The Equality Act 2010 was introduced to ensure protection from discrimination, harassment and victimisation on the grounds of specific characteristics (referred to as protected characteristics). For schools, this means that it is unlawful to discriminate against pupils or treat them less favourably because of their gender, race, disability, religion or beliefs, gender reassignment, sexual orientation, pregnancy or maternity.
Marriage and civil partnerships and age are also ‘protected characteristics’, but do not apply to our provision for pupils. Under the Act, The Dales School is expected to comply with the Public Sector Equality Duty. This requires us to:
- Eliminate unlawful discrimination, harassment and victimisation;
- Advance equality of opportunity between different groups;
- Foster good relations between different groups.
As a public organisation, we are required to:
- Publish information to show compliance with the Equality Duty. This is achieved via our Equalities Policy;
- Publish Equality Objectives which are specific and measurable.
Our Equalities Policy is in line with national guidance and contains information about how the school complies with the Public Sector Equality Duty. We also give guidance to staff and outside visitors on our approach to promoting equality.
Our Equality Objectives reflect our priorities and draws upon available data and other evidence. Careful analysis of this is undertaken in order to ensure that we are working to achieve improved outcomes for different groups.
- To promote cultural understanding and awareness;
- To close gaps in the attainment and achievement of all groups of pupils. This includes: boys and girls, pupils eligible for pupil premium, pupils with different special educational needs and disabilities, and pupils from different heritage groups;
- To further improve accessibility across the school for pupils, staff and visitors with disabilities;
- To endeavour to ensure that the governance representation and staff in leadership roles are reflective of the education community we serve.
In addition, further Equality Objectives for 2019-2023 are:
- To use pupil information to monitor children’s achievement and respond to variations between groups of learners, trends over time and comparisons with other education provisions;
- To raise the awareness and skills of staff to promote fairness, equality, tolerance and good relations in the context of their role;
- To provide an environment that welcomes, protects and respects diverse people;
- To ensure that all pupils are given the opportunity to make a positive contribution to the life of the education community at The Dales School;
- To increase pupils’ awareness and understanding of issues in different communities through a diverse curriculum rooted in life skills and basic skills;
- Support community cohesion by supporting pupils to understand the diversity within society and everyone’s right to fairness and equality of opportunity;
- Specific tasks relating to these objectives are embedded within education improvement documentation, the curriculum and policy documentation.
This statement will be reviewed annually and the impact of objectives will inform further targets.