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Equalities Scheme and Action Plan

 

Three year period covered by this scheme:

2016- 2019

 

Please click on this link to see Equality Action Plans

 

 

Introduction

This Single Equality Scheme for schools in North Yorkshire brings together action plans for Race, Gender and Disability Equality, and Community Cohesion, thus meeting the school’s statutory duties in these areas.

 

The scheme also highlights how our school has worked with and listened to the staff, pupils, parents and carers to inform development of action plans and the need and commitment required to ensure the scheme is a success. This is underpinned by a commitment to promoting positive relationships and understanding between all groups within our school community.

This document sets out how pupils with the following protected characteristics (previously known as equality strands) will be protected in our school from harassment and discrimination:-

  • disability.
  • gender.
  • race.
  • religion and belief.
  • sexual orientation.
  • gender reassignment.
  • pregnancy and maternity.

This scheme extends however to cover all aspects of vulnerability, including those associated with socio-economic factors (e.g. pupils from low income families).

As well as delivering high quality services to our pupils, the school is also committed to being a good employer and as such this scheme outlines how we meet our varied duties in terms of recruitment and employment practices. We are also committed to be fully inclusive of all community users, including parents and carers. As such, this scheme therefore also sets out how we will work to overcome any discrimination related to the other protected characteristics:-

  • Age
  • Being married or in a civil partnership

This scheme is reviewed every three years and is reported on annually.

 

 

 

Signed Simon Robson    (Headteacher)                  Date12.03.15

                                               

Signed Alison Russell      (Chair of Governors)        Date 12.03.15

                                               

 

Aims of the single equality scheme

 

  • To articulate the school’s commitment to equality which permeates all school policies and practices
  • To ensure that everyone who belongs to, or comes into contact with, our school community is valued and respected
  • To promote equality of opportunity and eliminate unlawful discrimination, harassment or victimisation
  • To comply with statutory duties under equalities legislation in one document

 

Purpose of the Equality Scheme

 

This equality scheme is the school’s response to the specific and general duties in the current equality legislation, which has been brought together under the Equality Act 2010 (see appendix 1).  It is an attempt to capture how the school is systematically establishing and implementing good practice in equality and diversity across all areas of school life.  This includes a response to all aspects of social identity and diversity.

 

This Equality Scheme sets out how the school will:

 

  • eliminate discrimination (see appendix 2);
  • eliminate harassment or victimisation related to any aspect of social identity or diversity;
  • promote equality of opportunity;
  • promote positive attitudes to all aspects of social identity and diversity;
  • encourage participation by disabled people and people representing different aspects of social identity in public life;
  • take steps to take account of difference even where that involves treating some people more favourably than others;
  • take proportionate action to address the disadvantage faced by particular groups of pupils.

 

Planning to eliminate discrimination and promote equality of opportunity

 

This scheme is underpinned by the core belief that all children and young people belong to their local community and share the same rights to membership of that community and a quality education. An action plan accompanies this Equality Scheme which identifies what we will be doing over the coming year to make our school more accessible to the whole community, irrespective of background or need. (see appendix 3)

 

It encompasses our duties to promote positive outcomes in relation to race, gender and disability, but also identifies actions to address other social identities. It encompasses our anticipatory duties to plan ahead for the reasonable adjustments (reasonable and proportionate steps to overcome barriers that may impede some pupils) we need to make to be best placed to help disabled pupils who come to our school.

 

This action plan replaces the school’s Disability Accessibility Plan for the school (previously required  under the planning duties in the Disability Discrimination Act) as it sets out how the school will increase access to education for disabled pupils, alongside other protected groups, in the three areas required:

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

 

The action plan is renewed annually and progress towards the equality objectives within it is reported on regularly to governors.  Equality objectives have been identified through consultation with key stakeholders using the Inclusion Quality Mark audit tool.

This action plan is understood and implemented by all staff and is available on the school website.  It is available in different formats and in different languages on request to the school office.

 

School Aims

 

At Croft C.E. Primary School we aim to realise “Achievement for Everyone” by fostering a caring and co-operative attitude within our inclusive school community. We endeavour to promote a Christian ethos throughout the school.

 

Our aims are:- 

  • To create a disciplined yet caring environment where all children feel valued and secure  
  • To instil in children a sense of wonder about their world  
  • To give all children access to a broad, balanced curriculum through stimulating and challenging experiences  
  • To encourage and acknowledge individual achievement  
  • To encourage every child to realise their own individual potential and to develop a sense of worth  
  • To encourage children to respond positively to the opportunities and challenges presented by a rapidly changing world

 

 

Indicators of progress towards meeting objectives

 

  • Children have greater input into school policies. Information gathered will be used to inform policy development and promote inclusion.
  • The needs of all children are met through specific CPD focused on new and differing challenges
  • Children feel happy and safe in school through greater awareness of bullying behaviour and access to buddies and support staff
  • Children use the internet safely and do not use it for bullying behaviour

 

What kind of a school are we?

School Vision and Values

 

The school’s vision and values statement reflects the school’s ambitions for all its pupils and have been developed with the whole community.  It refers to the key requirements set out in the National Curriculum Inclusion Statement for developing an inclusive curriculum: setting suitable learning challenges; responding to pupils’ diverse learning needs; overcoming potential barriers to learning and assessment for individuals and groups of pupils.

 

The school statement also embraces the North Yorkshire Inclusion statement which emphasises that individuals and groups of learners who may be vulnerable to exclusion, marginalisation and underachievement are identified and receive targeted provision to ensure their presence, participation and achievement.  The school is committed to achieving the Inclusion Quality Mark at Level 3 and to addressing any actions which are identified to improve our inclusive practice.

 

School Context

The nature of the school population and context to inform action planning for the equality scheme (derived from section 1 of school Self Evaluation Form)

 

Croft Primary School is a Church of England Voluntary Controlled School. The number on roll has steadily increased and we have become a very popular school with a waiting list. We currently have 110 children (54 girls, 56 boys) with a calculated capacity of 105 and 13 Nursery children. Our percentage of FSM is 1%. 1% of our children are from service families.

The percentage of children on our SEN register at School Action, School Action+ and Statemented (3) has reduced since the last inspection to 10.9%. However, many of these children are at School Action+ with significant and individual needs.

 

The pupils at Croft Primary School enter with widely differing experiences as Early Years records demonstrate. These range from well-structured private settings to informal playgroups, and some come directly into school from home. As a result, attainment in not only knowledge and understanding but social and emotional maturity is wide-ranging. EYFS profiles for FS1 demonstrate this clearly as well as highlighting significant differences between cohort groups.

To address this inequality, we established a nursery class in 2010. This has enabled us to become familiar with the needs of children before they start school. This means we can access support and intervention for children at an earlier stage. The LA deals with admissions into school. If we are aware of any pupils with disabilities who are about to start school, special arrangements are put into place after discussion with parents and where necessary outside agencies. Otherwise we aim to assess needs upon entry into school and make appropriate arrangements to meet every child’s specific needs.

 

Our catchment area is based in Croft Village and several other small rural villages and isolated farms. There are few amenities available locally. The immediate area is quite prosperous and serves as a commuter base for professional families. We have few ethnic minority children.

However, nearly 50% of our children come from outside our catchment, many travelling several miles from Darlington.They are attracted to the school by its reputation and its extended school opportunities. At KS2 this has resulted in high mobility rates into school. This makes our intake very different in character from that of other local rural small schools. It is very diverse, with wide-ranging home backgrounds including many one-parent families, and has equally broad socio-economic characteristics. We currently have no Looked After Children, children previously permanently excluded from other schools or (English as an Additional Language) EAL pupils but we do have some with significant medical and learning needs.

 

We are a Voluntary Controlled School with a strong Christian ethos which develops the whole child. Other faiths are represented in school, Sikh and Seventh Day Adventists, and their beliefs are shared with the children to promote understanding.

We have never had difficulties attracting or retaining staff and when teaching staff leave it is usually through retirement, relocation or for promotion.

 

As transport links to the village are poor and many children travel considerable distances to school, access other than by car is difficult. As a consequence there are problems of traffic congestion at certain times of the day in the village.

The school is located on a slight hill. Access is fully ramped with a disabled parking bay at the foot of the ramp. Tactile signs are fitted throughout. Access for wheelchairs has been improved throughout. We have a fully accessible disabled toilet and hygiene room. The junior toilets have grab rails and sinks installed in a disabled cubicle. Handrails have been fitted to all staircases. Internally the school has three steps from the lower level of the hall to the junior classrooms. The cost of installation of a lift is prohibitive. All classrooms can be accessed from the outside of the building.

We do not currently have any pupils but we do have one member of staff for whom English is an additional language. We have no disabled pupils or staff.

Information is provided in written and verbal form. All information is offered in alternative formats upon request.

Recruitment procedures laid down by the LA are strictly adhered to. All advertising is done through the Local Authority Employment Support Services. The Headteacher and Chair of Governors and Governors appointing a new HT have recently undergone DFE safer recruitment training.

The training taken to position the school well for the equality and diversity agenda. 

North Yorkshire LA provide training for all staff, including those employed in our Out of School Club, on equality and diversity issues. This has included Safeguarding and Looked After Children training for the designated person, Mr Robson. All staff have had training on Makaton, Dyslexia and Numicon. In March 2015 support staff had training on Restrictive Physical intervention and safeguarding. Weekly staff meetings are used to update staff in the needs of any new children and identify any relevant CPD. All staff have been involved in the audit for the Inclusion Quality Mark.

School provision

 

Examples of reasonable adjustments the school makes as a matter of course

  • Differentiated planning to ensure the curriculum is accessible to all
  • Additional support for any child or adult experiencing a difficulty
  • Provision mapping for children with special needs
  • IEPs, Inclusion Passports and PEPs for individual children record their personal requirements. These are shared with the children and their parents and carers
  • Staff training to meet needs
  • Classroom adjustments, for example a child will be seated near to the front to compensate for visual/ auditory difficulties
  • Additional specialized resources are purchased
  • Differentiated behaviour policy to take into account children’s special needs
  • Information provided in alternative formats upon request
  • Information provided in paper form and on school websites/ vle
  • Physical adaptations to the building where possible
  • Pupil progress is closely measured at all stages to ensure children do not underachieve.
  • (See SEF Attainment section and termly HT Reports to Governors)

 

 

The quality of learning is outstanding as evidenced through data analysis of both RAISEonline and the school tracking system. They make good or better progress, often reaching national standards from below average starting points.

Early identification (see A2.2) means learning is well planned and matched closely to need. Wherever possible and most beneficial, children are integrated into whole class, high quality teaching with appropriate support. Child-friendly IEPs and targets for SEN children are also reviewed termly with the parents' and child's involvement. Those identified at the end of the summer term are reported to parents and discussed at Parents' Evenings so that they can be informed and involved in helping their child.

Group target setting for learning support groups is also a useful way of assessing progress and TAs regularly liaise with class teachers on the progress and impact of the intervention programmes on the pupils within their group. Whole cohort targets are set after consultation between class teacher, Headteacher and Governors.

 

Learners feel very safe and adopt safe practices as evidenced in responses to our Healthy Schools, Presence, Participation and Achievement and Health Related Behaviour Questionnaires.

Children understand the need to respect and care for others (one of the school rules they wrote) and the importance of working as a team. They are protective of the younger children in the school (see Ofsted 06 and SIAS 12) and there have been no incidents of racial abuse in the last 5 years. Where incidents of unacceptable or inappropriate behaviour occur, children know the consequences and parents are quickly included in any solution. An inclusive approach means that differentiation is a key element in our planning of appropriate learning materials, delivery strategies and approaches. This helps all learning styles to be addressed and gives the children confidence and enthusiasm when they succeed.

 

Behaviour is outstanding as evidenced by our high standards and confirmed by Ofsted and SIAS (2012).

Our school vision and aims underline the importance of healthy lifestyles. We achieved the new Healthy Schools Award in 2012 and Activemark in 09.

 

Pupils in school have a well-developed sense of their contribution to the life of the school and the local community. They enjoy coming to school as evidenced by pupil and parent surveys. New children settle well and form friendships quickly. As they progress through school, they have a growing awareness of the wider world and other cultures, promoted by our overseas links and supporting a range of charities. This also helps the children appreciate their own quality of life. Attendance at extracurricular activities is good for all children.

 

Attendance in school is high compared with other schools in similar circumstances and is monitored termly and reported to parents where concerns arise. Annual targets for attendance are set and monitored termly.

 

The effectiveness of the school’s engagement with parents/carers is excellent. Records of attendance at parents’ evenings indicate that the significant majority of parents attend. Others may make individual arrangements to talk to members of staff. Feedback from parent consultations is usually in excess of 50% and results are evaluated and distributed to parents.

Outcomes for pupils

Outcomes for pupils are analysed against social identity issues, ie gender, ethnicity, disability, faith background, and aspects of vulnerability identified by the school. This is compared with the outcomes made for all pupils. This is recorded in the School Self evaluation Form (SEF). 

 

These processes form part of the school’s equality impact assessment through the Inclusion Quality Mark, to determine the impact of our provision on improving outcomes for identified pupils. In line with statutory requirements all new policies as well as existing policies and functions are evaluated for the impact they have, in consultation with identified pupils and parents/carers.

(See SEF Attainment section)

 

 

Roles and Responsibilities in Implementing the Single Equality Scheme

The Head Teacher will:

  • ensure that staff and parents are informed about the Single Equality Scheme;
  • ensure that the scheme is implemented effectively;
  • manage any day to day issues arising from the policy whether for pupils or for the school as an employer;
  • ensure staff have access to training which helps to implement the scheme;
  • liaise with external agencies regarding the policy so that the school’s actions are in line with the best advice available;
  • monitor the scheme and report to the Governing Body at least annually, on the effectiveness of the policy;
  • ensure that staff are kept up to date with any development affecting the policy/action plan arising from the scheme;
  • provide appropriate support and monitoring for all pupils and specific and targeted pupils to whom the scheme has direct relevance, with assistance from relevant agencies.

The Governing Body will:

  • ensure that the school complies with all relevant equalities legislation;
  • recommend all governors receive up to date training in all the equalities duties;
  • designate a governor with specific responsibility for the Single Equality Scheme;
  • establish that the action plans arising from the scheme are part of the School Development Plan;
  • support the Headteacher in implementing any actions necessary;
  • inform and consult with parents about the scheme;
  • evaluate and review the action every three years;
  • evaluate the action plan yearly.

The Senior Leadership Team will:

  • have general responsibility for supporting other staff in implementing this scheme;
  • provide a lead in the dissemination of information relating to the scheme;
  • identify good quality resources and CPD opportunities to support the scheme;
  • with the Headteacher, provide advice/support in dealing with any incidents/issues;
  • assist in implementing reviews of this scheme as detailed in the School Development Plan.

People with specific responsibilities (named):

  • Mr Robson is the person responsible for maintaining and sharing with all the staff those vulnerable pupils and how their needs will be met;
  • Mr Robson is the person responsible for ensuring the specific needs of staff members are addressed;
  • Mr Robson is the person responsible for gathering and analysing the information on outcomes of vulnerable pupils and staff (see section 4);
  • Mr Robson is the person responsible for monitoring the response to reported incidents of a discriminatory nature.

Parents/Carers will:

  • have access to the scheme;
  • be encouraged to support the scheme;
  • have the opportunity to attend any relevant meetings/awareness raising sessions related to the scheme;
  • have the right to be informed of any incident related to this scheme which could directly affect their child.

School Staff will:

  • accept that this is a whole school issue and support the  Single Equality Scheme;
  • be aware of  the Single Equality Scheme and how it relates to them;
  • make known any queries or training requirements
  • know how to deal with incidents of concern, and how to identify and challenge bias and stereotyping;
  • know procedures for reporting incidents of racism, harassment or other forms of discrimination;
  • not discriminate on racial, disability or other grounds;
  • keep themselves up to date with relevant legislation and attend training and information events organised by the school or LA;
  • ensure that pupils from all groups are included in all activities and have full access to the curriculum;
  • promote equality and diversity through teaching and through relations with pupils, staff, parents, and the wider community.

Pupils will:

  • be made aware of any relevant part of the scheme, appropriate to age and ability;
  • be expected to act in accordance with any relevant part of the scheme
  • experience a curriculum and environment which is respectful of diversity and difference and prepares them well for life in a diverse society;
  • understand the importance of reporting discriminatory bullying and racially motivated incidents;
  • ensure the peer support programme within the school promotes understanding and supports pupils who are experiencing discrimination.

 

Visitors and contractors are responsible for complying with the school’s Equality Scheme – non-compliance will be dealt with by the Headteacher.

 

Involvement Processes

Policies are vital to identify and consolidate thinking regarding appropriate provision for pupils, however, they are often viewed as an end, when they should be seen as a process - always evolving in response to changes and evidence from impact assessments.  When developing this Equality Scheme, the school is clear that this is a process which must be informed by the involvement of all participants such as pupils, parents, school staff, governors and external agencies.  This will ensure that the school gleans insights into the barriers faced by people from different social identity backgrounds and learns the best ways to overcome such barriers.  This Scheme will be informed, therefore, by:

 

  • the views and aspirations of pupils themselves from different social identity backgrounds;
  • the views and aspirations of parents of pupils from different social identity backgrounds;
  • the views and aspirations of staff from different social identity backgrounds;
  • the views and aspirations of members of the community and other agencies, including voluntary organisations, representing different social identity backgrounds;
  • the priorities in the North Yorkshire Children and Young People’s Plan.

 

Mechanisms for involvement

At this school the following mechanisms will ensure the views of pupils inform the Equality Scheme and action plan:

  • Consultations with pupils;
  • School council;
  • E-forums on the school VLE;
  • Individual interviews with pupils involved in incidents of a discriminatory nature;
  • Individual interviews with pupils experiencing reasonable adjustments;
  • Yearly open meetings representing a particular theme shared with the community and cluster of schools.

At this school the following mechanisms will ensure the views of staff inform the Equality Scheme and action plan:

  • Regular meetings with union representatives as necessary;
  • Regular staff meetings with specific agenda items;
  • Individual discussions with staff as a part of performance management.

At this school the following mechanisms will ensure the views of parents and the community inform the Equality Scheme and action plan:

  • Text to be inserted into communication with parents: “your support for your child’s education is crucial to their progress.  Please tell us if there are any adjustments we need to make to help you support your child, for example: letters in large font; letters in different languages; wheelchair access; explaining things over the phone; a discussion with a school colleague of the same gender.”
  • Feedback through the Governing Body meetings
  • Feedback through the PTA meetings
  • Feedback from adults using the school beyond the school day

The school’s action plans will focus on developing the involvement of pupils, staff and parents from different social identity backgrounds over the three years of this Scheme.  We will consider varying the times, methods and the venues for this involvement to ensure the best possible attendance and ensure views can be heard.  This way the school will learn what works and the involvement of pupils, staff and parents will improve and deepen over time.

 

Action Planning

This scheme is supported by an action plan, the progress of which is monitored and evaluated by the Governing Body.

 

The action plan that identifies the equality objectives for the school arising from this scheme and the impact assessment through the Inclusion Quality Mark has:

  • clear allocation of responsibility;
  • clear allocation of resources, human and financial;
  • clear timescales;
  • expected outcomes and performance criteria;
  • specified dates for review;

 

The effectiveness of this Scheme will be evaluated and reflected in:

·         the School Self-evaluation Form;

·         the level achieved in the Inclusion Quality Mark;

·         discussions with the School Improvement Partner.

 

Publication

This Equality Scheme will be published and available to anyone requesting a copy.  Copies will be displayed in the school reception area and it will be referenced in school newsletters and in the school’s prospectus.

 

Reporting

This Scheme will be reported on annually.  Progress against the action plan will be evaluated and the impact of the action and activities assessed.  This report will be made available as a separate document and in the school profile and school prospectus.

 

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