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Equal opportunities policy 2016-17

St Joseph & St Theresa Catholic Primary School

Equal Opportunities Policy

Mission Statement
In our school we love and care for each other. We share the love of Jesus. We know that God made us and we are all different. Each one of the children is helped to do their best in all lessons. Everyone works together with families, parish and other members of the community

1            Introduction

1.1            Our school's mission statement talks of valuing the individuality of all of our children. We are committed to giving all our children every opportunity to achieve the highest of standards. We do this by taking account of pupils' varied experiences and needs. We offer a broad and balanced curriculum, and have high expectations of all children. The achievements, attitudes and well-being of all our children matter. This policy is intended to help to ensure that this school promotes the individuality of all children, irrespective of ethnicity, religion, attainment, age, disability, gender or background.
In order to accommodate the individual’s particular learning style, lessons will be planned, whenever possible, in a multi-sensory way­, so that various activities will cater for all students in the spirit of inclusion. There will also be consideration of how to record lesson outcomes so that a pupil is offered a variety of methods and is not inhibited by any specific difficulty.
Support may also be available in the form of an adult or a ‘buddy’.
All pupils are encouraged and taught to feedback their views as part of our “Assessment for Learning”. These outcomes and opinions may be indicated in visual, auditory or kinaesthetic ways.
1.2            This policy is in accordance with The Equality Act 2010, which replaced all previous legislation in relation to equal opportunities. In line with that legislation, it seeks to ensure that this school provides equal opportunity for all children and adults, giving due regard to groups with ‘protected characteristics’, in terms of gender, race, disability, sexual orientation, religion/belief, age, gender reassignment, pregnancy/maternity and marriage/civil partnership, in accordance with the Act.
2             Aims and objectives
2.1            We do not discriminate against anyone, be they staff or pupil or parent, on the grounds of ethnicity, religion, attainment, age, disability, gender or background.
2.2            We promote the principle of fairness and justice for all through the education that we provide in our school. We recognise that doing this may entail treating some pupils differently.
2.3            We seek to ensure that all pupils have equal access to the full range of educational opportunities provided by the school.
2.4            We constantly strive to remove any forms of indirect discrimination that may form barriers to learning for some groups.
2.5            We ensure that all recruitment, employment, promotion and training systems are fair to all, and provide opportunities for everyone.
2.6            We challenge personal prejudice and stereotypical views whenever they occur.
2.7            We value each pupil's worth, we celebrate the individuality and cultural diversity of the community centred on our school, and we show respect for all minority groups.
2.8            We are aware that prejudice and stereotyping are caused by poor self-image and by ignorance. Through positive educational experiences, and support for each individual's legitimate point of view, we aim to promote positive social attitudes, and respect for all.

3             Racial equality

3.1            In our school, we will:
·       strive to eliminate all forms of racism and racial discrimination;
·       promote equality of opportunity;
·       promote good relations between people of different racial and ethnic groups.
3.2             It is the right of all pupils to receive the best education the school can provide, with access to all educational activities organised by the school. We do not tolerate any forms of racism or racist behaviour. Should a racist incident occur, we will deal with it in accordance with school procedures (see policies for Racial Equality and for Behaviour and Discipline).
3.3             We endeavour to make our school welcoming to all minority groups. We promote an understanding of diverse cultures through the topics studied by the children, and we reflect this in the displays of work shown around the school.
3.4             Our curriculum reflects the attitudes, values and respect that we have for minority ethnic groups. `

4            Disability non-discrimination

4.1            Some children in our school may have disabilities. We are committed to meeting the needs of these children, as we are to meeting the needs of all within the school. All reasonable steps are taken to ensure that these children are not disadvantaged compared with non-disabled children.
4.2            The school is committed to providing an environment that allows disabled children full access to all areas of learning.
4.3            Teachers modify teaching and learning as appropriate for children with disabilities. For example, they may give additional time to complete certain activities, or modify teaching materials, or offer alternative activities where children are unable to manipulate tools or equipment.

5            Gender equality

5.1            We recognise that nationally, the achievement of boys is falling behind that of girls. We are committed to seeing all individuals and groups of pupils making the best progress possible in our school.
5.2            To make our teaching more accessible to boys, we:
·       share the learning outcomes, and giving the 'big picture';
·       employ a variety of activities, and include a kinaesthetic element;
·       deliver work in bite-sized chunks, with 'brain breaks' and new starts;
·       provide challenge, competition and short-term goals;
·       give regular positive feedback and rewards;
·       set writing tasks that are cross-curricular, that have been modelled first, and for which there are frames and scaffolds available.
5.4            We realise that although gender is one of the key factors affecting educational performance, it affects different sub-groups of boys and girls in different ways. Social class, ethnic origin and local context are all strongly linked to performance. We also seek to ensure that policies designed to improve the boys' attainment do not do so at the expense of achievement by the girls.

6             The role of governors

6.1             In this policy statement, the governing body has set out its commitment to equal opportunities, and it will continue to do all it can to ensure that all members of the school community are treated both fairly and equally.
6.2            The governing body collects, analyses and evaluates a range of school data. We check that all pupils are making the best possible progress, and that no group of pupils is underachieving. To do this, we monitor:
·       admissions;
·       attainment;
·       exclusions;
·       rewards and sanctions;
·       parents' and pupils' questionnaires.
6.3             The governing body seeks to ensure that people from the ‘protected groups’ as defined by The Equality Act 2010 (see section 1.2 above) are not discriminated against when applying for jobs at our school. The governors welcome all applications to join the school, whatever background or minority group a child may come from.
6.4             The governors welcome all applications to join the school, whatever background or disability a child may have.
6.5             The governing body ensures that no child is discriminated against whilst in our school on account of their sex, religion or race. So, for example, all children have access to the full range of the curriculum, and regulations regarding school uniform will be applied equally to boys and girls. If a child's religion has a bearing on school uniform, then the school will deal with each case sensitively, and with respect for the child's cultural traditions.

7            The role of the headteacher

7.1             It is the headteacher's role to implement the school's policy on equal opportunities, and they are supported by the governing body in so doing.
7.2             It is the headteacher's role to make sure that all staff are aware of the school policy on equal opportunities, and that teachers apply these guidelines fairly in all situations.
7.3             The headteacher ensures that all appointments panels give due regard to this policy, so that no one is discriminated against.
7.4             The headteacher promotes the principle of equal opportunity when developing the curriculum, and in providing opportunities for training.
7.5            The headteacher promotes respect for other people in all aspects of school life; in the assembly, for example, respect for other people is a regular theme, as it is also in displays around the school.
7.6             The headteacher views all incidents of unfair treatment, and any racist incidents, with due concern.

8            The role of the class teacher

8.1             Class teachers do their best to ensure that all pupils are treated fairly and with respect. We do not knowingly discriminate against any child.
8.2             When selecting classroom material, teachers strive to provide resources which give positive images, and which challenge stereotypical images of minority groups.
8.3             We seek to implement this policy when designing schemes of work, both in our choice of topics to study, and in how we approach sensitive issues. So, for example, history topics include examples of the significant contributions women have made in this country's history. In geography, the teacher attempts to counter stereotypical images of Africa and Asia, and to show the true diversity of development in different parts of the world.
8.4             All our teachers and support staff challenge any incidents of prejudice or racism. We record any incidents in the school log book and draw them to the immediate attention of the headteacher.

9            Monitoring and review

9.1            It is the responsibility of our governing body to monitor the effectiveness of this policy. The governors will therefore:
·       monitor the progress of pupils from minority groups, comparing it with the progress made by other pupils in the school;
·       monitor the staff appointment process, so that no one applying for a post at this school is discriminated against;
·       require the headteacher to report to governors annually on the effectiveness of this policy;
·       take into serious consideration any complaints from parents/carers, staff or pupils regarding equal opportunity;
·       monitor the school's behaviour policy, and the numbers of exclusions, to make sure that pupils from minority groups are not unfairly treated.
            This policy will be reviewed by the governing body every two years, or earlier if it is considered necessary.
Adopted by Governors: October 2014

Date of review: October 2017

2014-15 Equality Objectives
Each year the school will set specific equality targets to improve the provision set out within this policy.
School equality objectives for 2014-2015 are:
1.     To further improve boys writing reducing the gender gap.
2.     To further enhance teaching and classroom environment in order to make the curriculum further accessible for children with dyslexia or those who have dyslexia tendencies.
3.     To further improve accessibility for pupils with medical conditions within school in particular diabetes. Arrange appropriate provisions and training.
4.     To improve the toilet facilities providing a range of unisex toilets.
Progress towards 2014-15 objectives:
1. The gender gap in writing has been reduced
2. Awarded Dyslexia Friendly Full Status Spring 2016
3. Annual staff training
4. Key Stage 2 toilets refurbished  - 8 unisex cubicles

2015-2016 Equality Objectives
1. To provide all new pupils with school tie, book bag and PE bag.
2. To continue to maintain the principles of Dyslexia Friendly School.
3. To ensure all disadvantage pupils have access to extra curricular activities
4. To provide provision to ensure all pupils are able to spell high frequency words.

2016-17 Equality Objectives
1. To continiue to provide all new pupils with tie, book bag and PE bag
2. To provide new unisex toilets for all Key Stage 1 pupils
3. To refurbish exsisting room to create mini meeting room to provide confidential space for consultation with otutside agencies and parents.
4. To continue to maintain principles of Dyslexia Friendly School
5. To ensure all disadvantaged pupils have access to extra curricular activities
6. To continue to provide provision to ensure all pupils are able to spell high frequency words.