Equal Opportunities Policy
Wolverham Primary School is situated in Ellesmere Port. A higher than average proportion of pupils are in receipt of pupil premium (previously known as free school meals) within our school. At Wolverham, we recognise the need to celebrate and value the diversity of society as we prepare our children to contribute to life now and in the future.
Equality of opportunity for all our children and the staff, who work within our school community, is an essential principle. Every person matters at Wolverham and will be given every opportunity to succeed and reach their full potential.
We seek to ensure that our school respects the individuality of all pupils, employees, governors and visitors irrespective of ethnicity, religion, attainment, age, disability, gender, sexual orientation or background, thus upholding the Authority’s commitment to provide a service which ensures equality of opportunity and freedom from discrimination for all.
Our Legal Duties Legislation relating to equality and discrimination is laid out in the Equality Act 2010.
Age - A person of a particular age or a range of ages. Age discrimination does not apply to the provision of education, but it does apply to work. The admission of pupils out of their chronological age is considered on an individual basis and we would work alongside the admissions teams and other external agencies as appropriate.
Disability - A person has a disability if s/he has, or has had, a physical or mental impairment which has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on their ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities (see accessibility plan and SEN local offer on the website). It includes discrimination arising from something connected with their disability such as use of aids or medical conditions. Long-term illnesses such as HIV and cancer are all considered as disabilities, regardless of their effect.
Gender reassignment - A person (usually with ‘gender dysphoria’) who is proposing to undergo, is undergoing or has undergone gender reassignment (the process of changing physiological or other attributes of sex, therefore changing from male to female, or female to male). ‘Trans’ is an umbrella term to describe people with this ‘Gender Identity’. ‘Intersex’ or ‘Third Sex’ is not covered by the Act but the school will treat Intersex children with the same degree of equality as children with gender dysphoria. Children as young as five may begin to show signs of gender dysphoria and therefore it is relevant in any school environment (see gender equality policy and action plan).
Marriage and civil partnership – Marriage and civil partnership discrimination does not apply to the provision of education, but it does apply to work.
Pregnancy and maternity - Maternity refers to the period of 26 weeks after the birth (including still births), which reflects the period of a woman's Ordinary Maternity Leave entitlement in the employment context. In employment, it also covers (where eligible) the period up to the end of her Additional Maternity Leave.
Race - A person’s colour, nationality, ethnic or national origin. It includes Travellers and Gypsies as well as White British people.
Religion and belief - Religious and philosophical beliefs including lack of belief. Generally, a belief should affect your life choices or the way you live for it to be included in the definition. Religion and belief discrimination does not prevent a school from carrying out collective worship or other curriculum-based activities, but pupils may withdraw from acts of collective worship. 2
Sex - A man or a woman.
Sexual orientation - A person's sexual orientation towards the same sex (lesbian or gay), the opposite sex (heterosexual) or to both sexes (bisexual). Although children may not identify as gay or lesbian when very young, promotion of sexual orientation equality is as relevant in a primary school environment as it is in a secondary school. For example, a child may have an older sibling or parent who is gay. Children may experience friends ‘questioning’ or ‘coming out’ when they are in secondary school or college. Schools with a particular religious ethos cannot discriminate against lesbian, gay or bisexual pupils.
Aims & Objectives
We promote the principles of fairness and justice for all through the education we provide in our school.
We ensure that all our children have equal access to the full range of educational opportunities provided by the school.
We constantly strive to remove any forms of indirect discrimination or prohibited conduct that may form barriers to learning.
We ensure that all recruitment, employment, promotion and training systems are fair to all, and provide opportunities for everyone to achieve.
We challenge stereotyping and prejudice whenever it occurs.
We celebrate the cultural diversity of our wider community and show respect for all minority groups.
We are aware that prejudice and stereotyping is caused by low self-image and ignorance. Through positive educational experiences and support for each individual’s point of view, we aim to promote positive social attitudes and respect for all.
We strive to eliminate all forms of racism and racial discrimination. Should an alleged racist incident occur it is investigated in line with our school Racial Equality policy, acting immediately to prevent any repetition of the incident. We also do all we can to support the victim, and if necessary their families too, in overcoming any difficulties they may have. All racial incidents will be reported on the Local Authority proforma and will be submitted when requested.
Sexual Orientation and gender equality
At Wolverham, we follow the Christopher Winter sex and relationships programme in all year groups from year 1upwards. Parents and carers are informed before each session about the content and have the opportunity to discuss the content of the lesson with the class teacher or senior leadership team (see SRE policy and plan).
We investigate appropriate relationships with children and seek to address misconceptions that children may have. We are aware of different religious beliefs and sensitively approach this subject. This links directly to our citizenship overview where children work annually with the NSPCC to identify how to keep themselves safe and what to do if they are concerned or have worries.
Through our PSCHE and citizenship teaching (overview on school website) we provide learning opportunities that enable all pupils to make progress. We do this by setting suitable learning challenges and responding to each child’s different needs.
Assessment against the National Curriculum using the symphony assessment system allows us to consider each child’s attainment and progress against expected levels. 3
At Wolverham, we recognise that people can face discrimination because of attitudes in society towards the faith communities to which they belong. In Britain, we acknowledge that faith-based hate crime has been on the increase in recent years; in our local area, this has not been an issue. Our RE scheme of work is available on the school website and follows the local agreed syllabus for RE.
The school also recognises that a person’s religious (or similar) beliefs may mean that they have different needs, demands and expectations, which require flexibility.
Disability – to be read in conjunction with the school local offer and accessibility plan
The school is required to improve access to the curriculum, our buildings and our other services to disabled people. This also means that we need to take a proactive stance and anticipate what we may need in the future for disabled users. To enable all children to access the curriculum:
• School visits are planned accordingly and individual children’s needs are risk assessed.
• If necessary, staff allow for the additional time required by some disabled pupils to access tasks e.g. use equipment in practical work
• Staff provide alternative ways of giving access to experience or understanding for disabled pupils who cannot engage in particular activities, for example some forms of exercise in physical education • Teachers and teaching assistants have the necessary training to teach and support disabled pupils
• Staff seek to remove all barriers to learning and participation
• Accessibility plan.
• 1:1 teaching assistants work with a range of children with complex needs and seek advice from the SENDCO and external agencies to support them appropriately.
Our building is maintained by Eric Wright and adjustments to the building are made in conjunction with them. Some adjustments that have been undertaken are:
• Areas to which pupils, staff and visitors have access are well lit and the new extension is accessible from the main school and external doors.
• Emergency and evacuation systems are set up to inform ALL pupils, including pupils with
SEN and disability.
Alarms with both visual and auditory components would be considered if a child was admitted with such needs.
Within our school we reflect the attitudes, values and respect that we have for all minority ethnic communities.
Tracking and monitoring of vulnerable pupils
At Wolverham we work hard to ensure that all pupils, no matter what their additional or special needs, have the opportunity to progress and develop academically and socially. Children on the SEN register receive individual targets written in conjunction with parents and any other agencies e.g. SALT and SENIC. The SENDCO closely monitors the delivery of intervention programmes across the whole school and liaises with class teachers and parents to ensure a high standard of provision. Provision and support is tailored to support the requirements of the pupils and the provision is closely monitored by the governing body and leadership team.
We also provide challenging targets for children identified as being able and talented. Children also have access to regional events taking place out of school hours.
Children with English as an additional language are welcomed into our school and our EAL co-ordinator works closely with all teachers and other local schools to provide opportunities to achieve in their home and native language. Pupils in receipt of pupil premium are tracked and provided with additional support including specialist intervention to enable them to reach their full potential. 4
The Role of Governors
The Governing Body has set out its commitment to equal opportunities in this policy statement, and it will continue to do all it can to ensure that all members of the school community are treated fairly and with equality.
Seek to ensure that people with disabilities are not discriminated against when applying for jobs at our school. The governors take all reasonable steps to ensure that the school environment gives access to people with disabilities.
The governors welcome all applications to join the school, whatever background or special needs that a child may have.
To take all reasonable steps to ensure that no child or adult is discriminated against whilst in our school on account of their sex, religion, sexual orientation or race.
The Role of the Head Teacher
To implement the school’s Equal Opportunities and Racial Equality policies supported by the Governing Body.
To ensure all staff are aware of the school policy on Equal Opportunities, and that the staff apply these guidelines fairly in all situations.
To ensure that all appointments panels give due regard to this policy so that no one is discriminated against when it comes to employment or training opportunities.
To promote the principle of equal opportunity when developing the curriculum.
To promote respect for other people in all aspects of school life, eg through assemblies and displays around school.
To treat all incidents of unfair treatment and any racist incidents with due seriousness.
The Role of the Class Teacher
To ensure that all pupils are treated fairly and with respect.
To pay due regard, when selecting teaching materials, to sensitivities of all members of the class and not to provide material which is racist or sexist in nature.
Strive to provide material that gives positive images of all ethnic minorities and that challenge stereotypical images of minority groups.
When planning and delivering the curriculum, to use this policy to guide them, both in the choice of study themes and in how to approach sensitive issues.
Actively support all support staff in challenging incidents of prejudice or racism, encouraging them to intervene in a positive way against any occurrence of discrimination.
Report any incidents to the Head immediately informing her of actions taken and she will decide if any further action needs to be taken.
Monitoring and Review
It is the responsibility of the Headteacher and Governing Body to monitor the effectiveness of this Equal Opportunities policy by:
Monitoring the progress of children from minority groups, comparing them with the progress made by other children.
Monitoring the staff appointment process, so that no-one applying for a post at the school is discriminated against.
Taking into serious consideration any complaints regarding equal opportunity issues from parents, staff, children or visitors to the school.
Monitoring the behaviour policy so that children from minority groups are not being unfairly treated.
The Governing Body and Headteacher will review this policy every three years, or earlier if considered necessary.
Policy Reviewed November 2016 Next review Nov 2019