This Equality Policy for Newham Bridge Primary School brings together all previous policies, schemes and action plans around equality including those that we had previously for Race, Gender and Disability. It includes all the protected characteristics covered under the Equality Act 2010 as well as other aspects which have the potential to discriminate against or to devalue any individuals within our community. We are further committed to the development of cohesive communities both within our school’s physical boundaries and within our local, national and global environments.
Our school embraces the aim of working together with others to improve children’s educational and wellbeing outcomes, and notes the rights set out in the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.
Our Equality Policy is inclusive of our whole school community – pupils/ students, staff, parents/carers, visitors and partner agencies – who we have engaged with and who have been actively involved in and contributed to its development.
The purpose of this Policy is to set out how our practice and policies have due regard to the need to:
- eliminate discrimination, harassment and victimisation;
- advance equality of opportunity and
- foster good relations between groups.
It explains how we aim to listen to and involve pupils, staff, parents and the community in achieving better outcomes for our children and young people.
Our school within the wider context
- Newham Bridge School was built in 1969.
- It serves a mixed catchment of private and council housing.
- There are 263 pupils in Reception to Year 6 and an additional 26 place Nursery.
- Currently we have a waiting list of 43 for admission to Nursery.
- Children enter Nursery after their third birthday during the current academic year.
- 75% of the children live outside the catchment area with a majority drawn from the Beechwood Ward which has a significant proportion of disadvantaged families.
- Despite challenging circumstances the school has achieved high levels of success in all Key Stages.
- 39.1% of pupils claim free school meals.
- 19% of children are on the Special Needs Register with 11.4% are at concern level, 8% at School Action and Action Plus.
- Four children have Statements for Special Needs issued by the Local Authority.
- Mobility of children is not a significant factor.
- There are 19.1% of pupils from ethnic minority groups mainly Asian ethnicity.
- 11.8% of children do not have English as their first language.
- Staff movement is not significant and is due to promotion or retirement.
- Staff attendance is excellent with very few absences (In the past year less than 2 days per FTE)
Overall aims of our Equality Policy
- To eliminate discrimination, harassment and victimisation.
- To promote equality of access and opportunity within our school and within our wider community. To promote positive attitudes to difference and good relationships between people with different backgrounds, genders, cultures, faiths, abilities and ethnic origins.
- To ensure that equality and inclusive practice are embedded across all aspects of school life the Equality Policy refers to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, which includes recognition of a range of educational, wellbeing, and material outcomes.
Principles and Ethos
Newham Bridge Primary School is committed to making the school a fully accessible and inclusive organisation that welcomes and respects the diversity of its pupils, staff, community and visitors to the school.
- All learners and staff are of equal value and benefit equally from their experience of school
- Difference is recognised and valued so that where appropriate individuals can be treated differently to achieve equality
- We encourage positive attitudes, interactions, mutual respect and a shared sense of belonging
- Policies and procedures relating to employees (and potential employees) promote equality positively
- We create opportunities to remove barriers to equality
- Policy development involves consultation and participation
- Our ethos and practice embrace the local, national and international communities in which we operate
The Single Equalities, Diversity and Cohesion policy ensures that the school complies with equalities legislation and satisfies the Ofsted criteria for making judgements relating to equalities, diversity and inclusive practice.
Newham Bridge Primary School seeks to foster warm, welcoming and respectful environments,
which allow us to question and challenge discrimination and inequality, resolve conflicts peacefully and work and learn free from harassment and violence.
We recognise that there are similarities and differences between individuals and groups but we will strive to ensure that our differences do not become barriers to participation, access and learning and to create inclusive processes and practices, where the varying needs of individuals and groups are identified and met. We therefore cannot achieve equality for all by treating everyone the same.
We will build on our similarities and seek enrichment from our differences and so promote understanding and learning between and towards others to create cohesive communities.
We seek to embed equality of access, opportunity and outcome for all members of
our school community, within all aspects of school life.
We actively seek out opportunities to embrace the following key concepts:
- Shared Humanity. Identifying commonality and shared values, aspirations and needs underpins our approach to equality. We value our fundamental similarities and universality.
- Valuing difference and diversity. We appreciate the richness within our differences and look for ways of celebrating and understanding them better
- Interdependence, interaction and influence. We recognise that, as they evolve, distinct cultures, beliefs and lifestyles will impact on and inform each other
- Social cohesion within our school and within our local community
- Excellence. We aim to inspire and recognise high personal and collective achievement throughout our community, the UK and the wider world. Excellence is to be found everywhere
- Personal and cultural identity. We will provide opportunities to explore and value the complexity of our personal and cultural identities
- Fairness and social justice. We will develop our understanding of the inequality that exists in society and explore ways of individually and collectively promoting a more equitable society
We recognise and accept our equality duties as set out in the Equality Act 2010 and have sought to involve the whole school community in the process in order to ensure better outcomes for all.
They are also guided by the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.
We will ensure we identify opportunities for promoting our vision, the key
concepts and our duties on equality legislation across all aspects of school
life, including the provision of extended services.
We comply fully with legislation which protects our staff (including teachers, teaching assistants, supervisors and student teachers) from discrimination based on the protected characteristics. With regard to disability, we make such reasonable adjustments as are necessary to prevent a disabled person being at a substantial disadvantage in comparison with people who are not disabled.
This includes discrimination in relation to recruitment, terms and conditions,
promotions, transfers, dismissals, training and employment practices (such as dress codes) and disciplinary procedures. We make efforts to ensure that the diversity of our workforce reflects that of our local community and wider society. In accordance with the Equality Act we do not enquire about the health of an applicant until a job offer has been made.
We will ensure the safety and well-being of our staff and take seriously and act on incidents of harassment and discrimination recognising that our staff may be either victims or perpetrators.
We interpret our duties positively; take the necessary actions to remove barriers to inclusion and work hard to ensure a safe, positive and inclusive environment.
Additionally, we seek to meet our duties to promote equality on a daily basis in all areas of our school activity as follows:
A Cohesive Community
In order to achieve a cohesive community, we will:
• Promote understanding and engagement between communities.
• Encourage all children and families to feel part of the wider community.
• Understand the needs and hopes of all our communities.
• Tackle discrimination.
• Increase life opportunities for all.
• Ensure teaching and the curriculum explores and addresses issues of diversity.
Pupil Attainment And Progress
This school expects the highest possible standards. Staff have high expectations of all pupils and continually challenge them to reach higher standards. The school recognises and values all forms of achievement. We will monitor and analyse pupil performance by ethnicity, gender, disability and special educational need and take account of socio-economic circumstances. Any disparities which are identified will be addressed through targeted curriculum planning, teaching and support.
The Quality Of Provision – Teaching And Learning
All staff ensure the classroom is an inclusive environment in which pupils feel all contributions are valued. Positive steps are taken to include pupils who may otherwise be marginalised. We take account of pupils’ experiences and starting points and are responsive to pupils’ different learning styles. All pupils are consulted about their learning. Pupil grouping is planned and varied to reflect the requirements of learners and their social development needs. Allocations to teaching groups will be kept under regular review and analysed by ethnicity, gender and SEN. Our teaching styles include collaborative learning. All pupils will be encouraged to question, discuss and collaborate in problem solving tasks. Staff encourage pupils to become independent and assist them in taking responsibility for the management of their own learning and behaviour.
This school believes that self-assessment is a teaching-learning strategy, and we will provide all pupils with opportunities to take responsibility for their own learning through regular reflection and feedback on their progress.
The Quality Of Provision – Curriculum And Other Activities
This school provides an appropriate curriculum for pupils of all backgrounds. We will monitor and evaluate its effectiveness through target setting and attainment analysis. All pupils participate in the mainstream curriculum of the school. The curriculum builds on pupils’ starting points and is differentiated appropriately to ensure the inclusion of:
• boys and girls
• pupils learning English as an additional language
• pupils from minority ethnic groups
• pupils who are gifted and talented
• pupils with special educational needs
• pupils with a disability
• pupils who are in public care
• pupils who are at risk of disaffection and exclusion
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 Quality Of Provision – Guidance And Support
We actively promote good personal and community relations and recognise diversity as having a positive role to play within the school. All staff are expected to foster a positive atmosphere of mutual respect and trust among boys and girls from all ethnic groups and range of abilities. Staff challenge stereotypes and foster pupils’ critical awareness and concepts of fairness, enabling them to detect bias and challenge inequalities. Our pastoral support takes account of religious, cultural and ethnic differences, special educational needs, and disability.
The school provides appropriate support for pupils learning English as an additional language and employs two bi-lingual Teaching Assistants as part of that support.
Behaviour And Attendance
This school expects high standards of behaviour from all pupils. We have procedures for managing behaviour that are fair and applied equally to all. All staff are expected to operate consistent systems of rewards and discipline. Clear procedures are in place so that all forms of bullying and harassment, including racism and harassment related to disability, sexism and homophobia, are dealt with promptly, firmly and consistently and are in line with relevant LA and school policies. All incidents are recorded, monitored and dealt with in line with relevant school policies. Adults in school take care to lead through example, demonstrating high expectations ofall pupils. This school will take all reasonable steps to prevent the exclusion of a pupil for a reason related to any disability they may have. Pupils, staff and parents know that any language or behaviour, which is racist, sexist, homophobic or potentially damaging to any minority group, is always unacceptable.
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, etc.)
The roles and responsibilities within our school community
Our Headteacher will:
- ensure that staff, parents/carers, pupils/students and visitors and contractors are engaged in the development of and informed about the Equality Policy
- oversee the effective implementation of the policy ensure staff have access to training which helps to implement the policy
- develop partnerships with external agencies regarding the policy so that the school’s actions are in line with the best advice available
- monitor the policy and report to the Governing Body at least annually on the effectiveness of the policy and publish this information
- ensure that the Senior Leadership team is kept up to date with any development affecting the policy or actions arising from it
Our governing body will:
- designate a governor with specific responsibility for the Equality Policy ensure that the objectives arising from the policy are part of the School
- Improvement Plan (SIP) support the headteacher in implementing any actions necessary
- engage with parents and partner agencies about the policy
- evaluate and review the policy annually
Our Senior Leadership Team will:
- have responsibility for supporting other staff in implementing this Policy
- provide a lead in the dissemination of information relating to the Policy
- with the Headteacher, provide advice/support in dealing with any incidents/issues
- assist in implementing reviews of this policy as detailed in the SIP
Our pupils/students will:
- be involved in the development of the Policy and will understand how it relates to them, appropriate to age and ability
- be expected to act in accordance with the Policy
- be encouraged to actively support the Policy
Our parents/carers will:
- have access to the Policy through a range of different media appropriate to their requirements
- be encouraged to actively support the Policy
- be encouraged to attend any relevant meetings and activities related to the Policy
- be informed of any incident related to this Policy which could directly affect their child
Our school staff will:
- be involved in the development of the Policy
- be fully aware of the Equality Policy and how it relates to them
- understand that this is a whole school issue and support the Equality Policy
- make known any queries or training requirements
Relevant voluntary or community groups and partner agencies will:
- Be involved in the development of the Policy
- Be encouraged to support the Policy
- Be encouraged to attend any relevant meetings and activities related to the Policy
Responding to hate or prejudice-based incidents and bullying
We recognise that hate incidents or prejudice –based bullying behaviour is driven by
negative assumptions, stereotypes or misinformation. These are then directed against an individual or group, based on difference (real or perceived), and linked to, for example, racism, homophobia, negative views of disabled people or sexism. We will take action to prevent, challenge and eliminate any such behaviour.
We recognise that we as individuals and society often struggle with difference of any kind (perceived or actual), which can result in seizing upon the most visible sign of difference e.g. skin colour or disability.
Through our school ethos and curriculum, we want our pupils/students to understand better the diversity that exists in society. We want to provide opportunities for them to explore the subtleties and complexities in order to prevent and respond to incidents and situations. We will address the experience, understanding and needs of the victim, the perpetrator, bystanders and the wider school community through our actions and responses.
We will record all hate incidents and prejudice based bullying. We will use this information to identify trends and patterns, so that we have approaches in place to provide appropriate responses in terms of support for victims and their families, sanctions and support for perpetrators and their families and education for our children, young people and communities.
In developing our Equality Scheme and Action Plan, we have involved stakeholders, for example pupils, parents, staff and Governors.
- Pupils views are gathered during Circle times/School Council meetings and Surveys
- Parents of all pupils have had the opportunity to complete a survey which includes questions related to equality
- Governors have been involved in discussions
The duties to promote race, disability and gender equality alongside community cohesion supports the school’s priorities as follows:
- Ensuring our school is accessible to wheelchair users.
- Improving the range and number of after school and extra-curricular opportunities for girls and boys of all ethnic groups.
- Ensuring maximum progress for all children through the actions outlined in our School Improvement Plan
We also intend to build on our successes so far:
- Continue to build on our inclusive practices
- Maintain our high attendance levels
- Maintain our high achievement in our SEN pupils
The EIA (2006) requires the Governing Bodies of maintained schools to promote community cohesion under a new duty which came into force in September.
From our perspective, ‘community’ has a number of dimensions including:
- The school community, our pupils, their families, our staff and governing body and the wider community which uses our facilities and services
- The community within which we are located and beyond into Middlesbrough
- The UK and global community
Our focus on community cohesion work is about promoting cohesion across different cultures, and religious and non-religious, ethnic and socio-economic groups as we are responsible for equipping pupils to live and thrive alongside people from many different backgrounds. Our main contribution to community cohesion can be made in three areas:
- Teaching and learning and the curriculum: using the curriculum to value diversity whilst also promoting shared values
- Equity and excellence: ensuring equality and high standards for all and tackling underperformances by a particular group
- Engagement and extended services: engaging with other schools, parents and the community, as well as local authorities and other partners in developing extended services.
The specific duty requires us to conduct impact assessments to ensure that due regard is given to race, disability and gender equality in our polices and practices and their likely impact.
The specific duty requires the assessment of existing policies and practices as well as ones which are developed subsequently.
We provide equality training through:
- Specific Equality Training organized by the LA and attended by SLT
- PSA attending courses
- Governor training
We are required to gather information on the effect of our policies and practices in particular:
- The extent to which equality between pupils is promoted
- The extent to which equality between staff is promoted
- The extent to which the curriculum and other school activities take race, disability and gender into account
Information gathering will include;
- The profile of our workforce
- Attainment levels
- Bullying/Incident reports
- The composition of our Governing Body
Procurement and Contractors
We will take steps to ensure that our contractors are adhering to our commitment to equality in their employment and service delivery policy and practices.
We will ensure this by using only LA approved contractors.
Visitors to the school:
We will take steps to ensure that visitors to our school including parents are adhering to our commitment to equality. We will always challenge any discriminatory behaviour.
Implementation, monitoring and reviewing
This policy was published on date of publication. It will be actively promoted and disseminated.
Implementation, monitoring and review are the responsibility of our Senior Leadership Team and our governors.
This policy will be reviewed annually.
The Race Duty and Community Cohesion
The School recognises that Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic [BAME] people experience discrimination on the basis of colour, race, nationality, religion and ethnic origin. This discrimination manifests itself in all areas of their lives such as housing, employment, education and access to services. Racial harassment and violence is one of the most serious consequences of racism, damaging people emotionally and physically and limiting life choices and opportunities. The School will take all necessary measures to prevent and tackle racial harassment and assist BAME people to live in freedom from harassment and to feel safe as they enjoy and achieve throughout their education.
The School is committed to working for the equality of all ethnic groups and the Governing Body understands its accountability.
Under the duty in the Race Relations (Amendment) Act 2000 to promote racial equality we will:
- Tackle unlawful discrimination by
- Keeping accurate records of all ethnic and faith groups
- Dealing with complaints of discrimination and harassment speedily according to Local Authority Guidance, and notify complainants of the outcomes and action taken;
- Prevent racial discrimination, and to promote equality of opportunity and good relations between members of different racial, cultural and religious groups.
- Support cohesion by
- Promoting activities that celebrate our common experience as well as those that recognise diversity generally and foster understanding and respect for the culture and faith of all our learners and their families;
- Encouraging learners and their families of all ethnic groups to participate fully in all aspects of school life;
- Using our support for the voluntary and community sector to promote good race relations;
- Countering myths and misinformation that may undermine good community relations;
- Work in partnership with Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic individuals and groups to
- Promote the active participation of minority communities in shaping the future of our school;
- Ensure the school staff (both permanent and temporary), learners and their families as well as our partners and the wider community fully understand the principles of good race relations.
- Expand access across all communities and in all areas of school activity.
We will report on progress annually and the review of our race equality policy will be brought in line with the review for the School Equality Scheme.
From September 2007 we understand our duty to Promote Community Cohesion
as part of the response to the duties contained in the Race Relations (Amendment) Act 2000. Our school already considers this to be a fundamental part of our role.
We understand that Community Cohesion is the process that should happen in all communities to ensure that different groups and individual people get on well together. It should also allow for new residents and existing residents to adapt to one another.
We will evidence our effectiveness for OFSTED by demonstrating:
- A widely shared sense of the contribution of different communities to a shared vision.
- A strong sense of individual rights and responsibilities within the school community.
- That all children and parents feel they are being treated fairly and have the same opportunities.
- That children trust the school to act fairly.
- We have strong and positive relationships.
The Disability Equality Duties
The School’s commitment to disabled learners, their families and staff’s equality has four objectives:
- We will promote equality for disabled people by:
- Removing barriers to accessibility, particularly in relation to education, employment and access to services, information and buildings;
- Encouraging good practice by our partners
- Ensuring equality principles in our role in procurement and in our partnership duties.
- We will tackle discrimination against disabled people by:
- Promoting positive images of disabled people;
- Challenging patronising or discriminating attitudes;
- Making the environment as safe as possible for and challenging antisocial or bullying behaviour against, or harassment of, disabled learners, staff and families.
- We will support disabled learners to achieve their full potential by:
- Providing where possible, support, assistance and care to disabled learners to enable them to lead independent lives;
- Supporting the formation of groups, networks and services for disabled learners and disabled employees of the school and people who are disabled in the community;
- Supporting disabled learners, staff and carers according to their individual need.
- We will work in partnership with disabled learners and their carers and staff by:
- Enabling disabled learners, their families and disabled staff active participation;
- Involving disabled learners, their families and disabled staff in the changes and improvements we make;
- Consulting with disabled learners, their families and disabled staff on issues affecting them rather than with people acting on their behalf.
We welcome the requirements of the Disability Equality Duty and this section sets out our commitment to meeting the Duty. Our Scheme shows how we promote disability equality across all areas of the school, to disabled pupils, staff, parents, carers and other school users.
When carrying out our functions, we will have due regard to the need to:
- Promote equality of opportunity between disabled people and other people.
- Eliminate discrimination that is unlawful under the Disability Discrimination Act (2005).
- Eliminate disability related harassment.
- Promote positive attitudes towards disabled people.
- Encourage participation of disabled people in public life.
- Take steps to meet disabled people’s needs
- Monitor staff and learners by disability.
- Have a Disability Equality Scheme.
We plan to increase access to education for disabled pupils by:
- Increasing the extent to which disabled learners can participate in the school curriculum.
- Increasing the inclusion of positive images of disabled people across the curriculum.
- Improving the environment of the school to increase the extent to which disabled learners can take advantage of education and associated services.
- Improving the delivery of information to disabled learners, to the standard of which is provided in writing for learners who are not disabled.
The Gender Equality Duties
The School is committed to combating sex discrimination and sexism and promoting the equality of women and men. We recognise that society has stereotypes for both women and men, and both women and men can lose opportunities because of these stereotypes. The School is aware that staff with caring and domestic responsibilities may need to work part-time or flexible working hours. We will work in partnership with other agencies to eliminate sexual harassment, domestic violence and other hate crimes.
We welcome the requirements of the Gender Equality Duty and this section sets out our commitment to meeting the duty. We will give due regard to the need to:
- Eliminate unlawful discrimination and harassment on the grounds of sex, including domestic violence, sexual violence, bullying and exploitation.
- Promote equality of opportunity between women and men in all of our functions.
Religion and Belief
The School recognises that people can face discrimination because of attitudes in society towards the faith communities to which they belong. Faith-based hate crime has been a new phenomenon in recent years, developing a character that is distinct from race hate crime.
The School also recognises that a person’s religious (or similar) beliefs may mean that they have different needs, demands and expectations, which require flexibility.
The School is committed to eliminating illegal discrimination and exclusion on the basis of religion or belief.
Our school recognises the need to consider the actions outlined by the Equality Act 2006 (Religion & Belief) which requires us to assess the impacts of our policies, functions and procedures have on promoting equality for people based on their religion, belief and non-belief.
We have developed a Religious Education Values and Inclusion Statement with the involvement of Governors, Parents and Staff.
The School is committed to combating discrimination faced by lesbians, gay men and bisexual (LGB) people. We want to ensure equality of opportunity for LGB people across services and employment.
We will respect the rights of individuals to be open about their sexual orientation, tackle homophobia, challenge stereotyping and improve knowledge about LGB communities, both internally and to the community as a whole.
Our school recognises the need to protect learners from unlawful discrimination and harassment on grounds of sexual orientation as required by the Equality Act (Sexual Orientation) Regulations 2007. We are committed to taking a pro-active approach to preventing all forms of homophobia within the school and will assess the impacts of our policies, functions and procedures on promoting sexual orientation equality as part of the Equality Impact Assessment process.
We will deal with complaints of discrimination and harassment speedily and according to Local Authority Guidance and notify complainants of the outcome and actions taken.
The School is committed to promoting equality of opportunity for younger and older people. We recognise that society has negative attitudes, stereotypes and myths about youth, ageing, younger and older people. These attitudes and beliefs can lead to both younger and older people being socially and economically disadvantaged, excluded and marginalised. We believe that younger and older people have the right to equality of opportunity and that they make a significant and valuable contribution to the community at large.
Age equality means securing the equal participation in society of people of every age, securing a balance between equal citizenship, equality of opportunity, equality of outcome and respect for difference
Anti-Bullying and Discriminatory Policy Framework
Our School states clearly that all forms of bullying and discrimination are unacceptable and will not be tolerated. We have set out the measures that our school will take to address bullying and discriminatory incidents in our Anti-Bullying Policy and in our Harassment and Bullying Against Staff Policy.
In our School we ensure that we observe the principles of equal opportunities in how we employ, develop and treat our staff.