Single Equality Scheme and Accessibility Plan
We welcome the equality duties on schools. We believe that all pupils and members of staff should have the opportunity to fulfil their potential whatever their background, identity and circumstance. We are committed to creating a community that recognises and celebrates difference within a culture of respect and cooperation. We appreciate that a culture which promotes equality will create a positive environment and a shared sense of belonging for all who work, learn and use the services of our school. We recognise that equality will only be achieved by the whole school community working together – our learners, staff, governors and parents in particular. Throughout this Scheme, ‘parents’ can be taken to mean mothers, fathers, carers and other adults responsible for caring for a child.
This Single Equality Scheme provides a framework for our school to promote equality, inclusion and good community relations, and to tackle prejudice, discrimination and their causes in a holistic and proactive way.
Our Single Equality Scheme is based on the core principles that its effectiveness will be determined by:
Active involvement with key stakeholders, not just in developing this Scheme but also in its review and implementation, Proactive leadership, Prioritising activities that produce specific, tangible improved outcomes and Removal of attitudinal and cultural barriers.
We have incorporated our individual policy for race equality, and our disability and gender equality schemes into one overarching Single Equality Scheme to create a coherent framework for promoting equality and diversity within our school. We have identified a set of priorities to promote equality, inclusion and community cohesion. Our Scheme includes a plan of action to address these priorities over the next three years. We recognise that improving outcomes such as attendance or attainment for a specific group of pupils will help to improve our outcomes for all. Our commitment to equality is thus a fundamental part of our drive towards excellence and one of our core principles that ‘no child is left behind’.
National and Legal Context for Diversity
All schools have duties to promote race, disability and gender equality. The general duty to promote race equality means that we must have due regard to:
Eliminate unlawful racial discrimination, Promote quality of opportunity and Promote good relations between people of different racial groups.
The general duty to promote disability equality means that we must have due regard to:
Promote equality of opportunity between disabled people and other people, Eliminate unlawful discrimination, Eliminate disability-related harassment, Promote positive attitudes towards disabled people, Encourage participation by disabled people in public life and Take steps to take account of disabled people’s disabilities, even where that involves treating disabled people more favourable than other people
The disability equality general duty reinforces the reasonable adjustment duties of the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA). In particular, it complements, and in some cases overlaps with, the anticipatory duty to make adjustments.
The general duty to promote gender equality means that we must have due regard to:
Eliminate unlawful discrimination and harassment and Promote quality of opportunity between men and women
Schools also have specific duties under these three promotional duties, which are below. This Scheme demonstrates our response to both the general and specific duties.
Schools have a duty to promote community cohesion, developing good relations across different cultures, ethnic, religious and non-religious and socio-economic groups. There are no statutory requirements for schools to have a policy or action plan for promoting community cohesion. However, we have incorporated our priorities into our Single Equality Scheme and Equality Action plan to make it easier to monitor our progress and performance in meeting the requirements of this duty. Although there are no equivalent promotional duties in relation to age, sexual orientation and religion or belief, we must ensure that we do not discriminate on these grounds. This Scheme includes our priorities and actions to eliminate discrimination and harassment for these equality areas.
Bristol is a large and diverse city with nearly 450,000 residents. There is a mix of urban and rural areas but the majority of the population live in urban areas. The 2011 Census shows that over the last decade Bristol has become increasingly diverse. The proportion of the population who are not ‘White British’ has increased from 12% to 22% of the total population. The proportion of people living in Bristol who were not born in the UK has increased from 8% to 15% of the total population. In Bristol, there are now at least 45 religions, at least 187 countries of birth represented and at least 91 main languages spoken by people living in Bristol.
In 2008, 7.1% of school pupils were from ethnic communities. Approximately 15% of the population have declared a disability. For 2007/08 there were 732 reported incidents of hate crime; 83.5% were related to race and the remaining 16.5% were related to sexual orientation and transsexual issues. Nearly half the population are aged between 25 and 59, with an increasing number of people over the age of 75. The main religious group is Christian (8%), followed by Muslim (0.4%), Hindu (0.3%) and Sikh (0.1%).
The school is large, almost twice the average for primary schools and situated on the outskirts of the City of Bristol. The number on roll, in the region of 540, fluctuates slightly with mobility (typically families being re-housed by the LA), but has remained broadly stable for some years. The pupils are organised into 16 classes, all of them single-age. It is the largest primary school in the area, has a good local reputation, and a number of children have parents, grandparents and extended family members who attended the school, reflecting the strong local community.
The social and economic backgrounds of the children are mixed but relatively disadvantaged overall. ASP and ISDR shows a deprivation indicator of 0.29, which is above the national average of 0.21. A significant minority of families have limited aspirations and are reluctant to become involved in their children's learning. The number of children eligible and claiming pupil premium is 33% which is above the national average (25.2%) and third highest against the Bristol average and we know that there are more families who are eligible but choose not to claim for a variety of reasons.
Our catchment area includes children from all four local villages: Shirehampton, Avonmouth, Lawrence Weston and Sea Mills all of which are included in the ward of Avonmouth; one of the most deprived wards in the City of Bristol and nationally. The Avonmouth Ward has one of the highest NEET rates in Bristol due to low aspirations, lack of role models and limited exposure to alternative work, lifestyle and leisure opportunities, and is one of the most deprived wards in the country. The area we serve has many social ills, notably domestic abuse; there is no doubt that some of our children are aware of crime and drug use on a daily basis.
Almost all pupils (81.5%) are from White British families. The remainder are mainly from other White, mixed ethnic, Black and Asian British backgrounds. Within this small group a wider range of nationalities are represented. Several pupils (10.6%) and their parents speak English as an additional language.
According to internal identification approximately 10% of our pupils are recognised as most able in core subjects.
We welcome children in care with the number on roll fluctuating according to decisions made about where they live and where it is safe for them to attend school. We have a higher than average number of children who are post looked after (PLAC) or under a SGO.
Involvement of staff, pupils and parents
a) Developing our Scheme: The involvement of a diverse group of people has been instrumental in shaping our Single Equality Scheme and Equality Action Plan. We have strived to involve the full diversity of our school and community, recognising that people who share an aspect of their identity in relation to race, disability, gender, age, sexual orientation and religion or belief are best placed to identify key issues for us to address. In developing our Scheme, we have involved staff, pupils and parents in the following ways:
Focus groups, Questionnaires, Involvement of the school council and Contact with disabled parents
These activities have involved disabled people, people from different ethnic communities and gender by specific contact and liaison. We have identified the following priorities as a result of these activities:
Reserving seats for presentations and concerts, Reserving places for the children in after school activities and Ensuring that staff and school office are aware of any communication/language issues.
b) Ongoing development: We have strategies in place to promote the participation of pupils in decision-making and in making a positive contribution to school life. We will embed equality and inclusion into these strategies so that learners from diverse backgrounds are involved in shaping provision and improving practice. We ensure that outcomes from these involvement activities are acted upon by the school’s senior leadership team.
Strategies to promote inclusion are:
Parent Council – membership by parents and governor, Pupil focus groups and School Council, Use of Pupil Premium to involve families and pupils in specific activities during and after school with a subsidy or free and Pupil surveys
We will collect a broad range of qualitative and quantitative information to monitor our policies and practice and to demonstrate our progress in equality, inclusion and community cohesion. Our single equality approach helps us to more effectively monitor our progress and performance, as our pupils and staff may face more than one barrier to achieving their full potential.
a) Pupils: We collect the following information: Admissions, attendance, attainment and progression, awards, rewards and sanctions, take up of extended schools provision, participation in action teams and special groups, complaints, racist incidents and bullying.
We have identified the following priorities from evaluation of this information:
SEN, EAL and disadvantaged boys pupils attainment and progress rates, Responding to specific requests for additional clubs and learning to involve more pupils (not just sport)
We will ensure that the information we gather will be used to promote equality by:
Recording changes to provision required at pupil progress meetings every term, Undertaking work scrutiny and pupil conferencing to ascertain pupil views with regards to their learning, attainment and achievement and Coordinating provision for after school clubs
b) Staff: We collect the following information: Staff recruitment and retention returns annually, performance management reviews, CPD provision and attendance, discipline, grievance and competency, lesson reviews and feedback, cessation of employment.
We have identified the following priorities from evaluation of this information:
Review the balance of race in employment at all levels across the school.
We will ensure that the information we gather will be used to promote equality by:
Where the best candidates for a post are representative of any group then the candidate selected will support equality of opportunity by gender, race or disability.
c) Others: We will seek to gather the views regularly of all our parents and will review the feedback to provide specific feedback in these areas:
Absent parents, Disabled parents and Parents with communication barriers through direct liaison by the Headteacher, Admin Manager or Governor
Specific Equality Areas
This section of our Scheme highlights what we have already achieved for specific aspects of equality, and further action that we intend to take.
a) Race Equality: What we have already achieved:
Recording and reporting of all racist incidents, Appointing staff from other European backgrounds, Employing bilingual staff who speak languages represented in our school community, Use of interpretation and translation services and Regular celebration of diverse cultural achievements and well known people
We want to do more by:
Ensuring adult role models are reflective of a diverse range of cultures (staff and visitors) and Enriching the curriculum to incorporate opportunities to learn about different cultures and races.
b) Community Cohesion: What we have already achieved:
A broad range of cultures studied across the curriculum and age ranges, Whole school events to celebrate diversity, Involved in local and community projects and events, Use of Newsround, The International Primary Curriculum used, as a starting point, to teach some foundation subjects and Fundraising promotions (led by pupils)
Equality and excellence
Robust analysis of performance data, Early intervention for learning and behaviour support and Provision of wave 3 interventions for social and emotional issues
Engagement and extended services
Financial support to participate in extended and family learning opportunities, Parent support groups, training programmes and counselling available for all
We want to do more by:Develop a stronger awareness of cultural diversity in the UK and Develop greater global awareness with school community
c) Disability Equality: What we have already achieved:
Physical environment: Fully accessible under the Equality Act 2010 Curriculum: Inclusion of diverse role models as an area of study Aids & Equipment: Laptops, Wifi, additional staff, specialist chairs etc Written information: Greater use of email and text and Provision of alternative language format - Polish and Turkish for all key correspondence We want to do more by: Promoting visits by disabled presenters and adults
d) Gender Equality: What we have already achieved:
Increased number of male role models on staff body and Reviewed the curriculum to promote gender friendly writing opportunities We want to do more by: Maintaining a positive gender balance within the staff body, Ensure promotion opportunities are reflective of the gender balance across the school and Continue to identify gender performance and curriculum adaptations to achieve equality of opportunity
e) Other Equality Areas: What we have already achieved:
Following the guidance provided by the government to ensure that relationship and sex advice is sensitively managed and discussed by staff with pupils, Reviewed the behaviour policy to show that harassment and bullying is not tolerated, Teach RE across one day to allow for in-depth exploration and discussion, The Bristol Ideal standard for promoting safe and healthy relationships and being committed to reducing domestic violence and Most staff have successfully undertaken their Level 6 PSHEE certificate of teaching We want to do more by: Promoting inter faith collective worship
Impact Assessment We will carry out equality impact assessments on our policy and practice which will cover all aspects of equality: race, disability, gender (including gender identity), age, sexual orientation, religion and belief. We will look for ways to improve practice as well as ways to eliminate discrimination and harassment. We have a programme of carrying out impact assessment process into all new policy development and decision making activities.
We will do this through: Planned cycle of reviews of policies by staff and governors, Termly and annual reviews of progress and attainment for all pupils and vulnerable groups and Pupil progress meetings
Working in Partnership
We recognise that achieving equality, inclusion and good community relations involves working effectively and in partnership with others, including parents, community groups and local organisations.
We will always aim to reschedule consultations and meetings to accommodate the needs of parents where possible.
Putting the Scheme into Practice
Publishing the Scheme, raising awareness
We recognise that our Scheme is a public document that should be available to any interested stakeholder. We will promote and publish our Scheme by: Placing it on our website and Making it available on request
Monitoring and evaluating the Single Equality Scheme and Equality Action Plan
We will regularly monitor and evaluate the implementation of our Single Equality Scheme and Equality Action Plan. We will report annually on our progress and performance. Our annual report will be shared with Governors. We will inform staff and learners of our progress. This report will be written by the governor responsible for monitoring the school equality duty.
The findings of our annual report will be used to update the Equality Action Plan and inform subsequent Single Equality Schemes.
We want this Scheme to be a ‘whole organisational’ document that drives forward equality and achieves improved outcomes. We will therefore ensure that the Equality Action Plan works alongside our School Improvement Plan, and as such our progress will have regular oversight by the senior leadership team and the governing body.
We will formally review, evaluate and revise this Single Equality Scheme and Equality Action Plan every three years, to set new priorities and identify new actions. This process will again involve staff, learners, parents and governors who reflect the full diversity of the school community.
Links with other School Policies School policies that link with, and have informed this Scheme include: SEND and Inclusion Policy, Behaviour Policy, Anti-Bullying Policy and Pay Policy
Roles and Responsibilities
The governing body will: Monitor the implementation of the Scheme and Action Plan to check progress and assess impact on staff, learners and parents, Ensure that all governors are aware of their legal responsibilities under equality legislation, Receive and discuss regular equality reports on progress and performance, Monitor achievement of equality targets and Check that implementation of the Scheme and Action Plan achieves improved outcomes for people who share an aspect of their identity in relation to race, disability, gender (including gender identity), age, sexual orientation, religion and belief
The headteacher will: Provide proactive leadership to create a community that recognises and celebrates difference within a culture of respect and cooperation, Ensure staff, pupils, parents/carers and any other interested stakeholders are aware of this Scheme and their roles and responsibilities in implementing this Scheme, Monitor to ensure effective implementation of the Scheme and Action Plan, Provide regular reports for governors on progress and performance and Allocate appropriate responsibilities, and provide suitable training and development for staff to implement this Scheme.
The senior leadership team will: Drive forward implementation of the Scheme and Action Plan, Support staff to carry out their role in implementing this Scheme, Provide effective leadership on equality, inclusion and community cohesion, Ensure the Scheme is successfully promoted and Respond in a timely and appropriate manner when dealing with any incidents or issues of discrimination, harassment or victimisation
All staff will: Recognise that they have a role and responsibility in their day-to-day work to, Promote equality, inclusion and good community relations, Challenge inappropriate language and behaviour, Tackle bias and stereotyping, Respond appropriately to incidents of discrimination and harassment and report these and Highlight to the senior leadership team any staff training or development that they require to carry out the above role and responsibilities
All staff will also ensure that students are encouraged to: Recognise that they have a role and responsibility to themselves and others so that they understand and are able to - Promote equality, inclusion and good community relations, Challenge inappropriate language and behaviour, Tackle bias and stereotyping, Work to promote anti-bullying strategies and Respond appropriately to incidents of discrimination and harassment and understand the action needed to report these.
You can see our Single Equality Action Plan here.
Our Accessibility Plan is compliant with current legislation and requirements to consider, as specified in the Equality Act 2010:schedule 10, Paragraph 3 and Disability Discrimination (prescribed Times and periods for Accessibility Strategies and Plans for Schools) (England) Regulations 2005. You can see it here.