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Equalities

At Buckingham Park Primary School, we are committed to ensuring equality of education and opportunity for all pupils, staff, parents and carers receiving services from the school, irrespective of race, gender, disability, faith or religion or socio-economic background. We aim to develop a culture of inclusion and diversity in which all those connected to the school feel proud of their identity and able to participate fully in school life.

The achievement of pupils will be monitored by race, gender and disability and we will use this data to support pupils, raise standards and ensure inclusive teaching. We will tackle discrimination by the positive promotion of equality, challenging bullying and stereotypes and creating an environment which champions respect for all.

At Buckingham Park Primary School we believe that diversity is a strength, which should be respected and celebrated byall those who learn, teach and visit here.

Our School

Our school is a larger-than-average primary school and is the result of the recent amalgamation Kingston Buci First and Buckingham Middle Schools. It opened in September 2008. The majority of pupils are from White British backgrounds. The proportion of pupils with learning difficulties and/or disabilities is in line with the national average and includes those with speech and language, emotional and social, and moderate learning difficulties. This Equalities Policy reflects our stated aims of the School:

‘Our school will be an inclusive learning school that is self-managing, self-reviewing and self-improving, where children are motivated, challenged and excited by the curriculum:where they enjoy the richness of their learning and develop socially and emotionally.Our children will enjoy a healthy, safe environment, achieve high standards that will givethem foundations for their future learning and success in life and enable them to become valued contributors to their community’

Mainstreaming equality into policy and practice

As well as the specific actions set out beneath this plan; the school operates equality ofopportunity in its day-to-day practice in the following ways.

Teaching and learning

We aim to provide all our pupils with the opportunity to succeed, and to reach the highest level of personal achievement. To do this, we will:

Use contextual data to improve the ways in which we provide support to individuals and groups of   pupils;

Monitor achievement data by ethnicity, gender and disability and action any gaps;

Take account of the achievement of all pupils when planning for future learning and setting challenging targets;

Ensure equality of access for all pupils and prepare them for life in a diverse society;

Use materials that reflect the diversity of the school, population and local communityin terms of race, gender and disability, without stereotyping;

Promote attitudes and values that will challenge racist and other discriminatorybehaviour or prejudice;

Provide opportunities for pupils to appreciate their own culture and celebrate thediversity of other cultures;

Seek to involve all parents in supporting their child’s education;

Encouraging classroom and staff room discussion of equality issues which reflect on social stereotypes, expectations and the impact on learning;

Including teaching and classroom-based approaches appropriate for the whole school population, which are inclusive and reflective of our pupils.

Admissions and exclusions

Our admissions arrangements are fair and transparent, and do not discriminate on race, gender, disability or socio-economic factors. Exclusions will always be based on the school’s Behaviour Policy. We will closely monitor exclusions to avoid any potential adverse impact and ensure any discrepancies are identified and dealt with.

Equal Opportunities for Staff

This section deals with aspects of equal opportunities relating to staff at Buckingham Park Primary School. We are committed to the implementation of equal opportunities principles and the monitoring and active promotion of equality in all aspects of staffing and employment. All staff appointments and promotions are made on the basis of merit and ability and in compliance with the law. However we are concerned to ensure wherever possible that the staffing of the school reflects the diversity of our community.

Employer duties

As an employer we need to ensure that we eliminate discrimination and harassment in ouremployment practice and actively promote equality across all groups within our workforce. Equality aspects such as gender, race, disability, sexual orientation, gender re-assignment and faith or religion are considered when appointing staff and particularly when allocating Teaching and Learning Responsibilities (TLR) or re-evaluating staff structures, to ensure decisions are free of discrimination.

Actions to ensure this commitment is met include:

Monitoring recruitment and retention including bullying and harassment of staff;

Continued professional development opportunities for all staff;

Senior Leadership Team support to ensure equality of opportunity for all.

Equality and the law

There are a number of statutory duties that must be met by every school in line with legislation from the Race Relations (Amendment) Act (2000), Disability Equality Duty (2005) and Equality Act (2006). The action plan at the end of this Equality Plan outlines the actions Buckingham Park Primary School will take to meet the general duties detailed below.

4a. Race Equality

This section of the plan reflects the general and specific duties of schools as detailed in The Race Relations Act 1976 and as amended by The Race Relations (Amendment) Act 2000. The General Race Equality Duty requires us to have due regard to the need to:

Eliminate racial discrimination;

Promote equality of opportunity;

Promote good relations between people of different racial groups.

Under our specific duty we will:

Prepare an Equality Plan which includes our written policy for race equality;

Assess the impact of our policies, including this Plan, on pupils, staff and parents by ethnicity including, in particular, the achievement levels of these pupils;

Monitor the impact our plans and policies have on such pupils, staff and parents towards raising the achievement of minority ethnic groups.

Disability

This section should be read in conjunction with the school’s Special Educational Needs Policy and Accessibility Strategy.

Definition of disability

The Disability Discrimination Act 2005 (DDA) defines a disabled person as someone who has ‘a physical or mental impairment which has a substantial or long-term adverse effect on his or her ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities’. The DDA 2005 has also extended the definition of disability as follows: People with HIV, multiple sclerosis and cancer (although not all cancers) are deemed disabled before they experience the long-term and substantial adverse effect on their activities; Section 18 has been amended so that individuals with a mental illness no longer have to demonstrate that it is “clinically well-recognised”, although the person must still demonstrate a long-term and substantial adverse impact on his/her ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities.

Legal duties

The Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) 2005 placed a general duty on schools, requiring them to have due regard for the following when carrying out and delivering services:

Promoting equality of opportunity between disabled people and other people;

Eliminating discrimination and harassment of disabled people that is related to their disability;

Promoting positive attitudes towards disabled people;

Encouraging participation in public life by disabled people;

Taking steps to meet disabled people’s needs, even if this requires more favourable treatment.

Under our specific duty we will:

Prepare and publish an Equality Plan which covers the requirements for a Disability Equality Scheme identifying our disability equality goals and actions to meet them; Review and revise this Scheme every three years.

Gender Equality

The Gender Equality Duty 2006 places a general and specific duty on schools to eliminate unlawful discrimination and harassment on the grounds of gender and to promote equality of opportunity between female and male pupils and between women and men and transgender people.

Under our general duty we will actively seek to:

Eliminate unlawful discrimination and harassment on grounds of sex and gender reassignment; Promote equality between men and women.

Under our specific duty we will:

Prepare and publish an Equality Plan which covers the requirements for a GenderEquality Scheme identifying our gender equality goals and actions to meet them; Review and revise this Scheme every three years.

Sexual Orientation

The Equality Act 2006 made provision for regulations to be introduced to extend protection against discrimination on grounds of religion or belief to sexual orientation.The Equality Act (Sexual Orientation) Regulations 2007 came into force on 30 April 2007, and they make discrimination unlawful in the area of goods, facilities and services on grounds of sexual orientation. For schools this means admissions, benefits and services for pupils and treatment of pupils.

Community cohesion

The Education and Inspections Act 2006 inserted a new section 21(5) to the Education Act 2002, introducing a duty on the governing bodies of state schools to promote community cohesion. Community cohesion encompasses promoting good relations between pupils from different races, faiths / beliefs and socio-economic backgrounds. The duty came into force on 1 September 2007.

Consultation and involvement

It is a requirement that the development of this plan and the actions within it have been informed by the input of staff, pupils and parents and carers. We have achieved this by using the following to shape the plan:

Feedback from the annual parent questionnaire, parents’ evening, parent-school forum meetings or governors’ parent-consultation meeting; Input from staff surveys or through staff meetings / INSET;

Feedback from the school council, PSHE lessons, whole school surveys on children’s attitudes to self and school;

Issues raised in annual reviews or reviews of progress on Individual Education Plans/Personalised Provision Maps, mentoring and support; Feedback at Governing body meetings.

Roles and Responsibilities

The role of governors

The governing body has set out its commitment to equal opportunities in this plan and it will continue to do all it can to ensure that the school is fully inclusive to pupils, and responsive to their needs based on race, gender and disability.The governing body seeks to ensure that people are not discriminated against when applying for jobs at our school on grounds of race, gender or disability.The governors take all reasonable steps to ensure that the school environment gives access to people with disabilities, and also strive to make school communications as inclusive as possible for parents, carers and pupils. The governors welcome all applications to join the school, whatever a child’s socioeconomic background, race, gender or disability. The governing body ensures that no child is discriminated against whilst in our school on account of their race, sex or disability.

The role of the headteacher (or senior leader responsible for Equalities)

It is the headteacher’s role to implement the school’s Equality Plan and she is supported by the governing body in doing so. It is the headteacher’s role to ensure that all staff are aware of the Equality Plan and that teachers apply these guidelines fairly in all situations. The headteacher ensures that all appointments panels give due regard to this plan so that no-one is discriminated against when it comes to employment or training opportunities. The headteacher promotes the principle of equal opportunity when developing the curriculum, and promotes respect for other people and equal opportunities to participate in all aspects of school life.The headteacher treats all incidents of unfair treatment and any incidents of bullying or discrimination, including racist incidents, with due seriousness.

The role of all staff: teaching and non-teaching

All staff will ensure that all pupils are treated fairly, equally and with respect, and will maintain awareness of the school’s Equality Plan. All staff will strive to provide material that gives positive images based on race, gender and disability, and challenges stereotypical images. All staff will challenge any incidents of prejudice, racism or homophobia, and record any serious incidents, drawing them to the attention of the headteacher. Teachers support the work of ancillary or support staff and encourage them to intervene in a positive way against any discriminatory incidents.

Tackling discrimination

Harassment on account of race, gender, disability or sexual orientation is unacceptable and is not tolerated within the school environment. All staff are expected to deal with any discriminatory incidents that may occur. They are expected to know how to identify and challenge prejudice and stereotyping; and to support the full range of diverse needs according to a pupil’s individual circumstances. Racist and homophobic incidents and other incidents of harassment or bullying are dealt with by the member of staff present, escalating to a class teacher / headteacher where necessary. All incidents are reported to the headteacher and racist incidents are reported to the governing body and local authority on a termly basis.

What is a discriminatory incident?

Harassment on grounds of race, gender, disability, sexual orientation or other factors such as socio-economic status, can take many forms including verbal or physical abuse, name calling, exclusion from groups and games, unwanted looks or comments, jokes and graffiti. A racist incident is defined by the Stephen Lawrence Inquiry Report (1999) as: ‘any incident which is perceived to be racist by the victim or any other person’.

Types of discriminatory incident

Types of discriminatory incidents that can occur are:

• Physical assault against a person or group because of their colour, ethnicity, nationality, disability, sexual orientation or gender;

• Use of derogatory names, insults and jokes;

• Racist, sexist, homophobic or discriminatory graffiti;

• Provocative behaviour such as wearing racist, sexist, homophobic or discriminatory badges or insignia;

• Bringing discriminatory material into school;

• Verbal abuse and threats;

• Incitement of others to discriminate or bully due to victim’s race, disability, gender or sexual orientation;

• Discriminatory comments in the course of discussion;

Attempts to recruit others to discriminatory organisations and groups;

• Ridicule of an individual for difference e.g. food, music, religion, dress etc;

• Refusal to co-operate with other people on grounds of race, gender, disability or sexual orientation.

Responding to and reporting incidents

It should be clear to pupils and staff how they report incidents. All staff, teaching and non teaching,should view dealing with incidents as vital to the well-being of the whole school. Procedure for responding and reporting is outlined below:

Details or incident

Member of staff to investigate further (if incident reported) or challenge behaviour immediately

Response to victim and family

Response to perpetrator and family

Incident form to be completed .

Incidents to be reported to Governing body and local authority on a termly basis.

Action taken to address issue with year group / school if necessary e.g. through circle time / assembly

8. Review of progress and impact

The Plan has been agreed by our Governing Body. We have a rolling programme for reviewing our school policies and their impact. In line with legislative requirements, we will review progress against our Equality Plan annually and review the entire plan and accompanying action plan on a three year cycle. We make regular assessments of pupils’ learning and use this information to track pupil progress. As part of this process, we regularly monitor achievement by ethnicity, gender and disability, to ensure that all groups of pupils are making the best possible progress, and take appropriate action to address any gaps.

Publishing the plan

In order to meet the statutory requirements to publish a Disability Equality Scheme and Gender Equality Scheme, we will:

Publish our plan on the school website;

Raise awareness of the plan through the school newsletter, assemblies, staff meetings and other communications;

Make sure hard copies are available.

The school will ensure that:

Pupil achievement is monitored by race, gender and disability and any trends or patterns in the data that may require additional action to narrow the gap are addressed;

All staff are aware of the school’s Equality Plan;

The talents of disabled pupils are recognised and represented in Gifted and Talented programmes, and representation on the programmes fully reflects the school population in terms of race and gender;

There is an inclusive approach to ensuring all pupils are given the opportunity to make a positive contribution to the life of the school e.g. through involvement in the School Council by election or co-option); class assemblies; fund raising etc;

Disabled children can take part in all aspects of the curriculum, including educational visits and journeys; lunchtime activities; PE and dance and assemblies;

Extended school activities such as breakfast and after-school clubs take into account pupil needs and access issues and pupils attending reflect the diversity of the school population in terms of race, gender, disability and socio-economic status;

Staff, pupils, parents and carers will continue to be involved in the future development of the Equality Plan through input and feedback from surveys, staff meetings, school council meetings, parents evenings etc.

The school will provide:

Extra and additional support for pupils who are under-achieving, in order to make progress in their learning and their personal well being, e.g. ensuring that children with visual impairment have accessible texts; that children with hearing impairment have an enhanced acoustic classroom environment;

Additional support for parents of under-achieving children (e.g. reporting progress; discussing needs);

Additional support for disabled parents/carers and staff to help them to play a full part in the life of the school (e.g. ensuring that meetings are held in the most accessible parts of the school to support wheelchair users).

PROMOTING POSITIVE ATTITUDES AND MEETING NEEDS

The school will:

Promote positive images which reflect the diversity of the school and community in terms of race, gender and disability, for example in assemblies, books, publications and learning materials and in classroom/corridor display.

Actively seek to recruit disabled people to the school and support them in their work and career development, and try to reflect the diversity of the school community in its workforce;

Actively seek to recruit disabled people to the governing body and make reasonable adjustments to ensure that they can fully participate and contribute;

Provide reasonable means for children, young people, their friends and families to interact with people from different backgrounds and build positive relationships, including links with different schools and communities;

Provide extended services, with opportunities for pupils, families and the wider community to take part in activities and receive services which build positive interaction and achievement for all groups;

Supporting disabled pupils in the period of transition between primary and secondary school to ease the stress of moving and increase familiarity with new surroundings; Helping children and young people to understand others and value diversity;Promoting shared values, awareness of human rights and how to apply and defend them;

Developing skills of participation and responsible action – for example through the new ‘Identity and Diversity: living together in the UK’ strand of citizenship education.

ELIMINATING DISCRIMINATION AND HARASSMENT

The school will:

Develop and adapt its procedures on anti-bullying to include equality perspectives;

Support staff to challenge and address any bullying and harassment that is based on aperson’s race, gender or ethnicity;

Keep a record and report how these incidents are dealt with to the governing body and local authority on a termly basis;

Review its approach to race, gender and disability bullying and harassment whenever itreviews its policy on behaviour.

MONITORING IMPACT

The school will collect and analyse evidence and data on children’s achievement, attendance and participation by race, gender and disability, and use this to inform strategies to raise achievement;

The governing body will report annually in the School Profile/and or annual report to parents on the effectiveness and success of its Equality Plan. We will place the report alongside the plan on our website.