The Equality Act (2010) was introduced to combine the Sex Discrimination Act 1975, Race Relations Act 1976 and Disability Discrimination Act 1995. Previously public bodies were bound by these three sets of duties to promote disability, race and gender equality. In April 2011 these were replaced by a single public sector equality duty (known as the PSED or the equality duty). This new duty extends to all the aspects of a person's identity that are protected under the Equality Act 2010.
These are known as protected characteristics and are:
- gender reassignment
- marriage and civil partnership
- pregnancy and maternity
- religion or belief
- sexual orientation.
Public bodies including schools and settings have a general duty to have due regard when making decisions and developing policies:
- To eliminate discrimination, harassment, victimisation and other conduct that is prohibited by the Equality Act 2010.
- To advance equality of opportunity between people who share a protected characteristic and people who do not share it.
- To foster good relations across all protected characteristics – between people who share a protected characteristic and people who do not share it.
To help schools and maintained EYFS settings in England meet the general equality duty, there are two specific duties that they are required to carry out. These are:
- To publish information to demonstrate how they are complying with the equality duty.
- To prepare and publish one or more specific and measurable equality objectives.
At Hever Primary School, we are committed to ensuring equality of opportunity for all pupils, staff, parents and carers irrespective of race, gender, disability, belief, sexual orientation, age 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 ability to participate fully in school life.
We tackle discrimination through the positive promotion of equality, by challenging bullying and stereotypes and by creating an environment which champions respect for all. At Hever Primary School, we believe that diversity is a strength which should be respected and celebrated by all those who learn, teach and visit us.
Equality in Teaching and Learning
We provide all our pupils with the opportunity to succeed and to reach the highest level of personal achievement. We do this by:
- Ensuring equality of access for all pupils and preparing them for life in a diverse society
- Promoting attitudes and values that challenge any discriminatory behaviour or prejudice
- Providing opportunities for pupils to appreciate their own culture and celebrate the diversity of other cultures
- Seeking to involve all parents in supporting their child’s education
- Utilising teaching approaches appropriate for the whole school population which are inclusive and reflective of our pupils.
Equality in Admissions and Exclusions
Our admissions arrangements are fair and transparent and do not discriminate on the grounds of race, gender, religion, belief, disability and/or socio-economic background.
Equal Opportunities for Staff
All staff appointments and promotions are made on the basis of merit and ability and in compliance with the law. We are keen to ensure that the staffing of the school reflects the diversity of our community. The school publishes an accessibility plan setting out how we make improvements in accessibility for those with disabilities.
Public Sector Equality Duty (PSED) Statement
At Hever Primary School we are committed to ensuring equality of education and opportunity for all pupils, staff, parents and carers, irrespective of race, gender, disability, belief, religion or socio-economic background. In order to further support pupils, raise standards and ensure inclusive teaching, we have set the following objectives:
Objective 1: To monitor and analyse pupil achievement by race, gender and disability and act on any trends or patterns in the data that require additional support for pupils.
To be monitored by Senior Leadership Team and reviewed annually by the Governing body in the Summer Term.
Objective 2: To raise levels of attainment in core subjects for all learners.
To be monitored by the Senior Leadership Team and reviewed annually by the Governing body in the Summer Term.
Objective 3: To review levels of parental and pupil engagement in learning and school life, across all activities to ensure equity and fairness in access and engagement.
To be monitored by the Senior Leadership Team and reviewed annually by the Governing Body in the Summer Term.
Putting our Principles into Practice
As an inclusive, respectful community, we are committed to promoting equality of opportunity for all at Hever. We demonstrate this in the following ways:
1. We are committed to ensuring that no learners are disadvantaged.
We regularly analyse the progress and attainment of all learners, including those who share a protected characteristic. Where we identify variations between pupils who share a protected characteristic and the overall School population, we will investigate the cause and where necessary, take steps to address this.
2. Our curriculum is accessible to all learners. We accommodate the individual needs of all our pupils, making changes where required and tailoring support to ensure pupils achieve their best potential.
3. We uphold the British values of respect and tolerance, and we consider it our duty to nurture and develop this understanding.
4. We promote an inclusive culture in which all children feel comfortable sharing concerns with adults so that they can be appropriately supported. We also ensure that all parents feel able to approach the school with concerns or difficulties.
5. The school celebrates world festivals and marks notable events during the calendar year. This raises awareness of moments in the year that are important for our community across a wide range of protected characteristic groups.
6. Relevant equal opportunity implications are taken into account when drafting and reviewing School Policies. Key policies are kept up to date on our website and are available on request from the School Office.
7. Whilst all Governors have collective oversight of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion practices at Hever, the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Governor has a specific remit for monitoring these in liaison with the Senior Leadership Team.