The Equality Act came into force from October 2010 providing a modern, single legal framework with clear, streamlined law to more effectively tackle disadvantage and discrimination.
At Woodthorpe Primary School we seek to instil in our children an understanding of the protected characteristics and will cover them in the curriculum as appropriate to the age and understanding of the children.
As an employer we uphold the requirements of the Equality Act 2010 to ensure all staff are protected from discrimination.
Within the Act there are 9 protected characteristics:
Where this is referred to, it refers to a person belonging to a particular age (for example 32 year olds) or range of ages (for example 18 to 30 year olds).
A person has a disability if she or he has a physical or mental impairment which has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on that person's ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities.
The process of transitioning from one gender to another.
Marriage and civil partnership
Marriage is no longer restricted to a union between a man and a woman but now includes a marriage between a same-sex couple.
Same-sex couples can also have their relationships legally recognised as 'civil partnerships'. Civil partners must not be treated less favourably than married couples (except where permitted by the Equality Act).
Pregnancy and maternity
Pregnancy is the condition of being pregnant or expecting a baby. Maternity refers to the period after the birth, and is linked to maternity leave in the employment context. In the non-work context, protection against maternity discrimination is for 26 weeks after giving birth, and this includes treating a woman unfavourably because she is breastfeeding.
Refers to the protected characteristic of Race. It refers to a group of people defined by their race, colour, and nationality (including citizenship) ethnic or national origins.
Religion and belief
Religion has the meaning usually given to it but belief includes religious and philosophical beliefs including lack of belief (such as Atheism). Generally, a belief should affect your life choices or the way you live for it to be included in the definition.
A man or a woman.
Whether a person's sexual attraction is towards their own sex, the opposite sex or to both sexes.
Since the Equality Act 2010 came into effect in April 2011 there has no longer been a requirement that schools should draw up and publish equality schemes or policies. It is still good practice, however, for a school to make a statement about the principles according to which it reviews the impact on equalities of its policies and practices, and according to which it gathers and publishes information, and decides on specific objectives.
This model statement has been adapted slightly from one which was developed in the period 2007–08, and first published in 2009. It has been modified in the light of the Equality Act 2010, and of the general and specific duties that the Act entails.
1. We welcome our duties under the Equality Act 2010 to eliminate discrimination, advance equality of opportunity and foster good relations in relation to age (as appropriate), disability, ethnicity, gender (including issues of transgender, and of maternity and pregnancy), religion and belief, and sexual identity.
2. We welcome our duty under the Education and Inspections Act 2006 to promote community cohesion.
3. We recognise that these duties reflect international human rights standards as expressed in the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, the UN Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities, and the Human Rights Act 1998.
4. In fulfilling the legal obligations cited above, we are guided by nine principles:
Principle 1: All learners are of equal value.
We see all learners and potential learners, and their parents and carers, as of equal value:
whether or not they are disabled
whatever their ethnicity, culture, national origin or national status
whatever their gender and gender identity
whatever their religious or non-religious affiliation or faith background
whatever their sexual identity.
Principle 2: We recognise and respect difference.
Treating people equally (Principle 1 above) does not necessarily involve treating them all the same. Our policies, procedures and activities must not discriminate but must nevertheless take account of differences of life-experience, outlook and background, and in the kinds of barrier and disadvantage which people may face, in relation to:
disability, so that reasonable adjustments are made
ethnicity, so that different cultural backgrounds and experiences of prejudice are recognised
gender, so that the different needs and experiences of girls and boys, and women and men, are recognised
religion, belief or faith background
Principle 3: We foster positive attitudes and relationships, and a shared sense of cohesion and belonging.
We intend that our policies, procedures and activities should promote:
positive attitudes towards disabled people, good relations between disabled and non-disabled people, and an absence of harassment of disabled people
positive interaction, good relations and dialogue between groups and communities different from each other in terms of ethnicity, culture, religious affiliation, national origin or national status, and an absence of prejudice-related bullying and incidents
mutual respect and good relations between boys and girls, and women and men, and an absence of sexual and homophobic harassment.
Principle 4: We observe good equalities practice in staff recruitment, retention and development
We ensure that policies and procedures should benefit all employees and potential employees, for example in recruitment and promotion, and in continuing professional development:
whether or not they are disabled
whatever their ethnicity, culture, religious affiliation, national origin or national status
whatever their gender and sexual identity, and with full respect for legal rights relating to pregnancy and maternity.
Principle 5: We aim to reduce and remove inequalities and barriers that already exist
In addition to avoiding or minimising possible negative impacts of our policies, we take opportunities to maximise positive impacts by reducing and removing inequalities and barriers that may already exist between:
disabled and non-disabled people
people of different ethnic, cultural and religious backgrounds
people of all gender identities.
Principle 6: We consult and involve widely
We engage with a range of groups and individuals to ensure that those who are affected by a policy or activity are consulted and involved in the design of new policies, and in the review of existing ones. We consult and involve:
disabled people as well as non-disabled
people from a range of ethnic, cultural and religious backgrounds
people of all gender identities
With people whatever their sexual identity.
Principle 7: Society as a whole should benefit
We intend that our policies and activities should benefit society as a whole, both locally and nationally, by fostering greater social cohesion, and greater participation in public life of:
disabled people as well as non-disabled
people of a wide range of ethnic, cultural and religious backgrounds
people of all gender identities
people, whatever their sexual identity.
Principle 8: We base our practices on sound evidence
We maintain and publish quantitative and qualitative information showing our compliance with the public sector equality duty (PSED) set out in clause 149 of the Equality Act 2010.
Principle 9: Objectives
We formulate and publish specific and measurable objectives, based on the evidence we have collected and published (principle 8) and the engagement in which we have been involved (principle 7).
The objectives which we identify take into account national and local priorities and issues, as appropriate.
We keep our equality objectives under review and report annually on progress towards achieving them.
5. We keep each curriculum subject or area under review in order to ensure that teaching and learning reflect the principles set out in paragraph 4 above.
Ethos and organisation
6. We ensure the principles listed in paragraph 4 above apply to the full range of our policies and practices, including those that are concerned with:
pupils’ progress, attainment and achievement
pupils’ personal development, welfare and well-being
teaching styles and strategies
admissions and attendance
staff recruitment, retention and professional development
care, guidance and support
behaviour, discipline and exclusions
working in partnership with parents, carers and guardians
working with the wider community.
Addressing prejudice and prejudice-related bullying
7. The school is opposed to all forms of prejudice which stand in the way of fulfilling the legal duties referred to in paragraphs 1–3:
prejudices around disability and special educational needs
prejudices around racism and xenophobia, including those that are directed towards religious groups and communities, for example antisemitism and Islamophobia, and those that are directed against Travellers, migrants, refugees and people seeking asylum
prejudices reflecting sexism and homophobia.
8. There is guidance in the staff handbook on how prejudice-related incidents should be identified, assessed, recorded and dealt with.
9. We keep a record of prejudice-related incidents and, if requested, provide a report to the local authority about the numbers, types and seriousness of prejudice-related incidents at our school and how they are dealt with.
Roles and responsibilities
10. The governing body is responsible for ensuring that the school complies with legislation, and that this policy and its related procedures and action plans are implemented.
11. A member of the governing body has a watching brief regarding the implementation of this policy.
12. The headteacher is responsible for implementing the policy; for ensuring that all staff are aware of their responsibilities and are given appropriate training and support; and for taking appropriate action in any cases of unlawful discrimination.
13. A senior member of staff has day-to-day responsibility for co-ordinating implementation of the policy.
14. All staff are expected to:
promote an inclusive and collaborative ethos in their classroom
deal with any prejudice-related incidents that may occur
plan and deliver curricula and lessons that reflect the principles in paragraph 4 above
support pupils in their class for whom English is an additional language
keep up-to-date with equalities legislation relevant to their work.
Information and resources
15. We ensure that the content of this policy is known to all staff and governors and, as appropriate, to all pupils and their parents and carers.
16. All staff and governors have access to a selection of resources which discuss and explain concepts of
equality, diversity and community cohesion in appropriate detail.
17. We respect the religious beliefs and practice of all staff, pupils and parents, and comply with reasonable requests relating to religious observance and practice.
Staff development and training
18. We ensure that all staff, including support and administrative staff, receive appropriate training and opportunities for professional development, both as individuals and as groups or teams.
Breaches of the policy
19. Breaches of this policy will be dealt with in the same ways that breaches of other school policies are dealt with, as determined by the headteacher and governing body.
Monitoring and review
20. We collect, study and use quantitative and qualitative data relating to the implementation of this policy, and make adjustments as appropriate.
21. In particular we collect, analyse and use data in relation to achievement, broken down as appropriate according to disabilities and special educational needs; ethnicity, culture, language, religious affiliation, national origin and national status; and gender.