Equality and Diversity. 13 th June 2011 Wallands C.P. School. Outline of Day. 9:00 Introduction and Rationale 9:20 The equality Act 10:00 Short film 10:45 Break. Objectives. To understand the importance of Equality and Diversity Education for our school.
Equality and Diversity 13th June 2011 Wallands C.P. School
Outline of Day 9:00 Introduction and Rationale 9:20 The equality Act 10:00 Short film 10:45 Break
Objectives • To understand the importance of Equality and Diversity Education for our school. • To know schools’ statutory duties for equalities and diversity and what this means for our school. • To raise awareness of the resources we have to aid our teaching of Equality and diversity and how that is going to be implemented into our curriculum.
RationaleBullying can take many forms in schools – from name-calling to more serious forms of assault or harassment. As a school we are committed to establishing and maintaining a safe and positive learning environment for all pupils and staff.
Under the Equality Act, Human Rights Act and other laws schools must provide a safe environment, free from harassment and discrimination. We need to work pro-actively to implement strategies and guidelines to ensure that all pupils, staff and families are welcomed and included in all aspects of education and school life and treated with respect and dignity.
We need to teach tolerance and understanding of difference to all pupils in our school. At KS1 children need to learn about diverse family models. They also need to learn the skills needed to work with and respect people who are the same as well as different from themselves. At KS2 children need to learn more specifically about the harmful effects of discrimination. They also need to learn how they can help make society a safer and more welcoming space for everyone. TOLERANCE IS ALWAYS AGE APPROPRIATE.
REMEMBER We need to be: Responding to discrimination in all of its forms, and making sure that our school is a safe and affirming space for all of our children, families and staff. IT IS EVERYONE’S JOB.
The 7 Equality Strands By ‘equality strands’ we mean groups of people who experience particular forms of discrimination, whether or not the discrimination is intentional. There are important differences in the forms of discrimination experienced by different groups, but there are also common factors.
The U.K government currently recognises seven ‘equality strands’. They are: • Age • Disability • Gender • Sexual Orientation • Transgender • Race and Ethnicity • Religion and Belief where people are protected by law from discrimination (direct or indirect), harassment and victimisation. Other equality strands, not covered by protecting legislation, might include deprived communities, social origin (‘class’) or income.
New Equality Act The equality Act 2010 replaces the existing anti discrimination laws with a single Act. It came in last October and final decisions were made April 2011. It simplifies the law, removing inconsistencies and making it easier for people to understand and comply with it. It also strengthens the law in important ways to help tackle discrimination and inequality.
New Equality Act Before this new Act there were three separate duties for race, disability and gender. In the new Act, these three duties have been harmonised into one new duty which will cover all seven equality strands. There are four new strands therefore: age, transgender or gender identity, religion or belief and sexual orientation.
Equality Act and Schools The Act protects pupils from discrimination and harassment based on ‘protected characteristics’. Prospective pupils (admissions), pupils at school including exclusions, and in limited circumstances, former pupils are all protected. It also protects staff, parents and visitors. There is a duty to promote community cohesion and it is this duty that can bring all these strands together in a practical way. Schools need to produce one ‘Equality Scheme’ (policy) which includes community cohesion. This must be published by December 2011.
Equality act and Schools All schools are covered, including pupil referral units. The ‘responsible body’, which is normally the governing body, of a school is ultimately liable and responsible for the actions of all employees and anyone working with the authority of the school. It will therefore be important for all to be ‘on board’ with the school’s equality scheme (policy).
DDA Definition of Disability “A person has a disability if he or she has a physical or mental impairment that has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on his or her ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities.” (Disability Discrimination Act). There is no need for the person to have a medically diagnosed cause for their impairment; what matters is the effect of the impairment not the cause.
Groups included Obesity ASD Wheelchair users Sensory AHD S,L&C Dyslexia Asthma Mobility Attachment EBD Learning difficulties Visually Impaired Hearing Impaired OCD Depression Bi-polar These are some of the groups included and are listed here to ensure that there is an awareness for what can be classed as a ‘disability’.
What is Discrimination? Unlawful discrimination is defined in the Act as: • Direct discrimination (including discrimination based on perception or association). • Indirect discrimination. • Discrimination arising from disability. • Failure to make reasonable adjustments (for disabled people).
Direct & Indirect • Direct - treating someone less favourably because they belong to a protected group. E.g you discriminate against a child because their parent made a complaint. • Indirect – something you do that ends up disadvantaging someone from the 7 strands. E.g. all boys must wear caps whereby a protected group (in this case Sikhs) is treated less favourably because of a rule or practice.
Positive Action It is never unlawful to treat disabled pupils (or applicants) more favourably than non-disabled pupils (or applicants). That is, a school is permitted to positively discriminate in favour of disabled pupils (applicants). If a disabled person applies for a job and meets the personal spec. then you have to shortlist and interview them. If under representative in men or ethnic minority and candidates are equally good then you can positively discriminate.
Disability Discrimination A disabled person could be discriminated against in two ways: • Less favourable treatment If a school treats a disabled pupil or prospective pupil less favourably than another because of his or her disability without justification, they may be breaking the law. • Failing to make a ‘reasonable adjustment’ If a school fails to take ‘reasonable steps’ which leads to disabled pupils and prospective pupils being placed at a ‘substantial disadvantage’ compared to non-disabled pupils. This is about ‘wants and needs’ e.g. dyslexia friendly classrooms – if the majority of the class don’t like a coloured background and there is no need in the class for it then you don’t have to have it. The policy should encourage staff to express needs. Showing that the school is willing is what is important here. Reasonable adjustments need to be considered for: Pupils, accessibility to buildings, accessibility to curriculum, staff and parents.
Duties for Schools • Produce an Accessibility Plan to ensure equal access to the physical environment, curriculum and information. This can be part the E & D policy but must be clear that it is an Accessibility Plan. • Remember….. There is a duty to promote community cohesion and it is this element that brings all the strands together. • Ofsted will inspect and report on all these statutory duties.
5 Key Steps to help better outcomes and meet the duties. • Gather information on how your work affects different racial groups, religious groups, disabled people, men and women of all ages, including transsexual, gay and lesbian men and women, • Consult (engage and involve) all stakeholders. • Assess the impact of your policies and practices. • In the light of this evidence decide what your priorities for taking action should be. • Take the action that will deliver the best outcome in equality.
Incident Logging As a school we currently log all incidents that discriminate against race. One simple way to move the school forward in term of Equality and diversity is to log any incident that discriminates against any of the groups that fall within the seven strands. Remember this includes incidents which have involved pupils, staff, visitors or parents. Currently racist incidents are recorded on pink sheets which are circulated to relevant staff. Debbie then reports them to County. What we will do from now on is record any incident involving any of the groups from the seven strands on a separate Incident form which will be circulated in the same way. Here is the form.