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Single Equalities Policy

 

  

 

 

Stoneyholme Community

Primary School

SINGLE EQUALITIES POLICY

March 2019

    

Stoneyholme Community Primary School Single Equalities

Policy and Action Plan  

 

1 Statement of Principles 

  

The policy outlines the commitment of the staff, pupils and governors of Stoneyholme Primary School to ensure that equality of opportunity is available to all members of the school community.   For our school this means not simply treating everybody the same but understanding and tackling the different barriers which could lead to unequal outcomes for different groups of pupils in school, whilst celebrating and valuing the achievements and strengths of all members of the school community.  These include:    

  • Pupils  
  • Staff    
  • Parents/carers  
  • The governing body  
  • Multi-agency staff linked to the school  
  • Visitors to school  
  • Students on placement     

We believe that equality at our school should permeate all aspects of school life and is the responsibility of every member of the school and wider community. Every member of the school community should feel safe, secure, valued and of equal worth.     

At Stoneyholme Primary School, equality is a key principle for treating all people fairly and creating a society in which everyone has the opportunity to fulfil their potential - irrespective of their gender, ethnicity, disability, religion or belief, sexual orientation, age or any other recognised area of discrimination.   

  

Our mission statement is central to everything we do:

 

Mission Statement

 

“Where everyone matters and every day counts”

 

Children have only one childhood and we want it to be safe, magical and full of awe and wonder.

 

Stoneyholme is a school where we do everything in our power to remove any barriers to success to ensure EVERY child reaches their full potential through the organisation’s commitment to learning.

 

Term on term, year on year Stoneyholme Community Primary School nurtures young people who are more curious, more willing to take a risk and give it a go, more imaginative and creative, more thoughtful, more ready, willing and able to learn with and through others.

 

We want our children to be happy, content and fulfilled, whose personal ambitions are balanced with the contributions they make to a prosperous and secure society.

 

We want Stoneyholme children to be the very best they can.

 

‘This school is Outstanding:

Pupils’ conduct around school is excellent. Pupils are very proud of their school and they are respectful towards one another and all adults. Pupils report that bullying is exceptionally rare because they know that each person is different and that these differences are important and make everyone special’  (OFSTED June 2015)

  

2   

School in Context 

 Stoneyholme Primary School is a larger than average primary school serving an inner city community. The proportion of pupils eligible for free school meals is above average. The very large majority of pupils are from minority ethnic backgrounds, with the vast majority of Pakistani or Bangladeshi heritage.

 

The school lies within the Stoneyholme and Daneshouse ward of Burnley and has a population of 5,995 (2011 census figures). In the latest index of multiple deprivation (IMD 2015) wards in this area was ranked 79th, 974th, 1567th and 2522nd out of 32,844 in England (top 1%). Just over 90% of the ward’s housing is terraced housing with no outdoor space.  82% of the population are of Asian heritage.

 

Currently there are 421 pupils on the school roll:

 

  • 209 pupils are male and 212 are female.
  • The ethnicity makeup of the pupils is 1% white British, 43% Pakistani heritage, 50% Bangladeshi heritage, 2% other Asian background, and 2% mixed white and Asian.
  • The ethnic groups represented within the school staff are white British, Bangladeshi heritage and Pakistani heritage with the same representation on the governing body.
  • 98% of the pupils speak English as an additional language. The school has 5 pupils on roll with a known disability.
  • None of the staff or governors have a known disability.

 

Our School Offer, published on the school’s website, details how we ensure that the inclusivity for all of its stakeholders.

 

3 Ethos and Atmosphere 

 

‘Pupils feel that they are highly valued and that all the opportunities they have make their school excellent. One pupil reported, ‘This school is special. It teaches me things I didn’t know before and I know I am learning important skills for my future’ (OFSTED June 2015)

 

  • At Stoneyholme Primary School, the leadership of the school community will demonstrate mutual respect between all members of the school community 
  • There is an openness of atmosphere which welcomes everyone to the school 
  • All within the school community will challenge any type of discriminatory and/or bullying behaviour, e.g. through unwanted attentions (verbal or physical) and unwelcome or offensive remarks or suggestions 
  • All pupils are encouraged to greet visitors to the school with friendliness and respect 

 

‘The behaviour of pupils is outstanding. Pupils conduct themselves exceptionally well. Adults model respectful attitudes and pupils look to adults as role models. As a result, there is a very positive atmosphere in the school’ (OFSTED June 2015)

 

  • The displays around the school are of a high quality and reflect diversity across all aspects of equality of opportunity and are frequently monitored  
  • Provision is made to cater for the spiritual needs of all the children through planning of assemblies, classroom based and externally based activities   

 

‘As well as ensuring that all groups of pupils achieve outstandingly well, the school ensures that there is equality of provision in all areas and, as such, there are no incidents of discrimination and very positive relationships are fostered between different groups of pupils and different groups of parents’ (OFSTED June 2015)

  

4 Policy Development  

This policy applies to the whole school community.  It has been drawn up as a result of the outcomes of a transparent process and through consultation with parents, children (through our pupils’ questionnaires), all staff, governors and other stakeholders.

  (Information from consultations may be obtained from the school office)

 

5 Monitoring and Review 

Stoneyholme Primary School an inclusive school, working towards greater equality in the whole school community.  We use the curriculum and teaching to enhance the self- esteem of all those it serves and to provide a learning environment in which everyone is encouraged to fulfil her or his potential. 

We make regular assessments of pupils’ learning and use this information to track pupils’ progress, as they move through the school.  As part of this process, we regularly monitor the performance of different groups; gender, ethnicity, Free School Meals, Pupil Premium, SEN / Non-SEN to ensure that all groups of pupils are making the best possible progress.  We use this information to adjust future teaching and learning plans, as necessary and to ensure that pupils access the support needed to break down any barriers to their learning and that they are enabled to reach their full potential 

 

Resources are available to support groups of pupils where the information suggests that additional progress is needed. The governing body receives regular updates on pupil performance information.  

  

School performance information is compared to national data and local authority data, to ensure that pupils are making appropriate progress when compared to all schools, and to schools in similar circumstances.  

  

As well as monitoring pupil performance information, we also regularly monitor a range of other information.  This relates to:  

 

  • Attendance  
  • Exclusions and truancy  
  • Racism, disabilism, sexism, homophobia and all forms of bullying 
  • Parental involvement  
  • Participation in Extended Learning Opportunities 

  

Our monitoring activities enable us to identify any differences in pupil performance and provide specific support as required, including pastoral support.  This allows us to take appropriate action to meet the needs of specific groups in order to make necessary improvements.  

 

Stoneyholme Primary School is also committed to providing a working environment free from discrimination, bullying, harassment and victimisation.  We aim to recruit an appropriately qualified workforce and establish a governing body that is representative of all sections of the community in order to respect and respond to the diverse needs of our population. We collect and analyse a range of profile information for our staff and governors:   

Applicants for employment, staff profile, staff appraisal/performance management, exit interviews. 

We have identified the following issues from the analysis of the data: 

 

Due regard is given to the promotion of equality in the School Improvement Plan.  Those responsible for the monitoring and evaluation of the policy and action plan are the headteacher and Senior Leadership Team.

Their role is to: 

  • Lead discussions, organise training, update staff in staff meetings, support discussions 
  • Work with the governing body on matters relating to equality 
  • Support evaluation activities that moderate the impact and success of this policy 
  •  

6 Developing Best Practice 

 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, teaching and learning will:  

 

  • Provide equality of access for all pupils and prepare them for life in a diverse society 
  • Use materials that reflect a range of cultural backgrounds, without stereotyping 
  • Use materials to promote a positive image of and attitude towards disability and disabled people   
  • Promote attitudes and values that will challenge discriminatory behaviour   
  • Provide opportunities for pupils to appreciate their own culture and religions and celebrate the diversity of other cultures   
  • Use a range of sensitive teaching strategies when teaching about different cultural and religious traditions 
  • Develop pupils advocacy skills so that they can detect bias, challenge discrimination, leading to justice and equality 
  • Ensure that the whole curriculum covers issues of equality and diversity;  
  • All subject leaders' departments, where appropriate, promote and celebrate the contribution of different cultures to the subject matter 
  • Seek to involve all parents in supporting their child’s education 
  • Provide educational visits and extended learning opportunities that involve all pupil groups 
  • Take account of the performance of all pupils when planning for future learning and setting challenging targets 
  • Make best use of all available resources to support the learning of all groups of pupils 
  • Identify resources and training that support staff development 

  

‘Very few pupils speak English fluently on arrival and significant proportions do not speak English at all. By the time pupils reach the end of Key Stage 1, their reading, writing and mathematical skills are in line with what is expected for their age. By the time they leave the school, at the end of Key Stage 2, pupils’ reading, writing and mathematics skills are above what is expected for their age.  The achievement of pupils with special educational needs and those who are disabled is outstanding. The school makes close consideration of these pupils’ individual needs and creates activities which meet their needs very well’ (OFSTED June 2015)

 

Learning Environment  

     

There is a consistently high expectation of all pupils regardless of their gender, ethnicity, disability, religion or belief, sexual orientation, age or any other recognised area of discrimination.  All pupils are encouraged to improve on their own achievements and not to measure themselves against others.  Parents are also encouraged to view their own children’s achievements in this light.  

   

  • Teacher enthusiasm is a vital factor in achieving a high level of motivation and good results from all pupils 
  • Adults in the school will provide good, positive role models in their approach to all issues relating to equality of opportunity 
  • The school places a very high priority on the provision for special educational needs and disability.  
  • We will meet all pupils’ learning needs including the more able by carefully assessed and administered programmes of work 
  • The school provides an environment in which all pupils have equal access to all facilities and resources 
  • All pupils are encouraged to be actively involved in their own learning 
  • A range of teaching methods are to be used throughout the school to

ensure that effective learning takes place at all stages for all pupils  

  • Consideration will be given to the physical learning environment – both internal and external, including displays and signage  

 

Curriculum  

 At Stoneyholme Primary School, we aim to ensure that: 

  

  • Planning reflects our commitment to equality in all subject areas and cross curricular themes promoting positive attitudes to equality and diversity 
  • Pupils will have opportunities to explore concepts and issues relating to identity and equality particularly through our PSHE and SMSC curriculum
  • Steps are taken to ensure that all pupils have access to the mainstream curriculum by considering their cultural, backgrounds, linguistic needs and learning styles 
  • All pupils have access to qualifications which recognise attainment and achievement and promote progression  

 

In response to the high number of EAL learners, low baselines in EYFS and other identified potential barriers we have established our own approach to personalised learning, taking into consideration our local context and unique circumstances. Our bespoke packages afford exceptional access to the wider curriculum.

 

                                     Resources and Materials       

The provision of good quality resources and materials within Stoneyholme Primary School is a high priority.  These resources:  

 

  • Reflect the reality of an ethnically, culturally and sexually diverse society 
  • Reflect a variety of viewpoints  
  • Show positive images of males and females in society  
  • Include non-stereotypical images of all groups in a global context 
  • Will be accessible to all members of the school community 

 

When ordering resources we ensure that all aspects of equality are covered and that the resources reflect an ethnically and culturally diverse society.

   

                             Language     

We recognise that it is important at Stoneyholme Primary School that all members of the school community use appropriate language which: 

 

  • Does not transmit or confirm stereotypes 
  • Does not offend 
  • Creates and enhances positive images of particular groups identified at the beginning of this document 
  • Creates the conditions for all people to develop their self esteem  
  • Uses accurate language in referring to particular groups or individuals and challenges in instances where this is not the case  

 

Extended Learning Opportunities   

At Stoneyholme Primary School we recognise the importance of and provide a wide range of extended learning opportunities delivered both by school and non-school based staff. ELOs are learning experiences that happen outside of the traditional classroom setting.  The purpose of an ELO is to provide an educational experience that is meaningful and relevant by meeting the student's individual learning style, talents, and interests.  We make appropriate adjustments to plans to ensure all members of the school community can access them.   It is the policy of this school to provide equal access to all activities to all children. 

 

We ensure that all non- staff members who have contact with children understand our commitment to equality of opportunity and adhere to these guidelines.  

   

Provision for Bi-lingual Pupils    

As such a high proportion of our pupils use English as an additional language, we undertake at Stoneyholme Primary School to ensure appropriate provision for all EAL/bilingual children/groups to ensure they are able to access the whole curriculum. These groups include:  

 

  • Pupils for whom English is an additional language 
  • Pupils who are new to the United Kingdom 
  • Gypsy, Roma and Traveller Children 
  • Advanced bi-lingual learners 

 

Bilingual pupils are encouraged to use their first language effectively for learning. 

 

Personal Development and Pastoral Guidance   

  • Staff take account of gender, ethnicity, disability, religion or belief, sexual orientation, age or any other recognised area of discrimination and the experience and needs of particular groups such as Gypsy, Roma and  Traveller, refugee and asylum seeker pupils 
  • All pupils are actively encouraged to consider the full range of career opportunities available to them with no discriminatory boundaries placed on them due to their disability, gender, race or sexual orientation (whilst acknowledging that a disability may impose some practical boundaries to some career aspirations) 
  • All pupils/staff/parents/carers are given support, as appropriate, when they experience discrimination 
  • We recognise that perpetrators may also be victims and require support. 
  • Positive role models are used throughout the school to ensure that different groups of pupils can see themselves reflected in the school community 
  • Emphasis is placed on the value that diversity brings to the school community rather than the challenges.           

 Staffing and Staff Development  

  

We recognise the need for positive role models and distribution of responsibility among staff.  

 

  • This includes pupils' access to a balance of male and female staff at all key stages where possible 
  • We encourage the career development and aspirations of all school staff 
  • It is our policy to provide staff with training and development which will increase awareness of the needs of different groups of pupils 
  • It is our policy to provide staff with training and development which enables them to confidently carry out their roles and responsibilities in  relation to equality
  • Access to opportunities for professional development is monitored on equality grounds   

 

Staff Recruitment   

  • All those involved in recruitment and selection are trained and aware of what they should do to avoid discrimination and ensure equality good

practice through the recruitment and selection process  

  • Equalities policies and practices are covered in all staff inductions  
  • All temporary staff are made aware of policies and practices 
  • Employment policy and procedures are reviewed regularly to check

conformity with legislation and impact 

  Note: 

 

Under the Equality Act 2010, in very limited circumstances, an employer can claim that a certain religious denomination or belief is considered to be a genuine occupational requirement of that role.  An aided school may be able to rely on this for some roles in school, particularly those roles that provide spiritual leadership.  However this would not apply for all staff in School.  

In addition, there are also instances in which a job will qualify for a genuine occupational requirement on the grounds of gender. However, only in very few instances would this be permissible, for example, where the job is likely to involve physical contact with members of the opposite sex, where matters of decency or privacy are involved.  

 

            Partnerships with Parents/Carers/Families and the Wider Community    

Stoneyholme Primary School works relentlessly with parents as partners not only foremost in supporting their children’s learning, but also in their own journeys from education to employment. We work with parents/carers to help all pupils to achieve their potential.   

  

  • All parents/carers are encouraged to participate in the full life of the school.  
  • Members of the local community are encouraged to join in school activities   
  • Stoneyholme Primary School is playing a significant role in contributing to community cohesion, local regeneration and sustainable development. As a key respected focal point for the whole community, our school is ideally paced and offers support to pupils and their families which goes vastly beyond the traditional timetable, contributing to the effectiveness and quality of learning and also to social and economic development. 

 

‘The school’s work with parents is highly effective and is one of the most significant contributory factors to Inspection report: Burnley Stoneyholme Community Primary School, 17–18 June 2015 5 of 11 the school’s success with the pupils. The school does not only offer this to parents but also to grandparents, who the school understands play an important role in the children’s lives’ (OFSTED June 2015)

 

7 Roles and Responsibilities    

  • Our governing body will ensure that the school complies with statutory requirements in respect of this policy and action plan 
  • The headteacher and Senior Leadership Team are responsible for the implementation of this policy, and will ensure that staff are aware of their responsibilities, that they are given necessary training and support and report progress to the governing body 
  • The headteacher has day-to-day responsibility for co-ordinating the implementation of this policy 
  • Our staff will promote an inclusive and collaborative ethos in the school, challenge inappropriate language and behaviour, respond appropriately to incidents of discrimination and harassment, ensure appropriate support for children with additional needs and maintain a good level of awareness of equalities issues 
  • All members of the school community have a responsibility to treat each other with respect, to feel valued, and to speak out if they witness or are subject to any inappropriate language or behaviour 
  • We will take steps to ensure all visitors to the school adhere to our commitment to equality 

 

8 Commissioning and Procurement    

Stoneyholme Primary School will ensure that we buy services from organisations that comply with equality legislation.  This will be a significant factor in any tendering process.   

 

9 The Measurement of Impact of the Policy  

This policy will be evaluated and monitored for its impact on pupils, staff, parents and carers from the different groups that make up our school.  An action plan will be published to enable an impact assessment to be undertaken at the appropriate time within a given timescale.  

 

10  Publicising the Policy and Plan 

This policy will be published on the school website, uploaded onto the school network and will form part of the induction documentation for new members of staff.

 

11  Annual Review of Progress 

We are legally required to report annually on your progress and performance in respect of our policy covering ethnicity, disability and gender and to report annually on our progress to improve access for disabled pupils, including access to the curriculum, physical access and access to information.  Taking this single equality approach, we will incorporate all requirements into one annual report which meets the requirements of the new legislation and which will formulate the basis for the annual action plan. 

 

  12 Equality Impact Analysis  

Undertaking equality impact analysis (EIAs) is similar to undertaking health and safety risk assessments. It involves predicting and assessing what the implications of a policy, function or strategy will be on a wide range of people.   

EIAs are a way in which we can analyse all of our work to ensure it meets the needs of all our service users and that no group (in relation to ethnicity, disability, gender, age, religion and belief, and sexual orientation) is disadvantaged or cannot access our services. 

Appendix 1

 Background 

 

The requirements of the Equality Act have been introduced incrementally since October 2010.  In April 2011 the general public sector duty came into force and in April 2012 schools had the specific duty to publish information and the specific duty to publish objectives.    

The primary purpose of the legislation is to bring together existing equalities legislation.  Primarily these are the Equal Pay Act of 1970, the Sex Discrimination Act 1975, the Race Relations Act of 1976, the Race Relations (Amendment) Act 2000, the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 and three major statutory instruments of recent years protecting discrimination in employment on grounds of religion or belief, sexual orientation and age.  It also builds on the 2006 Equality Act which instigated the Equality and Human Rights Commission.  The 2010 Act imposes equality duties in respect of each of the equality strands (now called protected characteristics). 

The protected characteristics are: 

  • Age 
  • Disability 
  • Gender re-assignment 
  • Pregnancy and maternity 
  • Race 
  • Religion or belief 
  • Sex 
  • Sexual orientation 

Public authorities are also required to have "due regard" to the need to eliminate discrimination against someone because of their marriage or civil partnership status. 

The Equality Act has a single equality duty of positively combating inequality.  It brings all existing provisions broadly into line with one another and extends beyond race, gender and disability to now include the characteristics of age, sexual orientation and religion or belief. The Act also identifies other characteristics such as marital status, pregnancy, having caring responsibilities or maternity.  The definition of equality is therefore wider than it has been before.   Additionally, requirements that in the past have been seen as good practice are now legally enforceable.  For example, the law now requires that as part of their procurement processes, public bodies should prefer companies that it contracts with to have a positive record on equality matters. 

There are also implications for the community cohesion agenda.  The existing duty to promote good race relations has been replaced with a generic one to promote good relations.  The Equality Act will require all public authorities to take the aspects of interaction, empowerment, personal security and attitudes to others into account. 

Community cohesion is in sympathy with most, if not all, of the requirements in the legislation and thus there should not be a radical departure in terms of delivery.  

As part of Lancashire’s continuing commitment to fostering community cohesion, we will work to narrow gaps in outcomes resulting from socio-economic disadvantage.  This is in line with Lancashire County Council’s priorities on closing the gaps (see 'Narrowing the Gaps: 2010 – 2013, Fairness for All' – Lancashire County Council). 

 

Things to consider  

 

The schools' provision of the act prohibits schools from discriminating against, harassing or victimising: 

  • Prospective pupils 
  • Pupils at school 
  • In some limited circumstances, former pupils 

Note:  Age and being married or in a civil partnership are not protected characteristics for the schools' provision. 

Schools also have obligations under the Equality Act as employers, bodies which carry out public functions and service providers.  In this instance all the protected characteristics need to be taken into account. 

All schools in Lancashire, irrespective of how they are funded or managed, have obligations under the Equality Act 2010.  It is the responsible body for a school that is liable for any breaches of the Equality Act. 

In the past there have been exceptions to the discrimination provisions for schools and these are all replicated in the new act – such as the content of the curriculum, collective worship and admissions to single sex schools and schools of a religious character.  

 

Schools are obliged to comply with the Public Sector Equality Duty (PSED).  This duty establishes, in section 149 of the Equality Act 2010, that public authorities are required to pay 'due regard to the need to: 

 

  • Eliminate all forms of discrimination, harassment and  victimisation that are prohibited by the Equality Act; and 
  • Advance equality of opportunity; and  
  • Foster good relations between people who share a protected characteristic and those who do not.   

These are known as the three aims or arms of the 'general equality duty.'  

 

Having due regard for advancing equality involves:   

 

  • Removing or minimising disadvantages suffered by people due to their protected characteristics.  
  • Taking steps to meet the needs of people from protected groups where these are different from the needs of other               people.   
  • Encouraging people from protected groups to participate in public life or in other activities where their participation is disproportionately low.   

  

The Act states that meeting different needs involves taking steps to take account of people’s disabilities. It describes fostering good relations as tackling prejudice and promoting understanding between people from different groups. It states that compliance with the duty may involve treating some people more favourably than others.   

The PSED is supported by specific duties.   

The specific duties regulations require public bodies to:   

  • Publish information to demonstrate how they are complying with  the Public Sector Equality Duty, and 
  • Prepare and publish equality objectives.   

The purpose of the specific duties is to support compliance with the general duty to have ‘due regard’.    

Schools have until 6 April 2012 to publish their initial information and first set of objectives.  They will need to update the published information at least annually and to publish objectives at least once every four years.  

Appendix 2 – for information 

Race  

The term race includes colour, ethnic origin, nationality, national origin and citizenship as well as race.  

Reporting racist incidents in schools

Schools in Lancashire are required to have in place a procedure for dealing with and reporting racist incidents, which includes providing an annual summary of racist incidents to Lancashire County Council.

Disability

 

What is a disability?  

 

Disability is a physical or mental impairment which has an effect on a person’s ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities.  That effect must be:  

  • substantial (more than minor or trivial)
  • adverse
  • Long-term (it has lasted, or is likely to last, for at least a year or for the rest of the life of the person affected).  

There is no need for a person to have a specific, medically-diagnosed cause for their impairment – what matters is the effect of the impairment, not the cause.

Examples include hearing or sight impairments, a significant mobility difficulty, mental health conditions or learning difficulties. There are many other types of condition, illness or injury that can result in a person being disabled (e.g. diabetes, asthma, cancer, arthritis, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, heart conditions, facial disfigurement). 

GENDER

The term gender includes boys, girls, men and women, and transgender/transsexual people.  Sexual orientation is a distinct protected characteristic.  (The term transgender refers to a range of people who do not feel comfortable with their birth gender).  

 

What is the difference between sex and gender?   

 

  • Sex refers to biological status as male or female.  It includes physical attributes such as sex chromosomes, gonads, sex hormones, internal reproductive structures, and external genitalia. 

 

  • Gender is a term that is often used to refer to ways that people act, interact, or feel about themselves, which are associated with boys/men and girls/women. While aspects of biological sex are the same across different cultures, aspects of gender may not be.

 

 Sexual Orientation

 

Heterosexism is any prejudice and discrimination against individuals and groups who are lesbian, gay, bisexual (LGB) or are perceived to be so.  It is based on the assumption that everyone is or should be heterosexual.  Expressions of dislike, contempt or fear based on heterosexism are usually known as homophobia, although lesbophobia and biphobia are also coming into use.

 

Whether through institutional practice or personal behaviour, the prevalence of heterosexism is likely to mean that LGB people feel excluded and unsafe.  This effect can be mitigated by an actively welcoming and supportive environment.

Sexual orientation is defined as an individual's sexual orientation towards people of the same sex as her or him (gay or lesbian), people of the opposite sex (heterosexual) or people of both sexes (bisexual).  

 

Transgenderism and gender re-assignment  

 

Transgender is an umbrella term used to describe people whose gender identity or gender expression differs from that usually associated with their birth sex.  Gender reassignment is the process a transgender person goes through to change sex.

 

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