Valley End Church of England (VC)

Infant School

SINGLE EQUALITY SCHEME 2018-2021 R8

Autumn 2018
Review Autumn 2021

  1. Introduction to our Single Equality Scheme and Action Plan

Schools are required to meet significant positive statutory duties in the area of equality. These duties require schools to promote equality of opportunity in everything that they do.

The Public Sector Equality Duty means that schools may not take a reactive approach to equality, but a proactive approach to equality must be adopted. In practice, this requires all schools to:-

  • take positive and proactive steps to identify areas of potential inequality before they have the chance to have an impact on people;
  • make changes to ensure that any areas of potential inequality are eliminated.

 

Overall, Equality Duties are not new to schools. The Duty to Promote Race Equality came into force in 2002, The Duty to Promote Disability Equality came into force in 2006 and The Gender Equality Duty in 2007.

As of 1st April 2011, The Equality Act (2010) has required schools to meet a single Public Sector Equality Duty which encompasses ‘General’ and ‘Specific’ duties in promoting equality across the full range of protected characteristics, namely:

  • Disability
  • Gender Reassignment
  • Race
  • Religion or Belief
  • Sex
  • Sexual Orientation
  • Pregnancy or Maternity
  • Age (as their role as employers)

Our Single Equality Scheme (SES) covers a 3-year period from 2018-2020. It integrates our statutory duties in relation to race, disability, sexual orientation, religion or belief, gender reassignment, pregnancy and maternity, age, marriage and civil partnerships and promoting community cohesion. The duties cover: staff, governors, pupils, and people using the services of the school such as parents and community and includes our priorities and actions to eliminate discrimination and harassment for these equality areas.

Our Single Equality Scheme (SES) enables us to achieve a framework for which action covers all eight equality strands and ensures that we meet our responsibilities of the public sector duties in an inclusive way.

We will continue to meet our statutory duties by reporting annually on the progress of the SES and action plan. This will be reviewed by our Governing Body and will cover activities undertaken in relation to the eight equality strands and promoting community cohesion.

  1. Meeting our duties

Under statutory duties all schools have a ‘General Duty’ to:

  1. Eliminate discrimination, harassment, victimisation and any other conduct that is

prohibited by the Equality Act 2010;

  1. Advance equality of opportunity between persons who share a protected

characteristic and persons who do not share it; this means:-

removing or minimising disadvantages suffered by persons who share a relevant protected characteristic that are connected to that characteristic.

– taking steps to meet the needs of persons who share a relevant protected characteristic that are different from the needs of persons who do not share it.

– encouraging persons who share a relevant protected characteristic to participate in public life or in any other activity in which participation by such persons is disproportionately low.

iii. Foster good relations between persons who share a protected characteristic and

persons who do not share it; this means:-

– tackling prejudice.

– promoting understanding.

 

Race Equality

The general duty to promote race equality means that we must have due regard to:

  1. Eliminate unlawful racial discrimination
  2. Promote equality of opportunity
  3. Promote good relations between people of different racial groups.

Dealing with racist incidents

We follow the Local Authority Procedures for dealing with racist actions or any form of discrimination.

 

Disability Equality

The general duty to promote disability equality is owed to all disabled people which means that we must have due regard to:

  1. Promote equality of opportunity between disabled people and other people
  2. Eliminate unlawful discrimination
  3. Eliminate disability related harassment
  4. Promote positive attitudes towards disabled people
  5. Encourage participation by disabled people in public life
  6. Take steps to take account of disabled people’s disabilities, even where that involves treating disabled people more favourably than other people.

 

Accessibility

There is specific disability legislation in relation to disabled pupils and accessibility which means we must plan strategically over time to:

  1. Increase access to the curriculum
  2. Make improvements to the physical environment of the school to increase access
  3. Make written information accessible to pupils in a range of different ways

We must ensure that disabled pupils do not receive less favourable treatment and to do this the school has a duty to make reasonable adjustments.

 

Gender Equality

The general duty to promote gender equality means that we must have due regard to:

  1. Eliminate unlawful discrimination and harassment and
  2. Promote equality of opportunity between men and women, girls and boys.

The duty also includes the need to consider actions to address the causes of any gender pay gap.

 

Transgender

Transgender people are explicitly covered by the gender equality duty. The term transgendered refers to a range of people who do not feel comfortable with their birth gender. The school will respect the confidentiality of those seeking gender reassignment and will provide a supportive environment within the school community.

 

Age, sexual orientation, religion, belief, pregnancy and maternity

We must ensure that we do not to discriminate on these grounds. The scheme includes our priorities and actions to eliminate discrimination to eliminate discrimination and harassment for these equality areas.

 

Community Cohesion

We also have a responsibility to promote community cohesion, developing good relations across different cultures, ethnic, religious and non-religious socio-economic groups. We have incorporated our priorities into our Single Equality Scheme and Action Plan to make it easier to monitor our progress and performance to meet our objectives.

 

  1. Our School Ethos and Values

Our ethos and values can be viewed on the school website. In addition, to meeting the duties described above, all our actions are further underpinned by our ethos and values. The school’s ethos and values are:-

 

  • ensure that our school is a caring, trusting learning community that is underpinned by Christian values and beliefs
  • welcome and be hospitable to children and their families from all faiths, backgrounds and beliefs
  • provide active and enjoyable learning opportunities, through practical, collaborative and personalised learning
  • achieve excellence by providing our children with a secure, safe, learning environment and the support to explore and grow in their knowledge of the world
  • develop our children’s understanding of Christianity by establishing an ethos and curriculum that informs them that God is all around, loves them and wants them to be the best they can be
  • equip our children with the skills, independence and values they need for lifelong learning and successful lives
  • encourage children to develop enquiring minds, self-confidence and self-discipline, whilst being aware of and sensitive to the needs and feelings of others
  • develop children as individuals and British citizens, who are tolerant, forgiving, and thoughtful towards others
  • establish effective partnerships with parents to ensure the best learning outcomes for all pupils.

 

  1. Our School Setting

Valley End Church of England (Controlled) has a Published Admission Number (PAN) of 60 with the capacity to accommodate 180 pupils, aged 4-7.  We currently have 162 children on roll.

 

School profile: – 19th November 2018.

  • Our pupil gender mix is 52% male and 48% female throughout the school.
  • Of the information received from parents, on roll by their first language, 159 are English and 3 other children are ‘other than’ English.
  • Overall attendance is 98.3%
  • Looked After Children (LAC) – 0 pupils.
  • Previously Looked After Children – 1 pupil
  • Free School Meals/Ever 6 – 1 pupil
  • Service children /Ever 4 – 1 pupil
  • SEND – 8 pupils on the register

 

  1. Collecting and analysing equality information for pupils at Valley End C of E Infant School

Valley End Church of England Infant School is an inclusive, Church of England (Controlled) School. We use our ethos and values, the curriculum and teaching and learning to enhance the self-esteem of all those it serves and to provide a learning environment in which each individual is encouraged to fulfil her/his potential, flourish and thrive.

 

We collect and analyse the following equality information for our pupils:

  • Attainment levels
  • Progress levels
  • Progress from any emotional support
  • Attendance levels
  • Racist incidences
  • Bullying incidences
  • Exclusions
  • Inclusion in the following groups: English as an Additional Language, Free School Meals, Looked after Children, Previously Looked After Children, Young Carers, Service Children, Special Educational Needs and Disabilities, Children on either a Child in Need or Child Protection Plan and any other children deemed as ‘vulnerable’ (e.g. children who have experienced the death of a parent or whose family may be receiving Early Help or family support ).

 

  1. Collecting and analysing equality information for employment and governance at Valley End C of E Infant School.
  • Valley End C of E Infant School is committed to providing a working environment free from discrimination, victimisation and harassment.
  • Valley End C of E Infant School recruits an appropriately qualified workforce and governing body that is able to provide a service that respects and responds to the diverse needs of the local population.
  • All staff vacancies are filled using the Local Authority application forms which contain requests for information relating to ethnicity, gender and disability.  Applicants however can choose to indicate they do not wish to give this information.

 

All information relating to staff is kept on the school’s central database – SIMS.

We collect and analyse the following profile information for our staff and governors.

Staff

  • Applications for employment via local authority recruitment forms
  • Staff profile
  • Attendance on staff training events and/or any CPD courses
  • Safeguarding training
  • DBS clearances and related information.
  • Disciplinary and grievance cases – if any
  • Staff appraisals/performance management.

Governors

  • Names.
  • Governor business interests.
  • Governor skills
  • Governor roles, committee membership and responsibilities.
  • Governor attendance at meetings
  • Governor training records

We are mindful of the laws relating to confidentiality when devising this Plan. Although there is a statutory duty to share information about the school’s Single Equality Scheme (SES), we recognise that care must be taken when sharing or publishing statistics, data or information to ensure that any information published cannot be used to identify individuals.

Following the Freedom of Information Act 2000 and the General Data Protection Regulations 2018, any analysis of sensitive information is undertaken by a senior member of the school staff and a synopsis passed to a working party as required. We have identified the following:

 

  1. Consultation and Involving People

Valley End C of E Infant School is semi-rural predominantly white community. We appreciate that the legislation states it is important that minority groups eg race, disability and gender, are involved in the formulation and development of equality schemes and action plans. We endeavour to involve as many people as possible in our community. We believe that there has been equal opportunity for all genders to also contribute.

We involve staff, governors, and our wider school community in creating the Single Equality Scheme (SES) and action plan.

Examples include:

  • Discussion at staff meetings
  • Discussion with parents
  • Discussions with the Governing Body
  • Discussion with local schools
  • Discussion with schools in the Guildford Diocese

During discussions, the following good practice was identified:

  • Staff well trained on the needs some children have including intimate care training, emotional support training and speech and language training.
  • Developments and adaptions made to the school to support children with specific disabilities.
  • Friendly and approachable staff and governors who act as role models to the school community.
  • Staff have all taken part in Safeguarding and Child Protection training.
  • Staff have all taken part in Prevent Duty, On-Line Safety, Children Missing Education and Child Sex Exploitation training.
  • Staff have taken part in First Aid training.
  • Procedures in place to meet medical needs children may have in conjunction with School Nursing team and in line with the school’s Supporting Pupils at School with Medical Needs Policy.
  • Good record of pastoral care. We have an excellent Emotional Literacy Support Assistant.
  • Admission form criteria includes information on disability
  • The school website includes information on Special Needs and Disabilities and inclusive practice
  • SENDCO updates staff about key development with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities.
  • Safeguarding and Child Protection Policy in place.
  • Behaviour Management Policy in place.
  • Anti-Bullying Policy in place
  • Educational Health Care Plans in place for pupils with specific needs
  • Disabled toilet/adapted toilet
  • Ramps inside and outside of the school building to facilitate access
  • The school’s Golden Rules are fully embedded within the life of the school. The Golden Rules are:-

We love and care for each other
We look after property and God’s creation
We always try hard to do our best
We are honest and we always tell the truth

Discussions also identified the following:

  • Ensure easy access to the Equality Scheme when complete – for all our staff community. Sharing the findings equally and easily
  • Ensure all in the school community understand the definition of ‘Disability’ as stated by the 2005 Disability Act.
  • Continue to ensure children are taught about differences and tolerance as part of the PSHE curriculum and through age appropriate teaching of aspects of the Prevent Duty.
  • Continue to create an atmosphere of mutual trust and respect where persons involved with the school feel confident about disclosing any special needs or disabilities and there is an atmosphere of openness about sexuality, transgender, race and religion.
  • To invite representatives of various charities and organisations relating to race, disability and gender to school to give advice and support and assist with curriculum development for example through delivering assemblies
  • Continue to improve areas of the school to ensure they are fully accessible to all in our community including those with physical disabilities, hearing and visual disabilities
  1. What have we achieved so far

This section details what we have achieved so far in relation to the equality duties and celebrating the outcomes.

‘Excellent links with parents, the community, other schools and outside agencies contribute very well to pupils’ learning and the extremely high level of care and support provided by the school’ (Ofsted 2009) 

Valley End C of E Infant School is committed to promoting equality and diversity in an inclusive and supportive environment for learners, staff and the communities it serves.

(Personal development and well-being – Outstanding – Ofsted 2009)

Pupils refer to love and care, honesty and truthfulness and looking after God’s world as part of their everyday conversation when sharing thoughts about what makes the school special to them. These values underpin the school’s approach to behaviour with an emphasis on forgiveness and the need to treat each other with ‘the love that Jesus showed us’, and are becoming increasingly embedded as part of the curriculum. (Statutory Inspection of Anglican and Methodist Schools – July 2015 – Outstanding).

The interaction, focus and commitment from all staff is consistently high. SIIP report – May 2018

The overall standard of teaching and learning is very high. SIIP report – May 2018 

Less able children showed good strategies at writing unknown words. SIIP report  – May 2018

In all year groups across the school, the children were highly involved, motivated and talked through their work with real pride and confidence. SIIP report  – May 2018

High standards of attainment have been achieved by the majority of pupils across the school, regardless of gender or cultural background.

The majority of Pupil Premium pupils or pupils with special educational needs or disabilities progress and attain as expected or above.

The school’s Anti-Bullying policy focuses on the positive ethos and values of the school working to prevent bullying and anti-social behaviour.

Our policies and practice result in an inclusive approach to all levels of diversity.

Race equality

We have had no racist or bullying incidents in school over the last four years.

Disability equality

Access for disabled children and adults has been made easier both into the school and to toileting facilities. All pupils and staff are fully involved in the life of the school and have full access to all we offer. If the school is alerted that mobility could become a greater issue for staff member or a pupil, action will be taken. We have ensured that the main entrance to the school, internal access to the Foundation Stage classrooms and to the main and Early Years playground are conducive to independent access for a wheelchair user.

In addition we believe that Valley End Church of England Infant School can celebrate the following good practice:

Community Cohesion

In addition to the detailed description given above, we also undertake the following:

Teaching, learning and curriculum – Our curriculum is fully accessible to all children. Parents are regularly informed of the learning that takes place through communications via Parent Mail, pupil post, information boards inside and outside of the school and through newsletters.

 ‘They make an extremely positive contribution to the school and local communities, with a strong enthusiasm for ecology’. (Ofsted 2009)

Engagement and extended services.

All children at Valley End have access to a range of extended services. Valley End Infant School offers a wide range of clubs after school and access to school earlier in the morning through the Early Bird Club.

Age

There is representation on our School Council from children in the Early Years Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1. The School Council meets regularly and is supported by staff members. They disseminate discussions and decisions via class meetings and assemblies.

As children progress through the school and particularly in Year 2,  the children begin to gain responsibilities. These encourage children to become fully involved in the life of the school and to gain an understanding of what it means to be an active member of a community, and in preparation for the next steps in their learning journey.

Religion and Belief

As a Church of England Controlled Infant School, we follow the Guildford Diocese Agreed Syllabus for Religious Education.  Pupils are taught about Christianity and the major world faiths – Judaism, Islam and Hinduism in detail.  Worship and prayer are explored in the context of all religions and we try to impart on children how important faith, belief, worship and prayer are to some people and to encourage the value of respect for all. As a Church of England Infant School, we have links with local churches and local clergy lead Acts of Worship throughout the year. The children also visit the Church of St Saviour Valley End for acts of worship and celebration throughout the year. All children attend assemblies and services and participate in them. We respect parents right to withdraw their children from RE and Collective Worship.

  1. Equality impact assessments

Equality impact assessment is a systematic method of checking all school policies and practices to ensure they are genuinely accessible and meet the needs of all our staff and the local community in relation to age, disability, gender, race, religion and belief and sexual orientation.

Valley End Church of England Infant School is keen to ensure that none of its policies and practices disadvantage people with disabilities, from different ethnic backgrounds or a differing gender. The school has in place a range of associated policies that have been agreed by governors and staff as appropriate. All school policies are regularly reviewed.

 

  1. Other School Policies

We have used our existing school policies and documents to inform our Single Equality Scheme (SES). These include:

  • School Development Plan
  • Teaching and Learning
  • Personal, Social, Health Education
  • Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural Development
  • Accessibility Action Plan
  • Anti-bullying
  • Behaviour Management
  • Whistle-blowing
  • Safeguarding and Child Protection
  • Supporting pupils with medical needs

 

  1. Roles and Responsibilities
  • The governing body will ensure that the school complies with all statutory requirements.
  • The Headteacher is responsible for the implementation of this Scheme and will ensure that staff are aware of their responsibilities, that necessary training and support is provided and that progress is reported to the governing body.
  • Staff are expected to promote an inclusive and collaborative ethos in the school, challenge inappropriate language and behaviour, respond appropriately to incidents of discrimination and harassment, ensure appropriate support for children with additional needs, maintain a good level of awareness of equalities issues.
  • Pupils have a responsibility to try their best to understand and keep the school’s Golden Rules.

We will take steps to ensure all visitors to the school, including parents and carers are adhering to our commitment to equality.

 

  1. Commissioning and Procurement

Valley End Church of England Infant School is required by law to ensure that when we buy in services from another organisation, that organisation will comply with equality legislation. This will be a significant factor in selection during any tendering process.

 

  1. Publishing our scheme

The school’s Single Equality Scheme (SES) will be made accessible via:

  • School website
  • Staff induction

 

  1. Annual Review of Progress

We will continue to review annually the actions we have taken in the development of our Single Equality Scheme (SES) which include:

  • The results of any information gathering activities for race, disabililty and gender and how we used this information towards improvement
  • The outcomes of involvement activities from minority groups within our community
  • A summary from equality impact assessments undertaken
  • An update of the progress made against priorities
  • Celebrating what we have achieved in relation to promoting community cohesion

The Single Equality Scheme (SES) and Action Plan will be reviewed every three years.

 

  1. Ongoing involvement

We will continue to involve people from all aspects of our school community in the ongoing evolvement of our Single Equality Scheme and Action Plan. This includes:

  • A regular slot at School Council meetings to discuss equality and diversity issues
  • A regular slot at staff meetings
  • Parental involvement as appropriate.
  • Review by governor