We are proud of our record on equality and diversity. We were the first school in North Yorkshire to achieve the Stephen Lawrence Standard which reflects the commitment to equality in all areas of our school organisation.
As a school we welcome our duties under the Equality Act 2010. The General Equality Duty sets out the equality matters that the school needs to consider when making decisions that affect pupils or staff with protected characteristics. This duty has three elements. In carrying out their functions public bodies are required to have ‘due regard’, when making decisions and developing policies, to the need to:
Eliminate discrimination, harassment, victimisation or other conduct that is prohibited by the Equality Act 2010.
Advance equality of opportunity between people who share a protected characteristic and people who do not share it
Foster good relations between people who share a protected characteristic and people who do not share it.
Having ‘due regard’ to the need to advance equality of opportunity is further defined in the Equality Act 2010 as ‘having due regard to the need to:
- Remove or minimise disadvantages
- Take steps to meet different needs
- Encourage participation where it is disproportionately low.’
There are certain exceptions within the Equality Act to the discrimination provisions for schools with a religious character including content of the curriculum, collective worship and admissions.The school must meet the two specific duties which are to:
- publish information to demonstrate compliance with the general duties, at least annually. This may include school performance data, anti-bullying policies, curriculum materials, parent and pupil surveys and the School Development Plan. It can also refer to national and other surveys and benchmarking. The school will, generally, have sufficient information in the form of routine data or individual/group records. Where there are gaps or concerns, then the school may decide to collect more information in order to provide a complete picture of the school, shape objectives, address inequality and inform decision making.
- publish at least one, although not usually more than four, specific and measurable equality objectives, at least every four years.
The duty to have due regard to equality consideration is a continuing one which applies to all policies and procedures. It also applies to what may not be written down i.e. practices, and the school will always try to use information about pupils with protected characteristics to promote positive outcomes and mitigate adverse effects. Meeting these duties forms an integral part of the work of the school and must be integrated into the carrying out of the school’s functions. The DfE advises that schools which were already compliant with previous equality legislation should not find major differences in what they need to do. In order to ensure that the school makes explicit its compliance and remains focused on improving outcomes an Action Plan has been drawn up which will be addressed through the mechanism of the School Development Plan(Strategic Plan). This will secure consistency, enable effective self-evaluation and support robust and rigorous school improvement. We recognise that there are significant overlaps between fulfilling the Equality Duty and meeting the requirements of the school inspection framework.In fulfilling our legal obligations we aim to:
- foster positive attitudes and relationships, and a shared sense of belonging
- advance equality of opportunity by ensuring that teaching, learning and the curriculum promotes equality and celebrates diversity
- ensure that all learners have equal access to a rich, broad, balanced and relevant curriculum
- observe good equalities practice, including staff recruitment, retention and development
- remove or minimise existing inequalities and barriers
- ensure that pupils, parents and other stakeholders are consulted and involved widely in advancing the provision made by the school
- promote community cohesion by fostering good relations
- ensure that within the school budget, adequate funding is provided to underpin this
- policy and that intervention, positive and preventative action is funded appropriately.
We believe that promoting equality is the responsibility of everyone in the school community.