Equality of Opportunity

Introduction

 

This policy statement outlines the commitment of the staff and management of New Direction to ensure that equality of opportunity is available to all members of the school community. These include:

Pupils

Teaching staff

Support staff

Parents

Supervisory Body

Visitors to the school

Pupils / Students on placement

Equal opportunities should permeate all aspects of school life, and is the responsibility of every member of the school community.

This policy statement reflects the consensus of opinion of the whole school community. It has been drawn up as a result of discussion with teaching and non-teaching staff, parents, pupils.

The implementation of the policy is the responsibility of all individuals within the school community. The responsibility for keeping the issue of equal opportunity at a high level of priority at all times and in all areas, is that of the Proprietor.

All members of the school community should be aware that every individual has a right to be considered of equal value and be given equal opportunities regardless of:

Ethnicity

Gender (including Transgender)

Social Background

Ability/Disability

HIV/AIDS

Belief

Age

Marital status

Nationality/Citizenship

Sexual orientation.

In the context of the school we feel the most appropriate definition is that:

“Equal opportunity is the right of everyone to equal chances, and each individual is respected for who they are.”

 

 

Ethos and Atmosphere

At New Direction we are aware that those involved in the leadership of the school community are instrumental in demonstrating mutual respect between all members of the school community.

There should be an ‘openness’ of atmosphere which welcomes everyone to the school

Pupils are encouraged to greet visitors to the school with friendliness and respect

The displays around the school are of high quality and reflect diversity across all aspects of equality of opportunity

Physical access to the school is constantly being reviewed and improved in an attempt to maximise access for disabled visitors

Provision is made to cater for the spiritual needs of all the children through planning of both assemblies and classroom activities

Learning Environment

There is a consistently high expectation of all pupils regardless of age, gender, ethnicity, ability or social background. All pupils are encouraged to improve on their own achievements and not to measure themselves against others. Parents are also encouraged to view their own children’s achievements in this light.

Teacher enthusiasm is a vital factor in achieving a high level of motivation and good results from all pupils

The adults in the school try to provide good, positive role models in their approach to all issues relating to equality of opportunity

The school places a very high priority on the provision for special educational needs and disability. We aim to meet all pupils’ learning needs including the more able by carefully assessed and administered programmes of work

The school provides an environment in which all pupils have equal access to all facilities and resources

All pupils are actively involved in their own learning

A range of teaching methods is used throughout the school to ensure that effective learning takes place at all stages for all pupils

The Taught Curriculum

At New Direction we aim to ensure that our planning reflects our specific commitment to equality of opportunity in all subject areas and cross curricular themes.

Our planning takes account of the differing needs of pupils and their progression.

We have a commitment to evaluate our curricular outcomes each term to ensure that what we have actually planned takes place. These evaluations are completed by the Proprietor in conjunction with teaching staff.

 

Resources and Materials

The provision of good quality resources and materials within New Direction School is a high priority. These resources should:

reflect “the reality of an ethnically, culturally and sexually diverse society”

reflect a variety of viewpoints

show positive images of males and females in society including people with disabilities

reflect non-stereotypical images of all groups in a global context

include materials to raise awareness of equal opportunity issues

be equally accessible to all members of school community consistent with health and safety

not include explicitly and implicitly racist, sexist, homophobic or ageist materials

Language

We recognise that it is important at New Direction that all members of the school community use appropriate language which:

does not transmit or confirm stereotypes

does not offend

creates and enhances positive images of particular groups identified at the beginning of this document

creates the conditions for all people to develop their self esteem

uses correct terminology in referring to particular groups or individuals e.g. Inuit rather than Eskimo, Native Americans rather than Red Indians

Organisation of Learning

When organising groups for various activities, consideration is always given to the composition of the group, to provide a balance appropriate to the activity.

At New Direction School our environment is not culturally diverse, and we are very conscious of the need to provide first hand experiences for the pupils to encounter people from other cultures. We do this by:

Extra-Curricular Provision

It is the policy of this school to provide equal access to all activities from an early age e.g. girls playing football, boys playing netball and mixed teams wherever possible.

We undertake responsibility for making contributors to extra-curricular activities aware of the school’s commitment to equality of opportunity (e.g. sports helpers, coach drivers) by providing them with written guidelines drawn from this policy.

We try to ensure that all such non staff members who have contact with children adhere to these guidelines.

Provision for Bilingual pupils

We undertake at New Direction School to make appropriate provision for all bilingual groups to ensure access to the whole curriculum. These groups may include:

Traveller children

Those from refugee families

Pupils whose home language is not a standard form of English pupils for whom English is an additional language.

While there is a need for pupils to learn to communicate in Standard English we believe that their home language should be celebrated and respected.

Legislation

We are bound by the legal requirements of the following legislation:

The Sex Discrimination Act 1995

Human Rights Act 1998

Civil Partnership Act 2004

Gender Recognition Act 2004

The Race Relations Amendment Act 2000

The Disability Discrimination Act 1995

The Disability Discrimination Act (Amendment) Regulations 2003

The Disability Discrimination Act 2005

The Disability Discrimination (Public Authorities) (Statutory Duties) Regulations 2005

The Special Educational Needs and Disability Act (SENDA) 2001

The Disability (Pensions) Regulations 2003

The Disability Rights Commission Act 1999

The Education (Modification of Enactments Relating to Employment) Order 2003: SI 2003/1964

The Education Act 1996: Part IV

The Employment Equality (Age) Regulations 2006:

The Employment Equality (Sex Discrimination) Regulations 2005

The Employment Equality (Religion or Belief) Regulations 2003: SI 2003/1660

The Employment Equality (Sexual Orientation) Regulations 2003: SI 2003/1661

The Equality Act 2006

Staffing and Staff Development

We recognise the need for positive role models and distribution of responsibility among staff. This must include pupils’ access to a balance of male and female staff.

We undertake to encourage the career development and aspirations of all individuals.

It is our policy to provide staff with training and development which will increase awareness of the needs of different groups of pupils in the various dimensions of equality of opportunity.

Harassment and Bullying

It is the duty of this school to challenge all types of discriminatory behaviour e.g. unwanted attentions (verbal or physical) unwelcome or offensive remarks or suggestions about another person’s appearance, character, race, ability or disability, sexuality, gender (or transgender).

The school has a clear, agreed procedure for dealing with incidents such as these (see Behaviour Policy).

Parents and the Wider Community

We aim to work in partnership with parents to help all pupils to achieve their potential. We wish to affirm our continuing commitment to reach out to other diverse groups within our immediate community and beyond.

Monitoring and Review

Equality of opportunity is identified as an area requiring careful and ongoing monitoring in the School Development Plan.

The person on the staff responsible for co-ordinating the monitoring and evaluation of the policy is the Proprietor who is responsible for:

Leading discussions in designated staff meetings which will include support staff, to discuss issues of equal opportunities within the school community.

Working closely with the schools supervisory body

Monitoring the following will enable the school to see where equality of opportunity needs to be more intensely focused:

participation in extra-curricular activities

exclusions and truancy

continuous assessment of children’s learning

racist and sexist incidents

results from screening for specific learning needs

attendance

Review

This policy will be reviewed annually by the Proprietor and Key Staff.

Approval

This Policy was approved at a meeting of the Proprietor and Key Staff on 19 September 2016 – Review Date September 2017