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Equal Opportunities

St Paul’s C of E Primary School

Single Equality Policy

 

Introduction

 

This Equality Policy sets out the school’s approach to promoting community cohesion, equality and diversity. It covers disability, gender and race/ethnicity, in response to the statutory duties on schools to publish disability and gender equality schemes and a race equality policy.

 

This Equality Policy statement sets out:

  • The school’s context.
  • Aims and values.
  • The school’s overall approach to promoting equality: community cohesion, recognising and celebrating 
  • diversity and tackling discrimination.
  • Specific reference to community cohesion, race equality, disability equality, gender equality.
  • Roles and responsibilities.
  • Monitoring, reviewing and assessing impact.

 

The School Context – What sort of school are we?

 

St Paul’s CE (VA) Primary School is a church school set in the heart of Cambridge serving an inner-city catchment area. We serve the local population which includes families associated with local businesses, the university and Addenbrookes Hospital.

We have families from a wide range of language and ethnic backgrounds. Family mobility is quite high which makes it difficult to give precise figures, but we frequently have children with English as an Additional Language from up to 20 different language backgrounds.

 

School is well set up to cater for children with disabilities with access to all areas by means of ramps and there is a toilet facility for anyone with a disability.

We are a Church of England primary school and offer up to three ‘church’ places for pupils out of catchment. We also cater for a wide range of faiths and beliefs, including those with no faith.

 

Equality – aims and values

 

At St Paul’s CE (VA) Primary School we aim to provide equality and excellence for all in order to promote the highest possible standards. Our Equality Policy is based on the following core values as expressed in our school’s aims.

‘Our aims, in partnership with parents, carers and with the Church are to:

 

  • develop each child’s full potential in all areas: whether academic, artistic, physical, social or spiritual;
  • celebrate children’s particular talents and actively encourage individual and collective achievement;
  • build a caring and supportive community in which all, adults and children, participate with a common sense of purpose and shared responsibility.’

 

Our approach to promoting equality

 

The overall objective of our school’s Equality Policy is to provide a framework for the school to pursue its equality duties to eliminate unlawful discrimination and harassment; promote equality of opportunity; and promote good relations and positive attitudes between people of diverse backgrounds in all its activities.

 

Through the Equality Policy, our school seeks to ensure that no member of the school community or any other person through their contact with the school receives less favourable treatment on any grounds which cannot be shown to be justified. This covers race, colour, nationality, ethnic or national origin, religion or belief, gender, marital status, responsibility for children or other dependants, disability, sexual orientation, gender reassignment, age, trade union or political activities, socio-economic background, where the person lives or spent convictions.

 

The principles of this policy apply to all members of the extended school community – pupils, staff, governors, parents and community members.

 

A cohesive community

 

At St Paul’s we seek to have a vision that is common for all communities, and an emphasis on what binds communities together rather than what differences divide them, a sense of belonging, of identifying with the neighbourhood and of ‘looking out for each other’.

 

As we have families from so many different backgrounds, we seek to appreciate, respect and protect the diversity of people’s different backgrounds and circumstances.

We seek to teach pupils to understand others, to promote common values and to value diversity, to promote awareness of human rights and of the responsibility to uphold and defend them, and to develop the skills of participation and responsible action.

 

We seek to ensure equal opportunities for all to succeed at the highest level possible, removing barriers to access and participation in learning and wider activities and eliminating variations in outcomes for different groups.

 

We seek to provide a means for children and their families to interact with people from different backgrounds and build positive relations, including links with different schools and communities locally, across the country and internationally.

 

Race Equality

 

We recognise our duty as a school to promote equality of opportunity; to promote good race relations; and to eliminate unlawful racial discrimination.

We seek to monitor race equality by assessing any effect on pupils parents and staff, particularly the impact on pupils’ attainment levels.

 

Disability Equality

 

We aim to meet the needs of any pupil, parent or member of staff with a physical or mental impairment which has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on their ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities.

 

Gender Equality

 

We aim to ensure that all pupils, parents and members of staff are treated appropriately and that no difference is made to opportunities based on gender.

 

Roles and responsibilities

 

All who work in the school have a responsibility for promoting equality and inclusion, and avoiding unfair discrimination. Our governors are responsible for:

 

  • making sure the school complies with all current equality legislation.
  • making sure this policy and its procedures are followed.

 

The Headteacher is responsible for:

 

  • making sure the policy is readily available and that the governors, staff, pupils and their parents know about it.
  • making sure its procedures are followed.
  • producing regular information for staff and governors about the policy and how it is working, and providing training for them on the policy, if necessary.
  • making sure all staff know their responsibilities and receive training and support in carrying these out.
  • taking appropriate action in cases of harassment and discrimination.

 

All our staff are responsible for:

 

  • dealing with racist, sexist and homophobic incidents, and being able to recognise and tackle bias and stereotyping.
  • promoting equality and good community relations and avoiding discrimination against anyone for reasons of race, colour, nationality, ethnic or national origins, gender, disability, religion or belief, sexual orientation or socio-economic circumstances.
  • keeping up to date with the law on discrimination and taking training and learning opportunities.

 

Visitors and contractors are responsible for:

 

  • knowing and following our equality policy

 

Responsibility for overseeing equality practices in the school lies with the Headteacher. Responsibilities include:

 

  • coordinating and monitoring work on equality issues.
  • dealing with and monitoring reports of harassment (including racist and homophobic incidents).
  • monitoring the progress and attainment of vulnerable groups of pupils (e.g. Black and minority ethnic pupils, including Gypsies and Travellers).
  • monitoring exclusions.

 

Monitoring, reviewing, assessing impact

 

This policy incorporates the school’s disability and gender equality schemes and a race equality action plan.

 

The policy runs for 3 years but is reviewed and reported upon annually to the governing body. The School Development Plan ensures the Equality Policy forms an essential part of the school’s action on equality. It includes targets determined by the governing body for promoting a cohesive community, inclusion and equality in the school, also with reference to the workforce. It also ensures other school policies address
equality issues.

 

This policy will be regularly monitored and reviewed by staff and governors to ensure that it is effective in tackling discrimination, promoting access and participation, equality and good relations between different groups, and that it does not disadvantage particular sections of the community.

 

Any pattern of inequality found as a result of impact assessments is used to inform future planning and decision-making.

 

The Headteacher will provide monitoring reports for review by the Governing Body. These will include: school population, workforce recruitment, retention and progression, key initiatives, progress against targets and future plans.

 

Community cohesion will be monitored against the Cambridgeshire standards which are based on the national ‘Community Cohesion Education Standards for Schools’ (DfES, Home Office and Commission for Racial Equality 2004), ‘Guidance on the duty to promote community cohesion’ (DCSF 2007, ref. 00598-2007) and ‘Our Shared Future’ (Commission on Integration and Cohesion, 2007).

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