This Equality document has been written to meet the requirements of school to carry out the Public Sector Equality Duty in accordance with the Equality Act 2010. Public Sector Equality Duty (2011).
Under the Equality Act 2010, it is unlawful to discriminate against a pupil or prospective pupil by treating them less favourably on the basis of a ‘protected characteristic’ The protected characteristics are:
A person’s age is also a protected characteristic in relation to employment, and in regard to the provision for goods and services. It does not however apply to pupils, and so the school is free to arrange pupils in classes based on their age group with materials appropriate to them. The Equality Act 2010 introduced a single Public Sector Equality Duty (2011), which applies to public bodies, school including both LA maintained and Academies. The school must have due regard to the need to:
Having due regard in this context means that when significant decisions are being taken, thought must be given to the equality implications.
At Montpelier Primary School, we are committed to ensuring equality of education and opportunity for all pupils, staff, parents and carers receiving services from the school, irrespective of race, gender, disability, faith or religion or socio-economic background. We aim to develop a culture of inclusion and diversity in which all those connected to the school feel proud of their identity and able to participate fully in school life.
We will tackle discrimination by the positive promotion of equality, challenging bullying and stereotypes and creating an environment which champions respect for all. At our school we believe that diversity is a strength, which should be respected and celebrated by all those who learn, teach and visit here.
Our admissions arrangements are the responsibility of the Local Authority and are fair and transparent, and do not discriminate on race, gender, disability or socio-economic factors. Exclusions will always be based on the school’s Behaviour for Learning Policy. We will closely monitor exclusions to avoid any potential adverse impact and ensure any discrepancies are identified and dealt with.
As an employer, we need to ensure that we eliminate discrimination and harassment in our employment practice and actively promote equality across all groups within our workforce. Equality aspects such as gender, race, disability, sexual orientation, gender re-assignment and faith or religion are considered when appointing staff and particularly when allocating Teaching and Learning Responsibilities (TLR) or re-evaluating staff structures, to ensure decisions are free of discrimination.
Actions to ensure this commitment is met include:
The definition of race includes colour, nationality and ethnic or national origins. Schools have a duty to make sure pupils of all races are not singled out for different and less favourable treatment from that given to other pupils.
This section should be read in conjunction with the school’s Special Educational Needs & Disability Policy and Accessibility Plan. The Equality Act 2010 defines a disabled person as someone who has ‘a physical or mental impairment which has a substantial or long-term adverse effect on his or her ability to carry out normal day to day activities’. People with HIV, multiple sclerosis and cancer are deemed disabled before they experience the long-term and substantial adverse effect on their activities. The Act defines ‘long term’ as lasting, or likely to last for at least 12 months.
The Act places a duty on schools to make reasonable adjustments for disabled people:
Where something in school places a disabled pupil at a disadvantage, the school must take reasonable steps to try and avoid that disadvantage.
Schools are expected to provide an auxiliary aid or service for a disabled pupil when it would be reasonable to do so and if such an aid would alleviate any substantial disadvantage that they pupil faces in comparison to non-disabled pupils.
Duty around accessibility for disabled pupils:
Schools need to ensure that there are no practices which could result in unfair, less favourable treatment from that given to other pupils. It is not unlawful to have some single-sex classes in a mixed school, providing it does not give children in such classes an unfair advantage or disadvantage. The act also contains an exception that allows single-sex sport.
d. Gender Reassignment
This is defined as anyone who is undergoing, has undergone or is proposing to undergo a process of reassigning their sex by changing physiological or other attributes. In order to be protected under the Act, a pupil will not necessarily have to be undergoing a medical procedure, but must be taking steps to live in the opposite gender, or proposing to do so. The school needs to ensure that all gender variant pupils, or the children of transgender parents, are not singled out for different and less favourable treatment from that given to other pupils.
e. Sexual Orientation
Schools have a duty to make sure gay, lesbian or bi-sexual pupils, of the children of gay, lesbian or bisexual parents, are not singled out for different and less favourable treatment from that given to other pupils. Teaching about marriage must be done in a sensitive, reasonable, respectful and balanced way. No school, or individual teacher, is under a duty to support, promote or endorse marriage of same sex couples. Teaching should be based on facts and should enable pupils to develop an understanding of how the law applies to different relationships. Teachers must have regard to statutory guidance on sex and relationship education, and to meet duties under equality and human rights law. Where individual teachers are concerned, having a view about something does not amount to discrimination. So it should not be unlawful for a teacher in any school to express personal views on sexual orientation provided that it is done in an appropriate manner and context (for example responding to questions from pupils, or in a RE or PSHE lesson. However, it must be remembered that teachers are in a very influential position and their actions and responsibilities are bound by much wider duties.
f. Religion or Belief
The Act defines ‘religion’ as being of any religion, and ‘belief’ as any religious or philosophical belief. A lack of religion or lack of belief are also protected characteristics. To benefit from the Act, a religion or belief must have a clear structure and belief system and should contain a certain level of cogency, seriousness and cohesion, and not be incompatible with human dignity. The Act is clear that unlawful religious discrimination can include discrimination against another person of the same religion or belief as the discriminator.
Harassment on account of race, gender, disability or sexual orientation, gender reassignment or pregnancy is unacceptable and is not tolerated within the school environment. All staff are expected to deal with any discriminatory incidents that may occur. They are expected to know how to identify and challenge prejudice and stereotyping; and to support the full range of diverse needs according to a pupil’s individual circumstances. Staff and governors should be aware of both direct and indirect discrimination and understand the differences.
Direct discrimination occurs when one person treats another less favourably because of a protected characteristic. Indirect discrimination occurs when a ‘provision, criterion or practice’ is applied generally but has the effect of putting people with a protected characteristic at a disadvantage.
Racist and homophobic incidents and other incidents of harassment or bullying are dealt with by the member of staff present, escalating to class teacher/headteacher where necessary. All incidents are reported to the headteacher and racist incidents are reported to the governing body on a termly basis.
Harassment is defined in the Equality Act 2010 as ‘unwanted conduct, related to a relevant protected characteristic, which has the purpose or effect of violating a person’s dignity or an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment for that person’
Victimisation occurs when a person is treated less favourably, than otherwise would have been because of something they have done (‘a prohibited act’) in connection with the Act. e.g. making an allegation of discrimination.
Types of discriminatory incidents that can occur are:
In order to meet the statutory requirements to publish information to demonstrate how we are complying with the Public Sector Equality Duty and to prepare and publish objectives, we will:
The school will ensure that:
The school will provide:
The school will:
The school will: