EQUALITY AT NORTHWAY

This Equality policy brings together all previous policies, schemes and action plans around equality including those that we had previously for Race, Gender and Disability.

This policy includes all the protected characteristics covered under the Equality Act 2010 as well as other aspects, which have the potential to discriminate against or to devalue any individuals within our community. Northway is further committed to the development of cohesive communities both within are school’s physical boundaries and within our local, national and global environments. Our school embraces the aim of working together with others to improve children’s educational and wellbeing outcomes, and notes the rights set out in the UN convention on the Rights of the Child.

The guiding principles in this policy refer to all individuals and therefore are equally applicable to pupils, staff, governors, parents and carers and visitors to Northway.

Background and Legal Framework.

Over recent years, we recognise that schools have been working towards an improved understanding of the diverse nature of their communities, and recognising their role in promoting an understanding of equality for different groups of people. Much of this work is in response to legislation that places an increased duty within the specific context of a school’s role in providing learning and other opportunities for all - it is about fairness, rights and justice.

Inequality still persists in the UK despite 40 years of equality legislation. In Sefton, we know some groups do less well than their peers in terms of progress, achievement and later life chances. This picture is reflected nationally. The recognition of diversity and the promotion of inclusive and equality practices will help to overcome this disparity.

The Equality Act 2010 harmonises and streamlines legislation that came before it. The Act refers to 9 protected characteristics:

_ Age (adults only)

_ Disability

_ Race (including Gypsy and Traveller groups)

_ Religion, Faith or Belief

_ Gender

_ Gender identity and transgender

_ Sexual orientation

_ Pregnancy and Maternity

_ Marriage and Civil Partnership

 

Each relates to direct discrimination, discrimination by association, discrimination by perception, indirect discrimination, harassment and victimisation. Northway will seek to achieve positive action in respect of the Act.

Equality Duty.

Northway recognises the Equality Act 2010 introduced a single Public Sector Equality Duty (PSED) on public bodies including maintained schools and Academies. This combined Equality Duty came into effect in April 2011. Northway is mindful that the Duty has three main elements. In carrying out their functions, public bodies are required to have due regard to the need to:

Eliminate unlawful discrimination, harassment and victimisation and other conduct prohibited by the Act

Advance equality of opportunity between people who share a protected characteristic and those that do not

Foster good relations between people who share a protected characteristic and those that do not.

Having due regard means to consciously think about the three aims of the Equality Duty as outlined above. i.e:

• Decision makers in schools must be aware of the duty to have ‘due regard’ when making a decision or taking an action which may have implications for people with particular protected characteristics.

• Schools should consider equality before and at the time that they develop policies and take decisions, not as an afterthought, and they need to keep it under review on a continuing basis

• The Equality Duty has to be integrated into the carrying out of the school’s functions, and the duty has to be carried out seriously, rigorously and with an open mind- and to recognise it is not a tick box exercise.

Having due regards to the need to advance equality of opportunity involves considering the need to:

• Remove or minimise disadvantages suffered by people due to their protected characteristics

• Meet the needs of people with protected characteristics

• Encourage people with protected characteristics to participate in public life or in other activities where their participation is low.

Fostering good relations involves tackling prejudice and promoting understanding between people who share a protected characteristic and others.

Specific Duties.

Northway recognises the specific duties of schools to:

• Publish information annually to demonstrate compliance with the Equality Duty

• Publish equality objectives every four years (one or more as is proportionate to the school)

• All information must be published in a manner that is accessible to the public.

Our vision statement about Equality

Northway seeks to foster warm, welcoming and respectful environments, which allow us to question and challenge discrimination and inequality, resolve conflicts peacefully and work and learn free from harassment and violence.

We recognise that there are similarities and differences between individuals and groups but we will strive to ensure that our differences do not become barriers to participation, access and learning and to create inclusive processes and practices, where the varying needs of individuals and groups are identified and met. We therefore cannot achieve equality for all by treating everyone the same.

We will build on our similarities and seek enrichment from our differences and so promote understanding and learning between and towards others to create cohesive communities.

Good Practice

We strive to achieve a cohesive community and expect that all children respect one another and behave with respect to one another, and that their parents/carers feel fully engaged in the school.

We aim to enhance a wider sense of community locally, as well as in the context of the UK and the world communities.

We support 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. Through our policies and actions we undertake to ensure that every child and young person is healthy, safe, is able to enjoy and achieve in their learning experience, and is able to contribute to the wider community.

We consider it prudent and sensible to maintain the practice of logging racist incidents and reporting them to the L.A. We monitor and log incidents that discriminate against children and young people or adults in our school with protected characteristics, e.g. homophobic bullying. We also monitor and log bullying incidents directed towards those with special educational needs.

Guiding Principles

In fulfilling the legal obligations and establishing our school ethos, we have taken a whole school approach. We have involved and listened to what they have to say, including people from broad and diverse backgrounds and of different abilities, taking account of all protected characteristics listed under the Equality Act 2010. We are guided by 9 principles:

Principle 1: All learners are of equal value

We see all learners and potential learners, and their parents, carers, of equal value:

• whether or not they are disabled;

• whatever their ethnicity, culture, religious affiliation, national origin or national status;

• whatever their gender or gender identity;

• whatever their sexual identity.

 

Principle 2: We recognise and respect difference

Treating people equally (Principle 1 above) does not necessarily involve treating them all the same. Policies, procedures and activities must not discriminate but must nevertheless take account of differences of life-experience, outlook and background, and in the kinds of barriers and disadvantage which people may face, in relation to:

• disability, so that reasonable adjustments are made;

• ethnicity, so that different cultural backgrounds and experiences of prejudice are recognized;

• gender, so that the different needs and experiences of girls and boys, women and men are recognised;

• sexual identity.

 

Principle 3: We foster positive attitudes and relationships and a shared sense of cohesion and belonging

Policies, procedure and activities promote:

• positive attitudes and actions towards disabled people, good relations between disabled and non- disabled people, and an absence of harassment of disabled people;

• positive interaction, good relations and dialogue between groups and communities different from each other in terms of race, ethnicity, culture, religious affiliation, national origin or national status, and an absence of prejudice related bullying and incidents;

• mutual respect and good relations between boys and girls, women and men and an absence of sexual and homophobic harassment.

 

Principle 4: We observe good equalities practice in staff recruitment, retention and development

Policies and procedures benefit all employees and potential employees, for example in recruitment and promotion and in continuing professional development:

• whether or not they are disabled;

• whatever their race, ethnicity, culture, religious affiliation, national origin or national status;

• whatever their gender and sexual identity and with full respect for legal rights relating to pregnancy and maternity.

 

Principle 5: We aim to reduce and remove inequalities and barriers that already exist

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:

• disabled and non-disabled people;

• people of different racial, ethnic, cultural and religious backgrounds;

• girls and boys, women and men;

• gay people as well as heterosexual people.

 

Principle 6: We consult and involve widely

People affected by a policy or activity should be consulted and involved in the design of new policies and in the review of existing ones. Consultation involves:

• disabled and non- disabled people;

• people of different racial, ethnic, cultural and religious backgrounds;

• girls and boys, women and men;

• gay people as well as heterosexual people.

 

Principle 7: We address prejudice and prejudice related bullying

We oppose all forms of prejudice, which stand in the way of fulfilling the legal duties listed below:

• prejudices around disability and special educational needs;

• prejudices around racism and xenophobia, including those that are directed against religious groups and communities, for example, anti –Semitism and Islamophobia, and those directed against travellers, migrants, refugees and people seeking asylum;

• prejudice reflecting sexism or homophobia.

 

Principle 8: Society as a whole should benefit

Policies and activities should benefit society as a whole, both locally and nationally, fostering greater social and community cohesion and greater participation in the public life of:

• disabled and non-disabled people;

• people of different racial, ethnic, cultural or religious backgrounds;

• girls and boys, women and men;

• gay people as well as heterosexual people.

 

Principle 9: Objectives

Each year we formulate and publish specific and measurable equality objectives, based on the evidence we have collected and published, in relation to:

• disability;

• race, ethnicity, religion and culture;

• gender / sexuality.

 

Arrangements, Roles and Responsibilities

The equality objectives for Northway will be set out formally. They will be reviewed annually and refreshed on a four year cycle.

The equality employment information will be monitored and reported to the Governing Body on an annual basis.

Northway will undertake Equality Impact Assessment (Equality Analysis EqIA) exercises when renewing or reviewing policy or practice to ensure full compliance with the Equality Act 2011.

 

Curriculum

Curriculum information will also be evaluated by looking specifically at equality groups in addition to the standard analysis conducted by the school and adjustments made as appropriate to ensure that protected characteristic groups are supported positively.

All other data relating to whole school monitoring will encompass scrutiny of equality information so that groups are supported positively.

When it is reviewed, each curriculum subject or area will ensure that teaching and learning will reflect our Guiding Principles as set out in this document.

 

Staff and Governors

Governing Body is responsible for ensuring that the school complies with legislation, and that this policy and its related procedures and action plans are implanted.

A member of the Governing Body has the role of monitoring the implementation of the policy.

The Head teacher is responsible for implanting the policy; for ensuring that all staff are aware of their responsibilities and are given appropriate training and support; and, for tasking appropriate action in any cases of unlawful discrimination or practices.

A senior member of staff has day to day responsibility for co-ordinating implementation of this policy.

All staff are expected to:

• adhere to this policy;

• promote equality and inclusion in their classroom, amongst pupils, colleagues and with visitors to the school;

• deal with any prejudice related incidents that may occur;

• plan and deliver currucula and lessons that reflect our Guiding Principles;

• provide and analyse quantitative and qualitative data that supports better understanding of protected characteristic ‘groups and any issues that may arise, e.g. attendance, bullying, exclusion etc;

• undertake or support Equality Impact Assessment (EIA analysis) processes;

• attend appropriate training that enables Northway to keep up-to-date with equality issues.

All staff and governors are expected to:

• have access to training and a selection of resources which discuss and explain the concepts of equality, diversity and community cohesion. We value the opportunity to take a holistic approach in fulfilling our equality duties;

• exercise their safeguarding responsibilities in relation to equality matters and ensure that any bullying or challenging of Human Rights is addressed immediately and appropriately.

Pupils will:                           

• be involved in the development of the Policy and understand how it relates to them, appropriate to age and ability;

• be expected to act in accordance with the Policy;

• be encouraged to actively support the Policy.

Parents/carers will:

• be given accessible opportunities to become involved in the development of the Policy;

• have access to the Policy through a range of different media appropriate to their requirements;

• be encouraged to actively support the Policy;

• be encouraged to attend any relevant meetings and activities related to the Policy;

• be informed of any incident related to this Policy, which could directly affect their child.

 

Northway is opposed to all forms of prejudice that could act as a barrier to achieving our legal duties and to creating a cohesive and inclusive community. These include:

•     Disability

•     Special educational needs

•     Racism and xenophobia

•     Gender and transgender

•     Religious groups and communities

•     Travellers, migrants, refugees and

•     Sexism and homophobia.

Contact the School

Northway Primary School

Dodds Lane
Maghull
Merseyside
L31 9AA

Main Contact: Mrs C Booth

Tel: 0151-526-2565
Fax: 0151-526-6303
admin.northway@schools.sefton.gov.uk