Equality, Diversity and Community Policy


SHAWCLOUGH COMMUNITY PRIMARY SCHOOL

POLICY FOR EQUALITY, DIVERSITY AND COMMUNITY COHESION

Reviewed :  February 2014
Approved by the Governors: February 2014
Co-ordinator  Charlotte Balogh
Next Review:  February 2017                          

Purpose of the Policy

This policy sets out Shawclough’s approach to promoting community cohesion, equality and diversity.  It covers disability, gender and race/ethnicity and has been created in response to the statutory duties on schools to publish disability and gender equality schemes and a race equality policy.  The policy also describes the schools contribution to Community Cohesion.

How the Policy was Devised

The draft policy was created by the Community Cohesion Working Party building on the schools earlier Equal Opportunities and Race Equality policies.  The draft was used as a basis for consultation with stakeholders.  As a result of the consultation process changes and additions to the policy were made.

Legal Duties

At Shawclough we welcome our duties under the Equality Act 2010.

The School Community

Shawclough is a larger than average primary school situated in the north east of Rochdale.  The school serves a multi-racial community, approximately 50% of its pupils are from an ethnic minority whose family tradition and heritage is mainly Pakistani.  During the last few years the percentage of ethnic minority pupils has shown a steady increase. Currently nineteen different languages are spoken in school.  Shawclough is a multi-faith school – Islam and Christianity are the two main faiths with a small number of Hindus.  However, a significant number of families report no faith background and as a result Muslim is the predominant faith group within school.  Currently 57% of Nursery children are in the bottom 30% IMD (Index of Multiple Deprivation).   Whole school figures are 33% and rising as deprivation is becoming more widespread in Rochdale.

The School Vision

At Shawclough we aim to provide equality and excellence for all, in order to promote the highest possible standards. Our vision at Shawclough is to create a fair and just school community that promotes social inclusion, community cohesion and equality. By acting upon the principles of  race, disability and gender equality and community cohesion, and which challenges discrimination, harassment and inequality (including bullying) in all its many forms.

Aims

The touchstone for all that happens at Shawclough is encompassed in its aims statement which is included below and demonstrates the school’s commitment to equality, diversity and community cohesion.

Working as a team and with our community:

  • We will create a secure, enjoyable, challenging and successful learning experience in which each person is valued across the range of ability, culture, background and gender.
  • We will promote independence, self-esteem, respect, responsibility and caring in our children
  • We will promote and practise equal opportunities for all
  • We will value and celebrate our cultural diversity
  • We will create awareness of the importance of our environment to us all and encourage active participation
  • We will encourage the children to take an active part in the learning process to achieve their full potential and to aim for their highest standards
  • We will foster in the children a love of learning and a sense of belonging to the school community and an awareness of their role as global citizens.

Objectives

  • To ensure that children are able to learn in an environment that is free from the threat of all forms of harassment.
  • To ensure that the cultures represented in school are respected for their own worth and the value they can bring to the life of school.
  • To help children develop an understanding of the contribution they can make to their community.
  • To enable children to be aware of discrimination within society and to develop the skills and attitudes to challenge all forms of discriminatory practices.
  • To develop strong and positive relationships between people from different backgrounds in school and within the community.

What the School does to fulfil its Duties:

Community Cohesion

Community cohesion is about relations within and between communities. The Government says that:

“Every school – whatever its intake and wherever it is located – it is responsible for educating children and young people who live and work in a country which is diverse in terms of culture, faith, ethnicity and social backgrounds. Through their ethos and curriculum schools can promote a common sense of identity and support diversity, showing pupils how different communities can be united by common experiences and values.”

Community cohesion is about working towards a society in which –

  • There is a common vision and sense of belonging within all communities
  • The diversity of peoples backgrounds is appreciated and valued
  • Similar life opportunities are available to all
  • Strong and positive relationships exist and are developed in the workplace, schools and the wider community.  

School can make its contribution to community cohesion through three main areas:

  • Teaching, Learning and the Curriculum

By creating a curriculum which values diversity while emphasising common values.  Promoting an awareness of human rights and responsibilities.

  • Equality and Excellence

Providing equal opportunities for all to succeed.  Track pupils progress and use outcomes to organise provision for all to succeed.

  • Engagement and Extended Services
    • Bringing people from the community to work with children.  Actively involving parents from different backgrounds
    • Providing extended services for family learning e.g. Parenting sessions
    • Providing opportunities for children to interact with others from different schools
    • Maintaining strong links with local agencies
    • Ensuring that pupil voice is heard

Please see the associated action plan to find out more about the main community cohesion priorities for this school year.

Gender Equality

At Shawclough we recognise that despite thirty years of individual sex equality there is still widespread discrimination and persistent gender inequality.  Both sexes suffer from the stereotyping of their roles and needs.

School has due regard for the need to:

  • Eliminate unlawful sexual discrimination
  • Eliminate sexual harassment
  • Promote gender equality

School has chosen to group its contribution to gender equality into the following three main areas:

Teaching, Learning and the Curriculum

  • By creating a curriculum which recognises the achievements of both men and women.
  • By selecting resources sensitively so that they do not communicate stereotypical images.  (However, it is possible to use some of these resources to explore issues around stereotyping.)
  • When policies are reviewed the implications for gender equality are considered.
  • By reviewing procedures in school to ensure stereotyping is not inadvertently being reinforced, for example, boys help with the heavy tasks while girls undertake caring roles.

Equality and Excellence

By tracking children’s progress carefully, patterns of achievement are identified and monitored.  If gender variations are evident appropriate interventions are planned to enable all to succeed.  All examples of sexual harassment, including homophobic bullying are challenged in a way appropriate to the age of the children concerned.

Engagement and Extended Services

We encourage all children to participate in all our extended services provision regardless of gender/ethnicity/race/religion/social economic status.  We strive particularly for our harder to reach families to ensure an enabling environment in all our outside of the school day activity.

Please see the associated action plan to find out more about this year’s priorities for promoting gender equality.

Race Equality

At Shawclough we recognise that racism has a devastating effect on the lives of the victims.  Once again we have chosen to group the school’s contribution to race equality into three areas.

Teaching, Learning and Curriculum

  • By devising a curriculum and using resources to reflect the cultural heritage of the children in school and the wider community.
  • Stereotyped, biased images will always be challenged and explored.
  • Resources are carefully chosen to reflect community languages and promote and celebrate the language skills of many parents and children.
  • Staff are encouraged to use a wide range of strategies to support children in the process of learning English as an additional language.

Equality and Excellence

  • Children’s progress is tracked carefully.  Children identified as needing EAL support are given specialist support (within the resources available in school).  The amount of support given is monitored and reviewed on a termly basis.  The school’s policy on school wear and physical education takes account of the religious and cultural needs of the children.
  • Racial harassment is dealt with firmly and consistently.  Following this procedure:
    • The incident is investigated and the findings recorded on the Racist Incident Record Sheet.
    • The victim is supported
      • The victim will be listened to first
      • How do you feel?
      • Praise victim for coming forward to share the experience
      • Who would you like me to tell?
      • Explain to the victim how the perpetrator would be dealt with
    • Perpetrator is dealt with.
      • Response will vary according to the age of the perpetrator
      • Discuss the feelings of the victim
      • Discuss who needs to be told about the incident
    • The impact of an incident on the whole school is considered and appropriate action taken.  Monitoring
      • Incidents are logged to collect data on the success of the policy and procedures
      • As part of the Headteachers report the Governing Body receive annually a report to enable them to monitor the effectiveness of the school’s policy.

Engagement and Extended Services

  • School welcomes all parents into school and seeks actively to involve parents from all backgrounds.
  • Whenever possible bi-lingual staff are available at key meetings to offer a translation service.
  • Parents and others from all sections of the community provide role models and expertise which are used when many school events are organised.
  • Events organised by the school aim to reflect the variety of cultural  expression found within the school and wider community.
  • Engagement in extra curricular activities is monitored and barriers to participation are removed whenever possible.

Please see the associated action plan to find out more about this years priorities for promoting race equality

Disability Equality

(Disability Equality Scheme)

School recognises that it has a very important role in promoting equality of opportunity between disabled persons and non-disabled persons.  By promoting positive attitudes towards people with disabilities and eliminating discrimination.  Schools contribution to disability equality is grouped, once again, into three areas:

Teaching, Learning and Curriculum

  • Creating a curriculum which celebrates the achievements of people with disability.
  • By selecting resources thoughtfully so that they do not communicate stereotypical images.
  • By reviewing policies and considering any implications there may be for disability equality.

Equality and Excellence

  • By using careful tracking of progress to ensure that all have equal opportunities to succeed and directing resources to ensure this happens.
  • Making reasonable adjustments to the school building and procedures to remove barriers to access and participation.
  • By working closely with support services

Engagement and Extended Services

  • By careful monitoring to ensure that barriers to participation in extra curricular or extended services are removed.
  • By maintaining links with local agencies e.g. social care.

Roles and Responsibilities

All members of the school community have a responsibility and a role to play in the implementation of this policy.  Everyone has a part to play in supporting school’s efforts to foster a positive atmosphere of mutual respect and trust among its pupils.

Governors

To fulfil their responsibilities governors will:

  • Appoint a link governor to work alongside the co-ordinator
  • Attend training as and when appropriate
  • Encourage the membership of the governing body to reflect the ethnic diversity of the school community

Headteacher

  • Demonstrate his/her commitment to equality, diversity and community cohesion by his/her leadership.
  • Monitor in conjunction with the link governor and the co-ordinator the policy and associated action plans.

Co-ordinator

  • Keep up to date with new developments in the area; attend appropriate training as available, report back to colleagues, plan and implement professional development as needed.
  • Implement and monitor annual action plans, reporting to the headteacher and link governor.

Consultation – Time Scale and Process

The following processes and timescale will be used to consult and communicate the policy:

  • Discussion with Cohesion Working Party – Autumn 2009
  • Discussion with Link Governor – Autumn 2009
  • Consult with LA Co-ordinator – Autumn 2009
  • Draft for staff discussion – Spring 2010
  • Draft for Governor discussion at Pupil & Curriculum Sub Committee – Spring 2010
  • Summary of policy circulated to all parents and comments invited – Spring 2010
  • Policy agreed and adopted – Summer 2010
  • Policy reviewed November 2011
  • Policy reviewed February 2014

Review

Full policy review Feb. 2017 or earlier if new guidance becomes available to make an earlier review appropriate.