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Equality Scheme & Action Plan

April 2007 – April 2010

 

Schools need to have a Race Equality Policy, Disability Equality Scheme and Gender Equality Scheme. This scheme and the accompanying action plans sets out how the governing body will meet the three equality requirements.

 

Introduction

 

Race

Duties under the Race Relations (Amendment) Act 2000 require the governing body to:

  • Eliminate unlawful discrimination
  • Promote equality of opportunity
  • Promote good relations between people of different racial groups

 

To meet this requirement the governing body will

 

  • produce a written race equality policy identifying action to be taken to tackle discrimination and promote equality and good race relations across school activity.
  • assess and monitor the impact of race equality policies on pupils, staff, and parents, in particular the attainment levels of pupils from different racial groups, and take such steps as a are reasonably practical to publish the results of this monitoring annually
  • record racist incidents and report them to the local authority on a regular basis.

 

The school will contact the local authority for advice on the format, process and frequency of reporting as required.

 

Disability

 

Duties under Part 5A of the DDA 2005 require the governing body to:

  • Promote equality of opportunity for disabled people: pupils, staff, parents, carers and other people who use the school or may wish to; and
  • Prepare and publish a disability equality scheme to show how they will meet these duties.

 

Parts 2, 3 and 4 of the DDA 2005 apply to different aspects of the school’s operation: to employment, to the provision of services and to education. The Disability Equality Duty brings together schools responsibilities under Parts 2, 3 and 4 and the school’s scheme shows how the school is meeting its general duty to promote disability equality across all its areas of responsibility.

 

Duties in Part 4 of the DDA 1995 require the governing body to plan (the Schools Accessibility Plan) to increase access to education for disabled pupils in 3 ways:

  • increase the extent to which disabled pupils can participate in the school curriculum;
  • improve the environment of the school to increase the extent to which disabled pupils can take advantage of education and associated services;
  • improve the delivery to disabled pupils of information, which is provided in writing for pupils who are not disabled.

 

 Gender (sex)

 

Duties under the Equality Action 2006 require the governing body to:

  • Eliminate unlawful discrimination and harassment on the grounds of sex.
  • Promote equality of opportunity between women and men.

 

From 6 April 2007, the Equality Act 2006 requires the governing body to promote equality of opportunity between women and men (including boys and girls) and to publish a Gender Equality Scheme showing how the school intends to fulfil the general and specific duties. The Governing body will revise and review the plan every 3 years and report on progress annually.

 

There are no specific duties or requirements on schools in relation to gender reassignment, beyond the requirement not to discriminate in terms of employment of staff

 

Religion or Belief and Sexual orientation

Duties under the Equality Action 2006 require the governing body to:

  • Eliminate unlawful discrimination and harassment on the grounds of sexual orientation.
  • Eliminate unlawful discrimination and harassment on the grounds of religion or belief.

 

There are no specific duties or requirements on schools to publish a Scheme relating to religion, beliefs or sexual orientation.

 

  • Starting points

 

Purpose of the Equality Scheme

 

1.1 The purpose of the school’s Equality Scheme is to meet the duties to promote equality of opportunity for and between diverse members of the school community, including, disabled pupils, staff, parents, women, men and different racial groups within the school. In order to do this the school will

 

  • Establish with all staff an overall vision of the duty to promote equality of opportunity for pupils, staff and parents.

 

  • Elements of the duties are:

 

Promote equality of opportunity between disabled and non-disabled people, women and men and between different racial groups.

 

  • Eliminate discrimination and harassment on the grounds of disability, sex, race or ethnicity, sexual orientation and religion or beliefs.

 

Promote positive attitudes towards disabled people.

 

Encourage participation of disabled pupils, parents, staff and carers.

 

  • Take steps to meet disabled people’s needs, even if this requires more favourable treatment.

 

1.2 Action by School Leadership Team (SLT) responsible for the Equality Scheme:

 

  • Raise awareness of elements of the duties with all staff, governors, parents and pupils.
  • Refer to ‘Implementing the DDA in Schools’ published by the Disability Rights Commission
  • Ensure understanding of the broad definition of disability within the DDA.
  • Encourage disclosure of disability by pupils, parents, staff and other users of the school. (See p12 and 22 of DFES draft guidance)
  • Refer to ‘The Gender Equality Duty and Schools’ published by the Equal Opportunities Commission
  • Work with trade unions to implement the gender duty in employment functions
  • Create separate action plans for each equality duty highlighting links as appropriate.
  • Set up working party, membership to include:

- SLT member

- governor

- parent with interest in or experience of disability issues

- staff representative with an interest in disability or experience of

disability issues.

- SENCO

- trade union representative(s)

- associate members e.g. pupils with disability/on school council, community/voluntary groups

 

1.3 The Key Functions of the Working Party will be:

  • To ensure the involvement of disabled pupils, parents/carers and staff regarding the disability equality duty.
  • To ensure the involvement of trade unions regarding the gender equality duty.
  • To arrange for the gathering of information.
  • To consider arrangements for race, disability and gender impact assessments.

 

1.4 The governing body will use the Disability Discrimination Act 2005 definition of disability to respond to the different needs of disabled people.

 

Definition of disability

The DDA defines a disabled person as someone who has:

‘A physical or mental impairment which has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on his or her ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities.’

 

Definition of the terms:

  • ‘physical impairment’ includes sensory impairments;
  • ‘mental impairment’ includes learning difficulties and an impairment resulting from or consisting of a mental illness;
  • ‘substantial’ means ‘more than minor or trivial’; and
  • ‘long-term’ is defined as 12 months or more.

 

The definition includes a wide range of impairments, including hidden impairments such as dyslexia, autism, speech and language impairments, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). These are all likely to amount to a disability, but only if the effect on the person’s ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities is substantial and long-term, as defined above.

 

The effect on normal day-to-day activities is on one or more of the following:

  • mobility;
  • manual dexterity;
  • physical co-ordination;
  • continence;
  • ability to lift, carry or otherwise move everyday objects;
  • speech, hearing or eyesight;
  • memory or ability to concentrate, learn or understand;
  • perception of risk of physical danger.

 

Some people are automatically covered by the definition: those with cancer, multiple sclerosis, HIV infection or a severe disfigurement. There are special provisions for people with progressive or recurring conditions.

 

1.5 Involvement of pupils, staff, parents and other users of the school.

 

The school will consider and plan to involve pupils, staff, parents and other users of the school in relation to the race, disability and gender equality duty.

The school will continue to take into account the preferred means of communication for those with whom they are consulting.

 

The school will ensure the involvement of a range of people and hear a range of views to meet the disability, gender and race equality duties.

 

The views of the pupils, staff, parents, trade unions and other users of the school will be used to set priorities.

 

 

 

 

1.6 Information gathering

 

The collection of information is crucial to supporting Mersham Primary School in making decisions about what actions would best improve opportunities and outcomes for pupils, staff and parents. The information will also subsequently help us to review our performance. Information will be detailed enough to enable us to measure the delivery on equality duties relating to disability, race and gender, to assess the impact of the changes made and to help the school us identify which of our priorities have been achieved.

 

1.7 Information to Be Gathered

  • Recruitment, development and retention of disabled employees, women and men from different racial backgrounds.
  • Education opportunities available to and achievement of disabled, female and male pupils and pupils from different racial backgrounds.
  • Identify disabled pupils, parents, carers, staff and other users of the school to develop the Scheme(All efforts to be made to collect information)
  • The working party will recommend about how the information is to be held in school, and how it interlinks with other registers. E.g. Does the school have just one school profile with differing levels of access? Confidentiality and need to know clauses are required.
  • Pupil attainment of boys and girls taking into account that certain groups of boys may do as well as girls.
  • Careers and sports choices of both genders
  • Bullying and harassment on the grounds of gender, disability and race.

1.8 Impact assessments.

 

Impact assessments refers to the review of all current and proposed policies and practices in order to help schools act to ensure no gender, racial group or disabled person is disadvantaged by school activities and to promote race, disability and gender equality. Impact assessments will be an on-going process to ensure that our policies and practices develop, evolve and are incorporated into the school’s planned review and revision of every policy. Every new policy or procedure will be drawn up with regard to our duties to promote race, disability and gender equality and to eliminate discrimination and harassment within the school community.

 

We will use the KCC Equality Impact assessment tool for schools as a basis for impact assessments located at:

www.clusterweb.org.uk/UserFiles/CW/File/Policy/Equalities/impact_assessment_tool.doc

 

  • Identifying the main priorities for the school’s scheme and deciding the actions

 

2.1 The priorities for the Mersham Primary School scheme will be set in the light of :

 

  • an examination of the information that the school has gathered; and
  • the messages that the school has heard from the disabled pupils, staff, parents and trade unions that have been involved in the development of the scheme.

 

2.2 Some of the priorities identified may include:

  • Improving access to information;
  • Improving the involvement of disabled pupils, staff and parents
  • Challenging gender stereotypes in subject choices and career advice
  • Health, sport and obesity differences between girls linked to girls reduced likelihood of taking part in physical education and sport compared to boys.
  • Tackling sexual and sexist bullying of boys and girls
  • Employment and considering objectives to address the causes of any gender pay gap

 

  • Making it happen

 

3.1 Implementation

 

The Scheme will be supported by individual action plans relating to disability, gender and race equality and be incorporated into the School Improvement Plan, with oversight by the governing body so that progress can be checked.

 

The Action plans will show:

  • clear allocation of lead responsibility;
  • clear allocation of resources;
  • an indication of expected outcomes or performance criteria;
  • clear timescales;
  • a specified date and process for review.

 

The Scheme will incorporate the reviewed Accessibility Plan of 2003 into the disability equality action plan. (Refer to reviewed Accessibility Plan 2003-2006)

 

The school will evaluate the effectiveness of the Scheme with it’s School Improvement Partner and Ofsted when the school is inspected

 

3.2 Publication

 

The working party will decide how best to publish the Equality Scheme either as a separate document or as part of the School Improvement Plan. The school will provide a copy for anyone asking for it in a range of formats.

 

3.3 Reporting

 

The school will report annually on the progress made on the action plans and its effect on policy and practice within the school.

 

3.4 Reviewing and revising the scheme

 

As part of the review of the Scheme, the school will:

  • revisit the information that was used to identify the priorities for the scheme; and
  • re-examine the information to see if actions that the school has taken have affected opportunities and outcomes for disabled pupils, staff and parents, diverse racial groups and both genders.

 

The review of the Scheme will inform its revision; how the school sets new priorities and new action plans for the next scheme. This process will continue to:

  • involve pupils, staff and parents; and
  • be based on information that the school has gathered.

 

The main documents that will inform the development of this scheme are:

  • Disability Equality in Education Course Book, Richard Rieser
  • Implementing the Disability Discrimination Act in schools and early years settings, DFES
  • Promoting Disability Equality in Schools, DfES Guidance.
  • The Gender Equality Duty and Schools, EOC guidance

 

3.5 Action Plans

 

DES Action Plan including reviewed accessibility plan to be added.

GES Action Plan to be added

Action plan to promote equality on opportunity and good relations between different racial groups to be added.

 

 

 

KEY LEGISLATION

 

Equality Strand

Legislation

Age

Employment Equality (Age) Regulations 2006

 

Disability

Disability Discrimination Act 1995, as amended

Special Educational Needs and Disability Act 2001

Disability Discrimination Act 2005

 

Gender (sex)

Sex Discrimination Act 1975, as amended

Equality Act 2006

Gender (reassignment)

Sex Discrimination (Gender Reassignment) Regulations 1999

 

Race

Race Relations Act 1976, as amended

Race Relations (Amendment) Act 2000

 

Religion or belief

Employment Equality (Religion or Belief) Regulations 2003, as amended

Equality Act 2006

 

Sexual Orientation

Employment Equality (Sexual Orientation) Regulations 2003, as amended

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