agreed by all stakeholders at our annual School Parliament. For example, all children are encouraged to bring in food from their own culture to share during multi-cultural week.
- We foster a shared sense of cohesion and belonging
We want all stakeholders 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. To this end, we welcome the support of our Friends of Hadley Wood School (FHWS) and our Governors, who give up their time, voluntarily, to support and promote the school within the local community. Our curriculum also encompasses a local unit, where children spend time looking at, and visiting, areas of the local community, be it as part of a history or geography study, supporting a local charity or visits to local places of worship.
- We observe good equalities practice for our staff
Hadley Wood School 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, regardless of personal characteristics. Policies are updated regularly and agreed by the Governing Body to ensure up-to-date practices are adhered to.
- We have the highest expectations of all our children
We pride ourselves on being an inclusive and Values-based high achieving school. We know the needs of our pupils very well and collect and analyse data in order to inform our planning and identify targets to achieve improvements. We have an active learning and teaching style, expecting all pupils to make good progress and achieve their highest potential. Our focus on developing confident, capable, caring children, who are able to articulate and discuss the behaviours that they wish to see and live by, is tied into the Government’s focus on core British Values. We encourage our children to challenge poor and extreme behaviour of any kind. Our staff deliver the highest standards of education for all groups, including the most vulnerable groups, promoting academic excellence as well as emotional well-being for all.
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
- Publish information to show compliance with the Equality Duty by April 6th2012
- Publish Equality objectives at least every 4 years which are specific and measurable by April 6th 2012
Our Equalities 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
This policy was developed by the Hadley Wood School Equality Working Group in consultation with pupils, staff, governors and parents. It is part of our commitment to promoting equalities and providing an inclusive school. When developing the policy, we took account of the DfE guidance on the Equality Act 2010 and also the current Ofsted inspection framework, which places a strong focus on improving the learning and progress of different groups.
Eliminating discrimination, harassment and victimisation
We actively promote equality and diversity though our values, the curriculum, focus weeks (including multicultural week) and by creating an environment which champions respect for all. All staff have had training on radicalisation and the Prevent Duty, enabling them to challenge any extremist views. The school challenges all forms of prejudice and prejudice-based bullying, which stand in the way of fulfilling our commitment to inclusion and equality.
Behaviour, Exclusions and Attendance
The school’s Behaviour Policy takes full account of the duties under the Equality Act. The school values are woven into our day-to-day conversations, and we prepare our children to be articulate and confident to challenge poor or extreme behaviour. We make reasonable, appropriate and flexible adjustment for pupils with disabilities. We closely monitor data on behaviour, attendance, absence and exclusions from school for evidence of over-representation of different groups and take action promptly to address concerns, involving parents and outside agencies as appropriate. We also collect, analyse and use data in relation to attendance and exclusions of different groups. This data is held on our Management Information System (MIS) ScholarPack. We also provide paper copies on prior request. The information is scrutinised by Governors who are responsible for ensuring that no group is being disadvantaged. We are aware that the legislation relates mainly to current but also to future pupils. At this time we are not able to fully accommodate wheelchair users, because of the design of the building. Access is considered whenever new developments are undertaken. Our Accessibility Plan is designed to: increase the extent to which pupils with disabilities can participate and be integrated into the curriculum; improve the physical environment and; improve the availability of accessible information to disabled pupils.
- We ensure equality of access for all pupils to a broad and balanced curriculum, removing barriers to participation where necessary.
- 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 seek to identify children who have emotional or mental health issues and take steps to remove the barriers to their learning.
- We are alert and proactive about the potentially damaging impact of negative language in matters such as race, gender, disability and sexuality.
- We are vigilant about children who discuss accessing age inappropriate games or online content.
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 able-bodied people
- People of different ethnic, cultural and religious backgrounds
- Girls and boys
What we are doing to foster good relations
As a Values Based Education School. 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, whole school events e.g. Multicultural week, guest speakers. We include Equalities matters in our Newsletters to parents and Carers.
Other ways we address equality issues
We have a rolling programme for reviewing all of our school policies, including in relation to equalities and their impact on the progress, safety and well-being 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, parent-school forum and/or focus meetings or governors’ parent-consultation meeting
- Secure and analyse responses from staff surveys, staff meetings and training events
- Review feedback and responses from the children and groups of children, from the school council, PSHE lessons, whole school surveys on children’s attitudes to self and school
- Analyse issues raised in Annual Reviews or reviews of progress on Individual Education Plans/Personalised Provision Maps, mentoring and support
- Ensure that Governing Body and the governing body’s subcommittees are aware of this data.