Equality, Diversity & Cohesion
Equality Diversity and Community Cohesion Policy
Rossett School adheres to the requirements of the Equality Act 2010 by not discriminating against learners, staff, volunteers or anyone involved in external agencies the school may be working with on the grounds of the following protected characteristics:
- gender reassignment
- marriage and civil partnership
- pregnancy and maternity
- religion or belief
- sexual orientation
Rossett School provides an education for all, acknowledging that the society in which we live is enriched by diversity. We strive to recognise and celebrate the diversity within our school community where everyone is equally valued and treats one another with respect and fairness.
Community links are at the heart of what makes a strong and safe community. We aim that Rossett is a place where:
- There is a warm, welcoming, happy atmosphere that is secure, stimulating and supportive of learning.
- We encourage students to do their best to make them feel confident, valued and proud to be themself.
- Positive relationships are adopted between students, staff and parents/carers; bullying and anti-social behaviour will not be tolerated
- Students can achieve to the highest level possible; achievement by others is celebrated; different intelligences are recognised; students can pursue many different interests; and achieve a broad knowledge of the world to equip them for life.
- To develop and educate all students whatever age, disability, gender reassignment, race, culture, origin, religion or belief, ability, sex or sexual orientation to attain the highest levels possible
- To prepare students to be full citizens in society
- To ensure that all students have access to the whole curriculum
- To challenge racism, homophobia and celebrate diversity
- To address the issues of stereotyping and to ensure that teaching styles and resources do not strengthen them.
- To create a fair and just school community, that promotes social inclusion, community cohesion and equality; that respects diversity and which challenges and acts upon any form of discrimination and inequality including bullying
- Our commitment to Equality, Diversity and Cohesion
- We will not tolerate harassment of any kind
- We are committed to combating all forms of discrimination
- We recognise that the monitoring and evaluation of equality is essential to ensure that our young people are not being disadvantaged, and that monitoring leads to action planning
- We will work towards eliminating all discrimination on the grounds of race, gender, gender reassignment, culture, origin, disability, ability, sexuality, age, religion and belief
- We believe that all young people, employees and everyone who comes into Rossett School should be treated with dignity and respect at all times and we will not tolerate bullying, harassment or victimisation of any groups or individuals.
We will be an equality champion and community leader in:
- Promoting equality, for example by assessing the impact of our policies on different groups
- Challenging and eliminating discrimination, for example, by acting quickly to deal with all bullying including that which is aimed at groups as well as individuals, such as racist bullying and homophobia.
- Promoting community cohesion at all times
- Our principles
- To promote equality, diversity and cohesion within the local community. We believe that our school needs to reflect the community and people it serves.
- To challenge discrimination on the grounds of race, gender, age, sexuality, religion or belief
- Our vision for equality and diversity goes beyond processes to achieve change. We will monitor progress towards meeting objectives by:
- Taking adequate steps to prevent discrimination
- Taking decisive action when discrimination occurs
- Taking steps to promote equality, diversity and cohesion
- We acknowledge the Stephen Lawrence Enquiry definition of a racist incident is “any incident which is perceived by the victim or any other person to be racist”
- We also recognise that young people may experience harassment and bullying and in tackling these issues in school we use the same definition as above
- We aim to be a “listening school”. We listen to all our members including other students, staff, parents, visitors, wider community members and other partners
- To help to achieve this we have a ‘peer mentoring’ scheme – our Listeners (especially for Year 7 and 8 students), year group councils, whole school council, a Student Support Officer for each year group and a staff tutor. The Headteacher meets regularly with student focus groups to listen to feedback about specific issues in school
- We will continue to develop our PSHEE and citizenship programme to promote human rights and equality particularly focussing on the rights of the child, the right to education and the right to be safe.
- Our Special Educational Needs (SEN) policy and practice demonstrates our commitment to inclusion, working with parents and appropriately allocating resources to ensure full curriculum access
- Our excellent partnership with parents, governors and other stakeholders in the wider community are essential to promoting equality, diversity and community cohesion
- We will aim to encourage diversity and eliminate unfair treatment and discrimination through our human resource policies and procedures in particular in the areas of recruitment, training and development and promotion
- We recognise that staff have rights as employees to work in a supportive, safe and harassment free environment and that we all have an individual and collective responsibility to respect each others contributions
- We promote an environment where standards of conduct are of the highest level and to ensure that no-one is harassed, victimised or bullied
- Equality, Diversity and Cohesion in Practice
We have a general duty to:
- Eliminate racial discrimination
- Promote equality of opportunity
- Promote good relations between people from different racial groups
Students are entitled to equal access to the curriculum. This means that barriers need to be overcome should there be reasons why they find certain aspects difficult. Each case will be considered independently. All lunchtime and after school activities are open to all students.
The school operates a ‘late bus’ system which allows students to access after school activities and still be able to get home safely.
Staff must be constantly aware that their own expectations affect the achievement, behaviour and status of each student and that we ensure that we set challenging targets for all including those for whom English is not their first language. Staff must ensure that teaching resources are multicultural and non-sexist containing positive images of all groups.
We view linguistic diversity positively and value different languages, accent and dialect spoken as an asset. Students will be allowed to use their home language in school but not to exclude others and always use English when participating in school activities.
We are aware that there might be some misunderstandings amongst students, parents, teachers – for example:
- Certain subjects are not for them (they are boys/girls subjects….)
- That girls and women are inferior to boys/men
- That SEN students have ‘problems’ and cannot tackle some curriculum areas
- That students are somehow quirky or difficult because of their race, religion or sexuality.
We seek to challenge these stereotypes and assumptions at every opportunity but especially through our PSHEE programme.
Discrimination is defined as: The unjust or prejudicial treatment of different categories of people.
All forms of direct or indirect discrimination within the school will be treated seriously. We will note where any incidents take place and there will be no ‘no go’ areas. This will be checked by the Whole School Student Council. It will always be made clear to offending individuals that such behaviour is unacceptable and the Code of Discipline will be applied.
We monitor sanctions and exclusions to gather evidence regarding any gender or racial bias. This information will be assessed each year and presented to school governors. All staff within Rossett School have an obligation to address incidents of discrimination.
In the first instance any misbehaviour will be dealt with by the class teacher/Director of Studies or year team as appropriate.
It may be appropriate to refer the incident to the Student Support Officer (SSO) and depending on the nature and number of incidents; parents will be involved as per the school’s Behaviour Policy.
Racist/homophobic/sexist symbols or badges will not be tolerated in school.
Staff should be aware of possible cultural assumptions and bias within their attitudes. We will ensure that staff have information regarding cultural backgrounds and faiths. They will be expected to be vigilant in and around the school for any type of inappropriate behaviour such as name calling and other forms of victimisation.
Visitors to Rossett School are expected to follow this policy and demonstrate good practice; any incidents will be reported to the Director of Behaviour Support.
We respect the religious beliefs and practice of all staff, students and parents, and comply with reasonable requests relating to religious observance and practice.
Staff development and training
We will ensure that all staff, including support and administrative staff, receive appropriate training and opportunities for professional development, both as individuals and as groups or teams.
All staff are expected to:
- promote an inclusive and collaborative ethos in their classroom
- deal with any prejudice-related incidents that may occur
- identify and challenge bias and stereotyping in the curriculum
- support pupils in their class for whom English is an additional language
- keep up-to-date with equalities legislation relevant to their work
The Headteacher has overall responsibility within the school for implementing the policy and will be the named person responsible for taking any disciplinary action in any case of racial or other discrimination. The Headteacher also has responsibility for reporting any incidents to the governing body
The Governing Body
The Governing Body is responsible for ensuring that the school fulfils its legal responsibilities.
How does Rossett School meet the requirements of the Public Sector Equality Duty
In line with regulations explained in The Equality Act (Specific Duties) 2011, Rossett School has created this policy to demonstrate our compliance with the equality duty set out in this act. Rossett School has due regard for the need to:
- Eliminate discrimination, harassment, victimisation and other conduct that is prohibited by the Equality Act 2010. This is evident in our Behaviour, Accessibility, Disability Equality Scheme and Anti-Bullying policies
- Advance equality of opportunity between people who share a protected characteristic and people who do not share it. (See Appendix 1)
- Foster good relations across all protected characteristics – between people who share a protected characteristic and people who do not share it. This is primarily taught through our PHSEE curriculum, our involvement with the local community, including primary schools and through the 3Rs Culture of Learning’ at Rossett School.
Rossett School Equality Objectives 2014
- To improve attainment of boys who are Level 4C on entry in English
- To close the gender gap of our students achieving 5 A*-C (incl. English and Maths)
Publication of information in future years will include evidence of the steps being taken and progress made towards meeting this equality objective that the school has already set itself.
An example of how Rossett has advanced equality of opportunity between people who share a protected characteristic and people who do not is our Stonewall School Award.
Stonewall School Champions provides support to tackle homophobia and homophobic bullying in schools to promote a safe and inclusive learning environment for all young people. It aims to promote equality amongst young people and to recognise good practice in schools.
Rossett was chosen as the first Champion school in North Yorkshire as we have an excellent reputation for inclusive practice and are recognised as a school with an ethos that reflects equality in its broadest sense.
We have undertaken:
- Whole school staff training on homophobic bullying and transgender re-alignment.
- Stonewall audit completed to show good practise.
- Year group assemblies on homophobia in general and at Rossett School in particular
- A visit from Sir Ian McKellen (15 December 2010) who met with the Student Council, a range of other students and staff, was a ‘guest’ in a Philosophy GCSE lesson and addressed the whole school in an assembly that will stay in the memory of those present for many years.
- Establishment of a group of Stonewall ‘Leaders’ at Rossett, made up of Mr G Davies, Mrs AM Phelps, Mr K Kehoe and Miss S Gibson.
- Stonewall identifies areas which help to eliminate discrimination, advance equality of opportunity and foster good relations in school and the wider community. Rossett School has shared this practise with other schools.
- Rossett has actively challenged homophobic bullying and in doing so have protected those that may have otherwise been subjected to it.
- We have actively displayed materials in school to promote the diverse society in which we live.
Ofsted have recognised Rossett’s achievements in this area and feature our school as a good practice resource on their website:
Approved by Governors: July 2014
Next review: July 2016