Equal Opportunities Policy

  1. 1.                    Introduction

1.1       The school is committed to the need both to eliminate unlawful discrimination and to promote equality for pupils, staff and others using school facilities.

1.2          The school is committed to giving all pupils every opportunity to achieve the highest standards by:

  • taking account of their varied experiences and needs;
  • offering a broad and balanced curriculum;
  • having high expectations of all pupils

1.3          The school complies with all current legislation concerning unfair discrimination and to promoting best practice in equality of treatment. This policy accords with the following legislation:

    • Gender Equality Duty  2007
    • Equality Act  2006
    • Employment Equality (Age) Regulations  2006
    • Disability Discrimination Acts 1995 & 2005
    • Employment Equality (Religion or Belief) Regulations  2003
    • Employment Equality (Sexual Orientation) Regulations  2003
    • Special Educational Needs and Disability Act  2001
    • Race Relations (Amendment) Act  2000
    • Sex Discrimination (Gender Reassignment) Regulations  1999
    • Human Rights Act  1998
    • Welsh Language Act  1993
    • Sex Discrimination Acts of  1975 & 1986

1.4           This policy should be read in conjunction with the following school policies:

  • Child Protection Policy
  • Disability Equality Scheme & Accessibility Plan
  • Pupil Discipline (including Anti-Bullying) Policy
  • Race Equality Policy
  • School Uniform Policy
  • Sex & Relationships Education Policy
  • Special Educational Needs Policy

and alongside “The Education of Gypsy and Traveller Pupils in Powys Schools” guidance document.

  1. 2.                    Aims and Objectives

2.1       The school does not unlawfully discriminate against anyone, whether pupil, parent, staff or visitor, on the grounds of gender, race, colour, nationality, ethnic or national origins, disability, sexual orientation, religion or belief or age.

2.2       The school promotes the principles of fairness and justice for all through the education that it provides in the school.

2.3       The school seeks to ensure that, wherever possible, all pupils have equal access to the full range of educational opportunities provided by the school.

2.4       The school strives to constantly identify and remove any forms of indirect discrimination that may form barriers to learning for some groups by regularly assessing the impact of its policies, practices and guidelines.

2.5       The school ensures that recruitment, employment, promotion and development opportunities are open to all.

2.6       The school challenges personal prejudice and stereotypical views whenever they occur.  The school is aware that prejudice and stereotyping can be caused by misconception and by ignorance.  Through positive educational experiences, and support for each individual’s point of view, the school aims to promote positive social attitudes and respect for all.

2.7       The school values each pupil’s worth, celebrating both people’s individuality and the cultural diversity of the community centred on the school and shows respect for everyone.

2.8       The school and its staff strive to be proactive in tackling prejudice and unlawful discrimination.

  1. 3.                    Equal Opportunities in Recruitment

3.1       Recruitment and selection procedures and practices are regularly reviewed to

ensure that no group is put at a disadvantage either directly or indirectly.

3.2       In accordance with the spirit of this policy statement, employees are given an equal opportunity to progress within the organisation.

3.3         The aim of this policy is to ensure that no job applicant or employee is discriminated against on the grounds of gender, race, colour, nationality, ethnic or national origins, disability, sexual orientation, religion or belief or age, or is disadvantaged by conditions or requirements which cannot be shown to be justified.

4              Equal Opportunities in the Curriculum

4.1      Every pupil has an equal entitlement to the National Curriculum and, subject to entry requirements, to all other areas of the curriculum, regardless of language, gender, race, colour, nationality, ethnic or national origins, disability, sexual orientation, religion or belief or age.

4.2      Pupils should have equal access to the curriculum regardless of academic ability.  Consequently this policy should be read in conjunction with the Special Educational Needs Policy.

4.3      Staff will actively encourage the breaking down any traditional sexual stereotyping regarding subject choices.  This is particularly important when counselling for Key Stage 4 and Key Stage 5 courses.

4.4      The school will monitor any careers advice or work experience placements provided by outside agencies to aim to ensure equal opportunities.

4.5      All forms of individual and subject support, guidance, amenities and facilities, including extra-curricular activities, will be equally available to pupils of both sexes.

4.6      Behavioural  expectations and disciplinary sanctions will be free of any gender, race or culture bias.

4.7      Teachers will assess all materials and resources used for teaching and take appropriate action whenever possible to ensure that they reflect concepts, themes and information which seeks to eliminate prejudice, racism and discrimination.  Teachers should try to ensure that all pupils feel that their language and culture is both acknowledged and valued.

4.8      The school actively encourages an ethos in which all pupils feel secure and valued.  Details of the school’s Child Protection Policy are provided in Appendix 1 and the school’s procedures for responding to racist incidents are provided in Appendix 2.

5              Race / Ethnicity

5.1         The school will:

  • strive to eliminate all forms of racism and racial discrimination;
  • promote equality of opportunity;
  • promote good relations between people of different racial and ethnic groups.

5.2         The school will not tolerate any form of racism or racist behaviour.  Should a racist incident occur, it will be dealt with in accordance with school procedures (see policies for Race Equality and/or for Behaviour) and reported to the Authority’s Schools and Inclusion Service (see Appendix 2).

5.3         The school endeavours to be welcoming to all minority groups.  The celebration and understanding of cultural diversity is promoted through the topics studied by the pupils and is reflected in displays, resources and events.

5.4         Cultural diversity and respect for others are celebrated and reflected across the whole curriculum.  The curriculum will enhance pupils’ understanding of Welsh, British and world society and history, including the contributions of minority ethnic groups.

5.5         The school will give pupils the understanding they need to recognise prejudice and reject racial discrimination.

6              Gender / Sex   [see also 4.3]

6.1         The school will constantly examine its curriculum, procedures and materials for gender bias or inequality, particularly in relation to girls’ expectations and behaviour.

6.2         The school will encourage pupils to be aware of the rigid sexual stereotypes presented by, for example, the media and will try to ensure that resources include non-sexist books which value the achievements of both women and men.

6.3         The school is committed to providing a curriculum which avoids unnecessary historical gender divisions.  All pupils experience subjects traditionally considered to be suitable for a single sex e.g. rugby, netball, cooking, woodwork, etc.

6.4         The school tries to ensure:

  • that teachers allocate their time fairly between the sexes;
  • that all pupils have opportunities for working with pupils of both sexes;
  • that the traditional sexual stereotypes are broken down, for example by not asking boys to move furniture whilst girls tidy up;
  • that pupils have opportunities for examining their own pre-conceived ideas of gender roles;
  • that pupils are encouraged to pursue less conventional subjects and interests, for example girls to read more non-fiction and boys more fiction; girls to develop mechanical interests and boys creative skills.

7              Disability

7.1       The school is committed to meeting the needs of pupils with disabilities, as it is to meeting the needs of all within the school.  The school endeavours to meet the requirements of the Disability Discrimination Act 1995, as amended by the Disability Discrimination Act 2005.  All reasonable steps will be taken to ensure that disabled pupils are not placed at any disadvantage compared to non-disabled children.  The legislation states that people with disabilities may be treated more favourably and this requirement should be considered.

7.2       The school is committed to providing an environment that allows disabled pupils full access to all areas of learning or associated services provided for, or offered to, pupils at the school, including educational visits and other off-site activities e.g. swimming.

7.3       Teachers will modify teaching and learning as appropriate for pupils with disabilities.  For example, they may give additional time to complete certain activities or modify teaching materials or offer alternative activities where pupils are unable to manipulate tools or equipment.

8              Religion / Belief

8.1         The school respects the religious beliefs and practices of all staff, pupils, parents and visitors and will comply with all reasonable requests relating to religious observance and practice. This includes respect for lack of religion or belief, as in humanism and atheism.

9              Sexual Orientation

9.1       The school will make no assumption about the sexual orientation of any of the members of its community.

9.2.        In the curriculum, sexuality is taught within the context of loving relationships.  Whilst heterosexual relationships are the most common in our society, we acknowledge that a small, but significant number of our pupils will develop a homosexual or bisexual orientation and that during development many will be still questioning their sexual orientation.  Pupils’ questions will be answered as they arise, honestly, factually and non-judgementally.

9.3         Derogatory name-calling (of any sort) is unacceptable

10           Age

10.1      The school will put procedures in place to ensure that no-one is denied a job, an equal chance of training or promotion or suffers from harassment or victimisation because of their age

11           The role of governors

11.1     In this policy statement the governing body has set out its commitment to equal opportunities and it will continue to do all it can to ensure that all members of the school community are treated both fairly and equally.

11.2     The governing body will ensure that no-one is unlawfully discriminated against whilst in the school on account of their race, gender, religion or belief, disability, age or sexual orientation.

12           The role of the headteacher

12.1     The headteacher will ensure that the school’s policy on equal opportunities is implemented, and is supported by the governing body in so doing.

12.2     The headteacher will ensure that all staff are aware of the school policy on equal opportunities and that teachers apply these guidelines fairly in all situations.

12.3     The headteacher will ensure that all appointments panels give due regard to this policy so that no-one suffers discrimination.

12.4     The headteacher will promote the principles of equal opportunity when developing the curriculum and in providing opportunities for training.

12.5     The headteacher will promote respect for other people in all aspects of school life; in assemblies, for example, respect for other people will be a regular theme as it will also be in displays around the school.

12.6The headteacher will view all incidents of unfair treatment with due concern.

13           The role of teachers

13.1     Class teachers will recognise their own prejudices and ensure that all pupils are treated fairly and with respect.  The school will not knowingly discriminate against any child/young person, parent or visitor and will actively seek to identify and remove indirect discrimination.  Ignorance of what constitutes discrimination is not a defence against an allegation.

13.2     When selecting classroom materials, teachers will strive to provide resources which give positive images and which challenge stereotypical images of minority groups.

13.3     When designing schemes of work, teachers will pay cognisance to the equal opportunities policy, both in the choice of topics to study and in how to approach sensitive issues.  For example, history topics should include examples of the significant contribution made by women; in geography, attempts should be made to counter stereotypical images of Africa and Asia and to show the true diversity of development in different parts of the world.

13.4     All teachers and support staff will challenge any incidents of prejudice or discrimination and draw them to the attention of the headteacher.

14        The role of pupils

14.1     Pupils will be made aware of the policy and draw any incidents of prejudice or discrimination to the attention of the class teacher and/or headteacher

15           The role of parents

15.1       Parents will be made aware of the policy through the school prospectus and home-school agreement and draw any incidents of prejudice or discrimination to the attention of the class teacher or headteacher.

16           The role of visitors / contractors

16.1All visitors and contractors are required to adhere to the school policy.

17           Monitoring / Review

17.1     The governing body is responsible for monitoring the effectiveness of this policy.  The governors will therefore:

  • monitor the progress of pupils from minority groups, comparing it to the progress made by other pupils in the school;
  • monitor the staff appointment process so that no-one applying for a post at the school is discriminated against;
  • require the headteacher to report to governors annually on the effectiveness of this policy;
  • take into serious consideration any complaints from pupils, parents, staff or visitors regarding equal opportunity;
  • monitor the school’s behaviour policy, and the numbers of exclusions, to make sure that pupils from minority groups are not unfairly treated.

17.2     This policy will be reviewed by the governing body every two years, or earlier if it is considered necessary.

Mrs J Parker, Headteacher, Crickhowell High School

Mr Alan Peggrem, Chair of Governing Body, Crickhowell High School