The Equality Act 2010 was introduced fully in April 2011 and whilst there is no longer a requirement that schools should draw up and publish equality schemes or policies, it is still good practice for a school to make a statement about the principles according to which it assesses the impact on equality of its policies and practices, and according to which it establishes specific objectives.
We must under the general duty of public sector equality duty, in the exercise of our functions, have due regard to the need to:
• Eliminate discrimination, harassment, victimisation and any other conduct that is prohibited under the Act.
• Advance equality of opportunity between persons who share a relevant protected characteristic and persons who do not share it;
• Foster good relations between persons who share a relevant protected characteristic and persons who do not share it. The protected characteristics for the schools provisions are:
- • Disability
- • Gender identity
- • Pregnancy and maternity
- • Race
- • Religion or belief
- • Sex
- • Sexual orientation
- • Age (not applicable to pupils)
- • Marriage and Civil Partnerships (not applicable pupils)
This will apply to all pupils, staff and others using the facilities. We will give relevant and proportionate consideration to the public sector equality duty.
Please note that age and marriage and civil partnership are NOT protected characteristics for the schools provisions for pupils.
We will have due regard to advancing equality of opportunity including making serious consideration of the need to:
- • remove or minimise disadvantages suffered by persons who share a relevant protected characteristic that are connected to that characteristic;
- • take steps to meet the needs of persons who share a protected characteristics that are different from the needs of persons who do not share it;
- • encourage persons who share a relevant protected characteristic to participate in public life or in any activity in which participation by such persons is disproportionately low.
We will take into account the six Brown principles of ‘due regard’
• awareness – all staff know and understand what the law requires.
• timeliness – implications considered before they are implemented.
• rigour – open-minded and rigorous analysis, including parent/pupil voice.
• non-delegation – the Public Sector Equality Duty cannot be delegated.
• continuous – ongoing all academic year.
• record-keeping – keep notes and records of decisions & meetings.
We welcome the opportunity to be transparent and accountable. To this end we fulfil the specific duties of the Act by publishing our equality objectives, we aim to make the information accessible, easy to read and easy to find.
We welcome our duties under the Equality Act 2010 to eliminate discrimination, advance equality of opportunity and foster good relations in relation to age (as appropriate), disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex and sexual orientation.
We welcome our duty under the Education and Inspections Act 2006 to promote community cohesion. We recognise these duties are essential to reflect international human rights standards as expressed in the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, the UN1998 and the Public Sector Equality Duties 2010.Guiding principles. In fulfilling the legal obligations cited above, we are guided by nine principles:
Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities, and the Human Rights Act
Principle 1: All learners are of equal value.
We see all learners and potential learners, and their parents and carers, as of equal value.
Principle 2: We recognise and respect difference.
Treating people equally (Principle 1 above) does not necessarily involve treating them all the same. Our policies, procedures and activities must not discriminate but must nevertheless take account of differences of life-experience, outlook and background, and in the kinds of barrier and disadvantage which people may face.
Principle 3: We foster positive attitudes and relationships, and a shared sense of cohesion and belonging.
We intend that our policies, procedures and activities should promote:
• positive attitudes towards disabled people, good relations between disabled and non-disabled people, and an absence of harassment of disabled people.
• positive interaction, good relations and dialogue between groups and communities different from each other in terms of ethnicity, culture, religious affiliation, national origin or national status, and an absence of prejudice-related bullying and incidents.
• mutual respect and good relations between boys and girls, and women and men, and an absence of sexual, homophobic and transphobic harassment.
• positive attitudes and understanding of those women pregnant or during maternity.
Principle 4: We observe good equalities practice in staff recruitment, retention and development.
We ensure that policies and procedures should benefit all employees and potential employees, for example in recruitment and promotion, and in continuing professional development.
Principle 5: We aim to reduce and remove inequalities and barriers that already exist.
In addition to avoiding or minimising possible negative impacts of our policies, we take opportunities to maximise positive impacts by reducing and removing inequalities and barriers that may already exist.
Principle 6: We consult and involve widely.
People affected by a policy or activity should be consulted and involved in the design of new policies, and in the review of existing ones. We consult and involve all sectors of the school community.
Principle 7: Society as a whole should benefit.
We intend that our policies and activities should benefit society as a whole, both locally and nationally, by fostering greater social cohesion, and greater participation in public life.
Principle 8: We base our practices on sound evidence.
We maintain and publish quantitative and qualitative information about our progress towards greater equality.
Our Equality Objectives reflect the school’s priorities and draw upon available data and other evidence. Careful analysis of this is undertaken in order to ensure that we are working to achieve improved outcomes for different groups.
Our Equality Objectives are:
• To use performance data to monitor student achievement and respond to variations between groups of learners, subjects, courses and key stages, trends over time and comparisons with other schools.
• To raise the awareness and skills of staff to promote fairness, equality and good relations in the context of their role.
• To provide an environment that welcomes, protects and respects diverse people.
• To ensure that all students are given the opportunity to make a positive contribution to the life of the school.
• To address cultural events through year assemblies to increase student awareness and understanding of issues in different communities.
Specific tasks relating to these objectives can be found within the College Improvement Plan.