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Equal Oppurtunities Policy


Aims of Equal Opportunities Policy
Equality of opportunity at St Joseph and St Theresa is about providing equality and excellence for all in order to promote the highest possible standards of achievement. Equality of opportunity applies to all members of the school community – pupils, staff, governors, parents and community members.
It is based on the following core values and ethos as expressed in this school's mission statement.
Mission Statement
We are a caring community, which aims to promote a respect and understanding of all individuals through a sharing of our Catholic Faith and the Love of Christ.  All children will feel a sense of worth knowing that they are valued and loved by God in their uniqueness.
We seek to create a learning environment which enables our children to succeed to their best ability and which recognises and values their variety of talents.
We acknowledge the importance of our role in support for the family, the parish and the wider community.
The mission statement is designed to ensure that the school meets the needs of all, taking account of gender, ethnicity, culture, religion, language, sexual orientation, age, ability, disability and social circumstances. It is important that in this school we meet the diverse needs of pupils to ensure inclusion for all and that all pupils are prepared for full participation in a multi-ethnic society.
The School’s Commitment to Race Equality
St Joseph and St Theresa are committed to Race Equality. As stated in the Mission Statement  we aim to promote a respect and understanding of all individuals.
Within school we aim to:
  • preparing pupils for life in a diverse society
  • acknowledging the existence of racism and taking steps to prevent it,
  • making the school a place where everyone, irrespective of their race, colour, ethnic or national origin, feels welcomed and valued;
  • promoting good relations between different racial groups within the school and within the wider community
  • ensuring that an inclusive ethos is established and maintained:
  • opposing all forms of racism, racial prejudice and racial harassment;
  • being proactive in tackling and eliminating unlawful discrimination.
This policy contains explicit and specific statements which reflect the school’s commitment to promote race equality.
Leadership and Management
All the school policies reflect a commitment to equal opportunities, including race equality.
The governing body and school management set a clear ethos which reflects the school’s commitment to equality for all members of the school community.
The school promotes positive approaches to valuing and respecting diversity.
The school management will work in partnership with others to promote equality of opportunity and oppose all forms of oppressive behaviour, prejudice and discrimination.
All staff contribute to the development and review of policy documents. The school ensures the involvement of governors and takes appropriate steps to enable the contribution of parents.
The evaluation of policies is used to identify specific actions to address equality issues.
Teaching and curriculum development are monitored to ensure high expectations of all pupils and appropriatebreadth of content in relation to the school and the wider community.
Additional grants and resources (such as those provided for minority ethnic and Traveller pupils) are appropriately targeted and monitored.
Staffing : Recruitment and Professional Development
The school adheres to recruitment and selection procedures which are fair, equal and in line with statutory duties and Diocesan/ LA guidelines.
Steps are taken to ensure that everyone associated with the school is informed of the contents of this policy.  New staff are familiar with it as part of their induction programme.
The skills of all staff, including support and part-time staff are recognised and valued. All staff are given status and support and are encouraged to share their knowledge.
Staff handbooks and regular professional development activities are available for all staff members to support their practice in relation to this policy.
Staff and visitors provide a wide range of role models and reflect the diversity of the local and wider community.
Curriculum planning takes account of the ethnicity, backgrounds and needs of all pupils.
The curriculum builds on pupils’ starting points and is differentiated appropriately to ensure the inclusion of:
boys and girls
            English as an additional language
            minority ethnic groups
            gifted and talented;
            special educational needs
            looked after children by the local authority;
            pupils who are at risk of disaffection and exclusion.
The school monitors and evaluates its effectiveness in providing an appropriate curriculum for pupils of all backgrounds.
Each area of the curriculum is planned to incorporate the principles of equality and to promote positive attitudes to diversity.  All subjects contribute to the spiritual, moral, social, and cultural development of all pupils.
The content of the curriculum reflects and values diversity. It encourages pupils to explore bias and to challenge prejudice and stereotypes.
Extra curricular activities and special events cater for the interests and capabilities of all pupils and take account of parental concerns related to religion and culture.
Teaching and Learning
Teachers ensure that the classroom is an inclusive environment in which pupils feel all their contributions are valued.
All pupils have access to the mainstream curriculum.
Teaching is responsive to pupils’ different learning styles and takes account of pupils’ cultural backgrounds and linguistic needs.
Teachers take positive steps to include all groups or individuals.
Pupil grouping in the classroom is planned and varied. Allocations to teaching groups are kept under continual review and are analysed by ethnicity, gender and background.
Teaching styles include collaborative learning so that pupils appreciate the value of working together. All pupils are encouraged to question, discuss and collaborate in problem solving tasks.
Teachers encourage pupils to become independent and to take responsibility for their own learning.
Teachers challenge stereotypes and foster pupils’ critical awareness and concepts of fairness, enabling them to detect bias and challenge inequalities.
Resources and displays reflect the experience and backgrounds of pupils, promote diversity and challenge stereotypes in all curriculum areas. They are reviewed regularly to ensure that they reflect the inclusive ethos of the school.
Assessment, Pupil Achievement and Progress
All pupils have the opportunity to achieve their highest standards.  Baseline assessment is used appropriately for all pupils. The school ensures that assessment is free of gender, cultural and social bias, and that assessment methods are valid.
The school monitors and analyses pupil performance by gender, ethnicity and background and is therefore able to identify groups of pupils where there are patterns of underachievement.  The school ensures that action is taken to counter this.
Staff have very high expectations of all pupils and they continually challenge them to extend their learning and achieve higher standards. The school recognises and values all forms of achievement.
Self-assessment provides all pupils with opportunities to take responsibility for their own learning through regular reflection and feedback on their progress.
All pupils have full opportunities to demonstrate what they know, understand and can do and  therefore, to benefit from assessment which summarises what they have learnt.  Information from assessment is used to inform future learning.
Staff use a range of methods and strategies to assess pupil progress.
School Ethos
The school opposes all forms of racism, harassment, prejudice and discrimination.
The school publicly supports diversity and actively promotes good personal and community relations.  Diversity is recognised as having a positive role to play within the school.
Staff foster a positive atmosphere of mutual respect and trust among pupils from all ethnic groups.
Clear procedures are in place to ensure that staff deal with all forms of bullying and harassment promptly, firmly and consistently.  Actions taken are in line with relevant LEA policies and guidance such as those for anti-bullying and dealing with racist incidents.
All forms of harassment are recorded, monitored and dealt with in line with relevant school policies.
Pupils, staff and parents are aware of the procedures for dealing with intolerant behaviour and that such behaviour is always unacceptable.
Staff are trained to deal effectively with bullying, racist incidents, racial harassment and prejudice.
Behaviour, Discipline and Exclusions
The school expects high standards of behaviour from all pupils.
The school's procedures for disciplining pupils and managing behaviour are fair and applied equally to all.
It is recognised that cultural background may affect behaviour.  The school takes this into account when dealing with incidents of unacceptable behaviour.
All staff operates consistent systems of rewards and discipline as stated within the school's Behaviour Policy.
Pupils, staff and parents are aware of procedures for dealing with harassment.  They know that any language or behaviour which is racist, sexist, homophobic or potentially damaging to any minority group is always unacceptable.
Personal Development and Pastoral Care
Pastoral support takes account of religious and ethnic differences, and the experiences and needs of refugee and asylum seeker children.
The school provides appropriate support for pupils learning English as an additional language and encourages them to use their home and community languages.
Appropriate support is given to victims of harassment and intolerant behaviour, using the support of external agencies where appropriate.  The perpetrators are dealt in accordance with school policies and provided with relevant support to consider and modify their behaviour.
Admissions and Attendance
The admissions process is monitored to ensure that it is administered fairly and consistently.
Comprehensive information about pupils’ ethnicity, first language, religion, physical needs, diet etc. is included in all admissions forms.
The school and families are aware of their rights and responsibilities in relation to pupil attendance and absence is always followed up by appropriate personnel who are aware of community issues.
Provision is made for pupils on extended leave so that they are able to continue with their learning.
Attendance is monitored by gender, ethnicity, special educational need and background and action is taken in order to reduce any disparities between different groups of pupils.
Partnership with Parents and the Community
Progress reports to parents are accessible and appropriate, in order to ensure that all parents have the opportunity to participate in the dialogue.
All parents are encouraged to participate at all levels in the full life of the school.
The school works in partnership with parents and the community to develop positive attitudes to diversity and to address specific incidents.
The school takes steps to encourage the involvement and participation of under represented groups of parents and sections of the community.
Meetings for parents are made accessible for all.  Parental involvement is monitored to ensure the participation of all groups.
Informal events are designed to include the whole community and at times may target minority or marginalised groups.
The Governing Body and Headteacher will ensure that the school complies with all relevant equalities legislation.
The Governing Body and Headteacher will ensure that the policy and related procedures and strategies are implemented.
The Headteacher will ensure that all staff are aware of their responsibilities under the policy.
The member of staff named below will be responsible for co-ordinating work in equal opportunities.
Monitoring and Review
This policy will be regularly monitored and reviewed to ensure that it does not disadvantage particular sections of the community.
The effectiveness of the policy will be evaluated annually by the member of staff responsible for Equal Opportunities.
Member of staff responsible for Equal Opportunities:  Mrs Davies - Headteacher
Date of policy :  Jan 2018