We need an Equal Opportunities Policy because inequalities exist in our society. This can make the achievement of some people's full potential considerably more difficult to attain than others. Equal opportunities, in a school situation, means ensuring that every individual has equal access to an education or to career development in education.
Equality means having the same rights and status as everybody else.The law gives us guidance and provides positive duties for schools to promote equality.
At Deri Primary School we consider Equal Opportunities as central to the ethos and activities within the School. Adults and pupils who make up the School community should feel valued and free from discrimination. This ensures that everybody’s talents and abilities are fully encouraged and developed.
Policy Statement for Equal Opportunities
The aim of the school is to develop the full potential of its pupils, ensuring that both boys and girls have the same opportunities in all aspects of the curriculum and are treated equally at all times and in all situations. The school is committed to equal opportunity for all its pupils irrespective of sex, race, religion or social class. However we must be aware that discrimination does exist and that it is important enough to warrant serious attention.
The school is required to conform to the wishes of the Equal Opportunities Commission that opposes all forms of discrimination and states that schools should provide equal opportunities for all children and staff. The philosophy of ‘inclusion’ encompasses equal opportunities for all.
- To endorse the principle of inclusion for all at our school
- To provide equality of opportunity for all children and staff whatever their age, ability, disability, gender, religion, race, background or culture
- To work to ensure that our expectations, attitudes and practices are in line with inclusion for all
- To provide equality of opportunity through its ethos and working practices
What does discrimination mean?
Less favourable treatment because of sex, race or other factors.
All forms of discrimination by any person within the school are to be treated seriously. A careful note will be kept of such incidents. It will be made clear to offending individuals that such behaviour is unacceptable.
- We are aware that as children mature and their relationships with peers of both sexes develop, their perception of sex roles alters. We also recognise that such perceptions are influenced by other factors including home, peer group and the media.
- Teaching and other groupings, classroom seating and playground areas are organised on the basis of criteria other than gender, for example, age, ability, friendship.
- Equality between the sexes is recognised when giving/delegating responsibility and noting the achievements of both staff and children.
- Any differences involving gender which arise inside or outside the classroom are dealt with sensitively and are discussed with the children.
- We will ensure that no staff member is discriminated against because of his or her gender.
Race or cultural background
- Under the amended ‘Race Relations Act’ (2001) it is unlawful to discriminate someone because of their race.
- We will ensure that children/parents/staff from different ethnic groups, cultures, religions and background are provided equality of opportunity and are not discriminated against either openly or covertly.
- Through our teaching we take positive steps to promote mutual understanding and respect for people from different backgrounds.
We make efforts to ensure that children of different ages are provided with appropriate activities and that children are not excluded from activities solely on the grounds of their age. We will ensure that all staff are given equal opportunities within the school regardless of age.
We want all our children to achieve their full potential during their time with us. As such, we work to ensure that our expectations, attitudes and practices do not prevent any child from reaching their potential whatever their ability. We will make efforts to ensure that all children receive equality in teaching time and support.
- “Anyone with a physical or mental impairment which has a substantial and long term adverse effect upon his or her ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities is stated to be disabled.”(Quote from Disability Rights Commission). Disability is not about wheelchair users only; it includes dyslexia, epilepsy, dyspraxia, diabetes, ADHD, sensory impairment and cancer.
- The Special Educational Needs and Disability Discrimination Act 2001 places new duties on all schools to avoid discrimination against disabled children. It also makes it unlawful to be discriminated against because of a disability in areas of employment or access to goods, facilities and services.
- We will endeavour to provide appropriate access both physically and through the curriculum, for all children with disabilities with appropriate support when required, from the local authorities and outside agencies. Staff with disabilities will be afforded the same support.
Gender, race , colour, religion, ability or disability are not used as criteria for admitting pupils to the school or selecting staff, governors or volunteer helpers.
The names of pupils and associated adults should be accurately recorded, correctly pronounced and used. All members of the school community should be encouraged to accept and respect each other’s names including those from other cultures.
- All pupils will be valued and encouraged in the development of their sense of worth and self esteem whilst encouraging a positive attitude to equal opportunities.
- The curriculum will be regularly reviewed as part of the whole school approach to planning to ensure that there is no discrimination and that there are real opportunities for children with different abilities.
At Deri Primary School we:-
- Recognise that all individuals are different and have different needs;
- Emphasise that all pupils have an entitlement to a full range of educational opportunities in accordance with the requirements of the National Curriculum and Deri Primary School’s own curriculum policies and guidance;
- Expect all staff and those who contribute to the School as governors or helpers, to share and develop its commitment to equality of opportunity;
- Recognise the importance of all pupils maximising their potential and the need to minimise the waste caused by low expectations and under-achievement;
- Recognise that discrimination, whether open or masked can lead to inequality of educational opportunities and a failure of the School to offer the best possible education for pupils;
- Expect the School to follow the spirit as well as the letter of the law set out in the Sex Discrimination Act 1975 and the Race Relations Act 1976. (It is illegal under these Acts for open discrimination in a School’s organisation, discipline, curricular options and choices, examination entries or careers guidance.)
The selection, training, and development of Governors will be based on the same clear non-discriminatory criteria outlined at the beginning of this document and will extend to the selection of sub-committees etc, in line with Government Guidance.
The selection of staff will be based on the same clear non-discriminatory criteria outlined at the beginning of this document and will extend to career training and development needs.
The selection of helpers will be based on the same clear non-discriminatory criteria outlined at the beginning of this document and will extend to training and development opportunities in meeting their roles.
We will ensure that each parent/carer is treated in a manner which ensures that they have full and equal access to support, information and resources.
Monitoring and review
- Practices and approaches involving equal opportunity in terms of age, ability, disability, gender, religion, race or cultural background will regularly be reviewed by all members of Staff when auditing aspects of Ethos throughout the school.
- We will also audit our school policies to ensure they take account of inclusion and equal opportunities for all.
- Practices and procedures will also be amended in light of any changes to legislation.
- We will monitor pupil attainment/achievement and progress to ensure that we have equally high expectations of all pupils and no pupil is underachieving because of race, gender, ability, disability, age or culture.
- The Head Teacher will be responsible for the overall monitoring and reporting of issues relating to equal opportunities.
Policy into Practice
We must be careful when organising the children that we are not inadvertently discriminating against them e.g.
- Teachers should not intentionally organise groups according to gender
- Displays of children’s work should not show signs of gender stereotyping
- Whenever pupils line up there should be no discrimination according to gender
- Responsibilities should not be given according to gender i.e. boys moving chairs, girls cleaning up
- The seating arrangements for school gatherings should not be organised according to gender
- Children should be allowed to integrate during playtimes – there should not be separate areas defined for boys and girls.
Curriculum arrangements should also ensure equal opportunities for all e.g.
- All pupils must be encouraged to participate in historically boy dominated subjects such as technology, science etc.
- Boys must be encouraged to participate in what has traditionally been considered as female domain activities e.g. Role play involving household activities such as cleaning, ironing, washing. Boys should be encouraged to play as nurses, secretaries and adopt other roles that have traditionally been linked with the female sex.
- Construction toys, computers, tools for technology should be freely available to both sexes
- Book purchases should be monitored to ensure that there is a selection that appeals to both boys and girls
- Movement skills and games skills should be taught without discrimination.
Boys and girls often leave school not having fulfilled their potential because they have not experienced all the opportunities a school could offer. Choices, all too often, have been made, not on the basis of their own interests, but because they are conforming to what is expected of someone of their sex. We must be aware also that stereotyped roles are often imposed on our children at home.
It is vital that all our pupils are encouraged to take part in all activities and that they are not discouraged from certain activities just because they have traditionally been seen as male or female orientated.
This policy will be reviewed as required.