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Equal Opportunities Policy

1.Introduction

This policy has been prepared in accord with the Equality Act 2010 and and any other equalities legislation relevant locally. Under the details Next Gates Education is referred to as ‘Center’.

2.Aims and Objectives

  • The Center do not unlawfully discriminate against anyone, whether pupil, parent, staff or visitor, on the grounds of, or related to, any of the protected characteristics.
  • The Center promotes the principles of fairness and justice for all through the education that it provides in the Center.
  • The Center seeks to ensure that, wherever possible, all pupils have equal access to the full range of educational opportunities provided by the Center.
  • The Center strives to constantly identify and remove any forms of indirect discrimination that may form barriers to learning for some groups by regularly assessing the impact of its policies and practices.
  • The Center ensures that recruitment, employment, promotion and development opportunities are open to all.
  • The Center challenges personal prejudice and stereotypical views whenever they occur.  The Center are aware that prejudice and stereotyping can be caused by misconception and by ignorance.  Through positive educational experiences, and support for each individual’s point of view, the Center aims to promote positive social attitudes and respect for all.
  • The Center values each pupil’s worth, celebrating both people’s individuality and the diversity of the community centred on the Center and shows the utmost respect for everyone.
  • The Center and its staff strive to be proactive in tackling prejudice and unlawful discrimination.

3.Equal Opportunities in Recruitment

The Center will ensure that no job applicant or employee is discriminated against on the grounds of the protected characteristics and will proactively monitor and review this over time and make changes where required to address any imbalance. Recruitment and selection procedures and practices are regularly reviewed to ensure that no individual is put at a disadvantage either directly or indirectly, paying particular attention to the protected characteristics.

In accordance with the spirit of this policy statement, employees are given an equal opportunity to progress within the organisation, and this will be monitored and reviewed on an ongoing basis by the Center , with changes made where necessary to address any imbalance.

4. Equal Opportunities in the Curriculum

Every pupil has an equal entitlement to the National Curriculum and, subject to entry requirements, to all other areas of the curriculum, regardless of language, gender, race, disability, sexual orientation, religion or belief, age, pregnancy or maternity, or gender dysphoria. Pupils should have equal access to the curriculum regardless of academic ability.

Staff will actively encourage the breaking down of any traditional gender stereotyping regarding subject choices. The Center will monitor any careers advice or work experience placements provided by outside agencies to aim to ensure equal opportunities.

All forms of individual and subject support, guidance, amenities and facilities, including extra-curricular activities, will be equally available to all pupils, with particular attention given to equality of opportunity across the protected characteristics.  The Center will establish monitoring arrangements in relation to the protected characteristics and how they apply to these activities, to determine whether improvements may be necessary.

Behavioural expectations and disciplinary sanctions will be free of any bias in relation to the protected characteristics. Teachers will assess all materials and resources used for teaching and take appropriate action whenever possible to ensure that they reflect concepts, themes and information which seeks to address stereotypes in relation to the protected characteristics, and remove discrimination.  Teachers will try to ensure that all pupils feel that their language and culture is both acknowledged and valued.

5. Race

The term ‘Race’ refers to a person’s ethnicity, race, nationality or national origin.

The Center will:

  • strive to eliminate all forms of racism and racial discrimination;
  • promote equality of opportunity;
  • promote good relations between people of different racial groups.
  • The Center will not tolerate any form of racism or racist behaviour. Should a racist incident occur, it will be dealt with in accordance with Center procedures and reported to the Authority’s Center Service.
  • The Center endeavours to be welcoming to all minority groups. The celebration and understanding of cultural diversity is promoted through the topics studied by the pupils and is reflected in displays, resources and events.

Cultural diversity and respect for others are celebrated and reflected across the whole curriculum. The curriculum will enhance pupils’ understanding of Welsh, British and world society and history, including the contributions of minority ethnic groups.

The Center will give pupils the understanding they need to recognise prejudice and reject racial discrimination.

6. Gender / Sex

The Center will constantly examine its curriculum, procedures and materials for gender bias or inequality. The Center will encourage pupils to be aware of the rigid sexual stereotypes presented by, for example, the media, and will try to ensure that resources include non-sexist books which value the achievements of both women and men.

The Center are committed to providing a curriculum which avoids unnecessary historical gender divisions. The Center will endeavour to provide all pupils with experience in subjects traditionally considered to be suitable for a single sex e.g. rugby, football, netball, cooking, woodwork, etc.

The Center tries to ensure:

  • that teachers consider the difference in preferred ‘learning styles’ often displayed between boys and girls, and design lessons that provide opportunity to appeal to both genders;
  • that all pupils have opportunities for working with pupils of both sexes;
  • that the traditional sexual stereotypes are broken down (for example by not asking boys to move furniture whilst girls tidy up);
  • that pupils have opportunities for examining their own pre-conceived ideas of gender roles;
  • that pupils are encouraged to pursue less conventional subjects and interests, for example girls to read more non-fiction and boys more fiction; girls to develop mechanical interests and boys creative skills.

7. Religion and Belief

The Center respects the religious beliefs and practices of all staff, pupils, parents and visitors and will comply with all reasonable requests relating to the accommodation of a recognised religion or belief’s observance and practice.  This includes respect for lack of religion or belief, as in humanism and atheism.

8. Sexual Orientation

The Center will make no assumption about the sexual orientation of any of the members of its community, including its pupils, teaching staff or those who use the Center facilities.

In the curriculum, sexuality is taught within the context of loving relationships.  Whilst heterosexual relationships are the most common in our society, we acknowledge that some pupils may develop a homosexual or bisexual orientation and that during development many will be still questioning their sexual orientation.  Pupils’ questions will be answered as they arise, honestly, factually and non-judgementally.

Derogatory name-calling (of any sort) is unacceptable under any circumstances. Matters arising in relation to name calling which relates to a pupil’s sexuality or perceived sexuality will be taken seriously and action taken where necessary to remove this behaviour from the Center environment.

9. Age

The Center will put procedures in place to ensure that no-one is denied a job, an equal chance of training or promotion or suffers from harassment or victimisation because of their age. The Center are committed to identifying and tackling all forms of bullying, which can have a significant negative impact upon a pupil’s well-being and academic achievement.

The Center will take ‘identity based’ bullying relating to the protected characteristics particularly seriously, where a pupil’s identity or perceived identity is being used as the basis for the bullying.

The Center will address and take seriously cases of ‘cyberbullying’, whereby bullying occurs through the use of information and communication technology, in particular, through the use of social media, such as Facebook, twitter, or other social networking websites or text messaging. Where content is considered to be illegal, the Police will be informed.

Staff, pupils and parents will be encouraged and supported to report all incidents of bullying and cyberbullying.

10. The role of teachers

Class teachers will set aside their own prejudices and ensure that all pupils, colleagues and those using the Center’s facilities are treated fairly and with dignity and respect.

The Center will address both direct and indirect discrimination against any young person, parent or visitor and will actively seek to identify and remove it.  Ignorance of what constitutes discrimination is not lawful protection against an allegation and will therefore not be considered a defence.

When selecting classroom materials, teachers will strive to provide resources which give positive images and which challenge stereotypical images in relation to the protected characteristics.

When designing schemes of work, teachers will pay cognisance to this equal opportunities policy, both in the choice of topics to study and in how to approach sensitive issues.  For example, history topics should include examples of the significant contribution made by women; in geography, attempts should be made to counter stereotypical images of Africa and Asia for example and to show the true diversity of development in different parts of the world.

All teachers and support staff will challenge any incidents of discrimination and draw them to the attention of the headteacher.

11. The role of pupils

Pupils will be made aware of this policy and will be encouraged and supported to draw any incidents of discrimination to the attention of the class teacher and/or headteacher.

12. The role of parents

Parents will be made aware of this policy through the Center prospectus and home-Center agreement and will be encouraged and supported to draw any incidents of discrimination to the attention of the class teacher or headteacher.

13. Dealing with allegations made

The Center will take all allegations of discrimination very seriously, and will commit to investigating them properly and fairly.  The outcome of any investigation will be determined under the Center’s disciplinary procedures.  The Center will also foster a ‘safe environment’ where pupils or parents can feel confident to raise these issues, and be fully supported and protected throughout the procedures which may follow.

The Center will take ‘false allegations’ of discrimination seriously, and this will be dealt with in the appropriate manner by the Center under its disciplinary procedures. It is hoped that this will be rare and will normally only be determined following a fair and thorough investigation.

14. The role of visitors / contractors

All visitors and contractors are required to adhere to the Center’s policy.

15. Monitoring / Review

The governing body is responsible for monitoring the effectiveness of this policy. The governors will therefore:

  • monitor the progress of pupils from minority groups, comparing it to the progress made by other pupils in the Center;
  • monitor the staff appointment process so that no-one applying for a post at the Center is discriminated against;
  • require the headteacher to report to governors annually on the effectiveness of this policy in conjunction with its reporting in relation to the Equality Plan for the Center;
  • take into serious consideration any complaints from pupils, parents, staff or visitors regarding equal opportunity;
  • monitor the Center’s pupil behaviour policy, and the number of exclusions, to make sure that pupils from minority groups are not unfairly treated.

 

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