Hackthorn Church of England School wholeheartedly supports the principle of equal opportunities in employment and opposes all forms of unlawful or unfair discrimination on the grounds of colour, age, race, nationality, ethnic or national origin, gender, disability, marital status, religion or belief or sexual orientation.
This policy should be viewed alongside our other policies relating to worship, behaviour, self-esteem, SEND and bullying.
To achieve ‘Fairness’ and uniform access to all aspects of the curriculum and general school life.
Recognising, enabling and monitoring equal opportunities is the responsibility of all members of the school community.
Regardless of disability, race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, disability, ethnic, social or national origins all children to be:
given equal and planned access to a broad and balanced curriculum
treated fairly and justly
treated as individuals with their own back ground of experiences
encouraged to challenge myths, stereotypes and misconceptions
Whereas the purpose and goals of education for all children are the same, help required in progressing towards them may be different. Children with disabilities or special needs of any sort will be offered the same curriculum as other children.
Any breaches of our policy are recorded in the Serious Incidents Book or in the Racial and Homophobic Incidents Book.
We believe it is the school’s best interests, and those of all who work in it, to ensure that the human resources, talents and skills available throughout the community are considered when employment opportunities arise. To this end within the framework of the law we are committed, wherever practicable, to achieving and maintaining a staff which broadly reflects the local community which we serve. To this end:
- all staff job adverts will include a statement welcoming applicants from all sections of the community
- the selection panel will be aware of the school’s policy on Equality
- the selection panel will not ask health-related questions of applicants before job offer, unless the questions are specifically related to an intrinsic function of the work
- the governing body will seek to ensure there is proper pay relativity between jobs within the school
What is Discrimination?
Direct discrimination: treating a person less favourably on the grounds covered in the initial statement.
Indirect discrimination: when a condition or requirement, although applied equally, has the effect of excluding, penalising or treating less favourably any person in the initial statement.
Victimisation: giving a person less favourable treatment than others because they have exercised their rights under the policy or legislation.
Harassment: behaving, deliberately or otherwise, in a way which might threaten an individuals job security or create an intimidating atmosphere.
Any person who is treated less favourably than others may take a complaint to the relevant tribunal. An employee does not require two years continuous service to make such a claim.
Admissions and attendance
The Governing body will ensure, when reviewing our admissions policy that the following features are in place:
- Criteria and policy do not disadvantage pupils from particular groups (as listed in the introduction to this policy)
- Monitoring includes checks on fairness and consistency towards all pupils, (eg. ethnicity into account)
- Staff are sensitive to community issues in matters relating to absence
- Religious observance is provided for and pupils offered cover for missed work resulting from this and other permitted leave
- Where inequality is identified, action is taken
Attainment, progress and assessment
Governors, staff and Headteacher will work to ensure that all children are treated equally in respect of these matters, and in particular that:
- Expectations are equally high for all pupils, who are all encouraged to reach the same high standards
- Where necessary, monitoring takes into account ethnicity, linguistic and cultural difference and the possible effects of this on progress, so that disparities can be removed
- Pupils are offered support needed (including reasonable adjustment to provide auxiliary aids and services to disabled pupils).
Harassment and school ethos
The staff and governors will make every effort to value diversity and promote good relations in all areas of school life and between all members of the community. This is also covered within others policies, such as those for behaviour, self-esteem etc.
Harassment is to be dealt with in a similar way to any other kind of bullying – for which we have a specific policy. We will work closely with other partners, particularly the police, to deal with problems relating to racism.
Any acts of racism etc. are recorded in the incident book.
Behaviour, discipline and exclusions
All procedures and systems concerning discipline and sanctions are to be fair and equitable towards all pupils. Differences in background, experience and culture are taken into consideration, and methods for dealing with serious cases of disciplinary breaches involve counselling and opportunities for us to try to understand the circumstances surrounding pupils’ behaviour, which may include different beliefs, values and culture.
Exclusions are monitored, and if there were any exclusions of children from a particular ethnic group, aspects of that group would be taken into account (eg. race). The same applies to cases of truancy.
Personal development and pastoral care
Our pastoral support is well-developed, with staff and ancillary helpers involved in counselling children with difficulties. Should a situation arise where background, disability, gender, ethnicity or similar factors were an issue, these would be dealt with through discussion and with advice from appropriate professionals.
Teaching and learning
Our school aims and ethos seek to offer all children the opportunity to contribute, to learn and to feel valued. Efforts are constantly being made to meet the children’s varying needs, and the same would be done for children (eg. with linguistic and cultural needs that were different from those of the majority).
Staff INSET will be used to provide opportunities for staff to become more familiar with a wide range of cultures and backgrounds in an effort to make learning meaningful and to avoid stereotyping and tokenism. Differences are, however, acknowledged and celebrated.
We have fairly limited access to others cultures, and make a real effort to encourage
members of different ethnic groups, cultures and traditions to come into school to talk to the children and explains their beliefs and lifestyle. Our policy is that we should have such a visitor every year, and that children’s work and displays should reflect what they have learned. For many children this will be their first encounter with someone from a different race or culture – if this first meeting is a positive one it is more likely to create positive attitudes towards that culture in future.
Our PSHE programme contains elements that explore concepts and ideas about race and identity, and in circle time children can raise issues of concern to them. This also provides a forum for older children to discuss examples of racist incidents or other incidents of discrimination.
Staff recruitment and professional development
Following advertisements for posts, applications are considered on the basis of candidates’ match to the requirements of the post and Governors and staff are mindful of the need to avoid discrimination throughout the recruitment process.
All staff are encouraged to pursue their own professional development and are offered support through our performance management policy. Training in aspects of discrimination will be made available and disseminated.
Partnerships with parents and community
We try to involve parents as much as possible within the life of the school, including
those from under-represented groups. We make every effort to ensure that information is readily available to them in a user-friendly form.
Our school is built on a solid ethos of caring positive relationships – this is something we take great pride in – the staff and governing body will ensure the school fulfils its duties to:
- Promote equality of opportunity
- Promote good race relations between people of different racial groups
- Eliminate unlawful racial discrimination between people of different racial groups
Purpose and benefits of the policy
The policy will help to ensure that:
- All pupils achieve their full potential
- Racism is challenged and diversity is celebrated
- Racial equality is achieved
- The school utilises the experience and expertise of all members and friends of the school community
- No policy, procedure or behaviour discriminates between different racial groups
- The local population, including parents, is represented in activities and groups associated with the school
- Incidents are dealt with sensitively and firmly, in accordance with the law
- All children and staff feel equally valued
- The school works in partnership with everyone in the community and develops a sense of trust and shared purpose
- The wider aims and vision of the school are fulfilled
The context of the school
Our school does not at present have a wide ethnic mix, which means that we have a responsibility to ensure that children are aware of issues about cultural diversity and race. They should be prepared for the world they will grow up in and encouraged to develop positive attitudes to differences they may encounter. The onus is on the staff and governors to provide a curriculum that is wide-ranging and activities are regularly incorporated to explore cultural issues. As a Church school, we promote the Christian values of tolerance and respect and must also allow for differing beliefs and lifestyles, including within matters of religion.
It is the responsibility of staff and governors to be proactive in promoting racial equality and good race relations and to adhere to this policy. Governors must ensure that the policy is implemented. The policy is to be reviewed yearly and discussed in the Annual Report.
Racist incidents are recorded in the Racial and Homophobic Incidents Book.
The headteacher will be responsible for co-ordinating race equality work within the school and taking any disciplinary action necessary.
Monitoring and evaluation
If at any time the school receives pupils from an ethnic minority group, it will be the headteacher’s responsibility to ensure that pupil progress is monitored and evaluated in the same way as for other pupils.
They will also ensure that no racism or discrimination is shown towards pupils or that any pupil is at a disadvantage because of his/her background or beliefs. Procedures are in place for monitoring and recording racist incidents and taking appropriate action.
This policy is published on the school’s website.
Monitoring should include consideration of the:
- day to day organisation of school life
- social context within which education takes place (inside & outside the classroom)
- relationship between pupils and staff (inside & outside the classroom)
- relationship between pupils and pupils – adults and other adults
Equality Act 2010 (replacing previous equality legislation)
D of E Equality Act guidance Oct 2012
Last reviewed: Jan 2021