Orchard Primary is an inclusive school where focus on the well-being and progress of every child and where all members of our community are equal worth.
We believe that the Equality Act provides a framework to support our commitment to valuing diversity, tackling discrimination, promoting equality and fostering good relationships between people. It also ensures that we continue to tackle issues of disadvantage and underachievement of different groups.
We recognise that these duties reflect international human rights standards as expressed in the UN convention on the Rights of the child, the UN Convention on the Rights of people with Disabilities, and the Human Rights Act 1998.
Our approach to equality is based on the following 7 key principles
- All learners are of equal value. Whether or not they are disabled, whatever their ethnicity, culture, national origin or national status, whatever their gender and gender identity, whatever their religious affiliation or faith background and whatever their sexual orientation.
- We recognize, respect and value difference and understand that diversity is a strength. We take account of differences and strive to remove barriers and disadvantages, which people may face, in relation to disability, ethnicity, gender, religion, belief or faith and sexual orientation. We believe that diversity is a strength, which should be respected and celebrated by all those who learn, teach and visit here.
- We foster positive attitudes and relationships. We actively promote positive attitudes and mutual respect between groups and communities different from each other.
- We foster a shared sense of cohesion and belonging. We want all members of our school community to feel a sense of belonging within the school and wider community and to feel that they are respected and able to participate fully in school life.
- We observe good equalities practice for our staff. We ensure that policies and procedures benefit all employees and potential employees in all aspects of their work, including in recruitment and promotion, and in continuing professional development
- We have the highest expectations of all our children. We expect that all pupils can make good progress and achieve to their highest potential
- We work to raise standards for all pupils, but especially for the most vulnerable. We believe that improving the quality of education for the most vulnerable groups of pupils raises standards across the whole school.
What we are doing to eliminate discrimination, harassment and victimisation
- We take account of equality issues in relation to admissions and exclusions; the way we provide education for our pupils and the way we provide access for pupils to facilities and services.
- We are aware of the Reasonable Adjustment duty for disabled pupils – designed to enhance access and participation to the level of non-disabled pupils and stop disabled children being placed at a disadvantage compared to their non-disabled peers.
- The Headteacher ensures that all appointment panels give due regard to this policy so that no one is discriminated against when it comes to employment, promotion or training opportunities.
- We ensure that those who are affected by a policy or activity are consulted and involved in the design of new policies, and in the review of existing ones.
- We take seriously the need to consider the equality implications when we develop, adapt and review any policy or procedure and whenever we make significant decisions about the day today life of the school.
- We promote equality and diversity through the curriculum by creating an environment which champions respect for all.
- Our admission arrangements are fair and transparent, and we do not discriminate against pupils by treating them less favourably on the grounds of their sex, race, disability, religion or belief, sexual orientation or gender reassignment.
Behaviour, Exclusions and Attendance
The school policy on Behaviour – Rewards, Sanctions and Exclusions – take full account of the new duties under the Equality Act. We make reasonable, appropriate and flexible adjustment for pupils with a disability. We closely monitor data on exclusions and absence from school for evidence for over – representation of different groups and take action promptly to address concerns.
Addressing prejudice and prejudice based bullying
The school challenges all forms of prejudice and prejudice-based bullying, which stand in the way of fulfilling our commitment to inclusion and equality:
- Prejudices around disability and special educational needs.
- Prejudices around race, religion or belief
- Prejudices around gender and sexual orientation, including homophobic and transphobic attitudes.
What are we doing to advance equality of opportunity between different groups
- We know the needs of our school population very well and collect and analyse data in order to inform our planning and identify targets to achieve improvements.
- We have procedures, work in partnership with parents and carers, to identify children who have a disability through admission meetings.
- We collect data and monitor progress and outcomes of different groups of pupils and use this data to support school improvement. We take action to close any gaps, for example for those making slow progress in acquiring age-appropriate literacy and number skills.
- We collect and analyse data:
- on the school population by gender and ethnicity.
- on the % of pupils identified as having a special educational need and/or disability and by their principal need or disability.
- by year group – in terms of ethnicity, gender and proficiency in English.
- on inequalities of outcome and participation, related to ethnicity, gender, disability, proficiency in English and social economic issues.
- We use a range of teaching strategies that ensures we meet the needs of all pupils.
- We provide support to pupils at risk of underachieving.
- We are alert and proactive about the potentially damaging impact or negative language in matters such as race, gender, disability and sexuality.
- We ensure equality of access for all pupils to a broad and balanced curriculum, removing barriers to participation where necessary.
We will take positive and proportionate action to address the disadvantage faced by particular groups of pupils with particular protected characteristics, such as targeted support. The actions will be designed to meet the School’s Equality Objectives.
What are we doing to foster good relations
- We prepare our pupils for a life in a diverse society and ensure that there are activities across the curriculum that promotes the spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of our pupils.
- We teach about difference and diversity and the impact of stereotyping, prejudice and discrimination through PSHE and citizenship and across the curriculum.
- We use materials and resources that reflect the diversity of the school, population and local community in terms of race, gender, sexual identity and disability, avoiding stereotyping.
- We promote a whole school ethos and values that challenge prejudice based discriminatory language, attitudes and behaviour.
- We provide opportunities for pupils to appreciate their own culture and celebrate the diversity of other cultures.
- We include the contribution of different cultures to world history and that promote positive images of people.
- We provide opportunities for pupils to listen to a range of opinions and empathise with different experiences.
- We promote positive messages about equality and diversity through displays, assemblies, visitors and whole school events.
Our Equality Objectives for 2022-24 are:
- To improve the outcomes for all vulnerable children in the school.
- Improve pupil attendance including all vulnerable children – to reduce the number of persistent absentees.
- To support children affected by lock downs during the coronavirus pandemic