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 fulfils the specific duties to publish information and evidence, and to decide on specific and measurable objectives.
The public sector Equality Duty means that public bodies have to consider all individuals when carrying out their day-to-day work – in shaping policy, in delivering services and in relation to their own employees.
It also requires that public bodies have due regard to the need to:
advance equality of opportunity;
foster good relations between different people when carrying out their activities.
At St James', our school vision, GROW, underpins everything that we do. We believe that all children are loved by God and are individually unique. We are fully committed to ensuring that every child in our care fulfils their potential in all aspects of their lives: physically, academically, socially, morally and spiritually. Every child should be revered and respected as a member of a community where all are known and loved by God. Therefore:
We value all of God’s children.
We do our best to ensure that everyone is treated fairly and with respect.
We make sure the school is a safe, welcoming, secure and stimulating place for everyone.
We recognise that people have different needs, and we understand that treating people equally does not always involve treating them all exactly the same.
We recognise that for some children extra support is needed to help them to achieve and be successful.
We do our best to make sure that people from different groups are consulted and involved in our decisions, for example through talking with children, parents, carers and governors, and through our School Council, Parents’ Forum and Governing Body.
We welcome our duty under the Education and Inspections Act 2006 to promote community cohesion.
We welcome our general duty under the Equality Act 2010 to eliminate discrimination, to advance equality of opportunity and to foster good relations; and our specific duties to publish information every year about our school population; to explain how we have due regard for equality; and to publish equality objectives which show how we plan to tackle particular inequalities of outcome, and reduce or remove them. Similarly in accordance with the Equality Act 2010 we aim to make sure that no-one experiences less favourable treatment or discrimination because of their age; any disability they may have; their ethnicity, colour or national origin; their gender; their gender identity or reassignment; their marital or civil partnership status; being pregnant or having recently had a baby; their religion or beliefs; their sexual identity and orientation.
We welcome the general principles of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) and accordingly have regard in particular for the needs of children and young people who are disadvantaged or vulnerable, and their parents and carers.
We welcome the emphasis in the Ofsted framework on the importance of diminishing differences in achievement which affect, amongst others:
pupils from certain cultural and ethnic backgrounds;
pupils who belong to lower-income households;
pupils who are disabled;
pupils who have special educational needs;
boys in certain subjects, and girls in certain other subjects.
To improve the attendance, provision and outcomes for all children and in particular for those with protected characteristics, in order to diminish any difference in progress and attainment when compared to all other children nationally.
To improve participation in extracurricular clubs and activities for all groups of children and particular those with protected characteristics, so that there is greater inclusion and equality.
To improve the knowledge, understanding and skills of children, staff, parents, careers and governors in equalities issues to ensure that everyone is treated fairly and with respect reducing incidents of bullying, harassment and racism.
To improve consultation with people from different groups so that they are more equally represented and involved in our decision making processes.
Particular groups the school is looking to improve the attendance, participation, provision and outcomes for:
Boys / girls as appropriate to areas of need;
Disadvantaged children in receipt of free school meals and the pupil premium;
Children with special educational needs and disabilities;
Children new to the country and those for whom English is not a first language.
For further information, particularly about the detail of targets and outcomes, and with regard to policy and practice please refer to the school’s:
Disability, Equality and Diversity Policy
SEND Policy and Information Reports
School Self Evaluation
School Development Plan