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EQUAL OPPORTUNITIES POLICY

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					Discovery Primary
      School




EQUAL OPPORTUNITIES
      POLICY
At Discovery Primary School we will ensure equality of
opportunity for all children in our care. To have quality
education you must have equality in education.


Discrimination on the grounds of colour, culture, gender, social
circumstances sexual orientation, origin, ability or physical
disability is unacceptable.


At Discovery we celebrate individual differences which are
deemed positive.


Nobody is born racist, sexist, homophobic and classist or is born
with prejudice against people with physical or learning
disabilities. These are acquired.


We aim to help all children become aware of the increasingly
diverse society in which we live. We aim to present the world
both as it is and as we would like it to be – a fair, safe and caring
world.


On such foundations we hope that the children in our school will
develop their own positive attitudes towards all those around
them now and in their future lives.


This policy should be read in conjunction with our Policy on
Inclusive Education, Special Education Needs Policy and Race
Equality Policy.
          CHARTER OF RIGHTS

            Every child has the right:


                not to have to fight

            to expect people to be kind

               not to be made fun of

                not to be made sad

             not to be scared of adults

                  to have friends

                     to be safe

         not to be scared to come to school




                     QUOTE


“Not everything that is faced can be changed
but nothing can be changed until it is faced.”




                                     James Baldwin
The Law


Unlawful discrimination occurs when one person receives less
favourable treatment because of their gender, marital status,
race or disability.


The law is extensive and complex in these areas. Accordingly the
schools‟ equal opportunities co-ordinator will provide general
guidance on matters which require clarification whilst ensuring
professional guidance is sought when specific reference is
needed to the:


    Sex Discrimination Act 1975


    Race Relations Act 1976


    Equal Pay Act 1970


    Equal Pay Amendment 1984


    Disability Discrimination Act 1995


    Relevant EU legislation


    The Human Rights Act 1998


    The Race Relations (Amendment) Act 2000


    The Special Educational Needs and Disability Act 2001


It must also be borne in mind that „ignorance of the law is no
defence‟ and other forms of discrimination (on the grounds of
age, sexuality, religion or social circumstances) should be
avoided.
Requirements and Expectations in Official Educational
Documents


The following are extracts from official documents which help to
show that this policy reflects requirements and expectations in
the national legislation on education which has come into force
since 1988:


 “It is intended that the curriculum should reflect the culturally
 diverse society to which pupils belong and of which they will
 become adult members”
                                       DES Circular 5/89



 Schools are encouraged „to foster a climate in which equality of
 opportunity is supported by a policy to which the whole school
 subscribes and in which positive attitudes are actively promoted‟.




 Pupils should be given the „opportunity to view the world from
 different standpoints, helping them to question prejudice and
 develop open –mindedness‟.



                                N.C.C. Guidance Document on the
                                Whole Curriculum 1990.


 „a commitment to providing equal opportunities for all pupils….
 Should permeate every aspect of the curriculum‟.


                                       N.C.C. Curriculum Guidance
                                       On Education for Citizenship
                                                    1990.
 „Pupils should learn to question the stereotypes produced by social
 groupings, particularly in the case of gender and race. They need
 to understand the ways in which cultural diversity can be celebrated
 and inequality and prejudice combated.‟


                                     Curriculum Council for Wales
                                     CCW Advisory Paper 11
                                     Community Understanding 1991.


 „Most institutions have policies for promoting equality of
 opportunity but too often the gap between policy and practice is
Aims
 unacceptably wide.‟


                                      HMI Annual Report 1992


To create a supportive and challenging ethos, environment and
curriculum in which all pupils can make progress and fulfil their
potential.



To create a school in which discrimination and abuse on the
grounds of any difference is not tolerated.



To help children understand the world in which we live and the
interdependence of individuals, groups and nations.



To foster mutual respect between adults and adults; adults and
children; children and children regardless of differences.
To promote a positive self-image in all children and to respect
their individuality, providing for all pupils according to their
needs.



To ensure equality of opportunity permeates the whole
curriculum and ethos of the school.


To ensure children and adults feel safe and supported in
reporting incidents of discrimination or abusive behaviour.




Objectives


     To challenge and thereby minimise incidents of racial,
      sexual, cultural, religious stereotyping, use of abusive
      terminology and actions.



     To ensure equal access to the curriculum and resources for
      everyone.



     To treat everyone differently and thereby treat everyone
      fairly.



     To recognise what equality of opportunity is and is not
      (see Appendix 1 )



     To be responsive to changing needs.
   To reflect the diverse society in which we live through the
    curriculum, resources and displays ensuring this contains
    non-stereotypical images in order to overcome pre-
    conceived ideas of gender, ethnic origin, culture, religion or
    social circumstances.


   To teach children about different religions, cultures and
    beliefs so they can develop a better understanding and
    tolerance of others and their way of life.



   For children and adults to challenge stereotypes,
    behaviours, practices which they feel are derogatory,
    discriminatory or abusive.



   To educate and inform staff, children and parents about the
    issues in this policy.


   To ensure all School Policies take account of equal
    opportunities



   To monitor academic achievement by analysing SATs
    results and other forms of summative assessments.



   For assemblies to include opportunities to challenge
    prejudice, question stereotyping and enhance
    understanding of our multicultural and pluralistic society;
    also to ensure that they are free from messages or
    language which undermine principles of tolerance or
    understanding.
    To encourage adults from a broad spectrum of society to
     visit this school;



    To devise schemes of playground use which avoid
     domination of space by any particular group.



    To provide access throughout the school site for wheelchair
     users and people with other disabilities, as resources allow.



    To encourage and develop positive links with the local
     community.



Teaching and Learning Strategies


    Children should be grouped carefully so that neither
     expectations nor performance are lowered.



    All staff will ensure that each child has a genuine welcome
     to the school and is made to feel a valued part of our
     community.
    Value and status will be given to other languages by
     encouraging awareness of them and their usage and by
     highlighting links between languages.
   Children in school who speak another language will be
    encouraged to use it and be shown that their ability is
    valued.



   Teachers will ensure fair access to resources and materials
    especially equipment such as I.T. and construction, the
    imaginative play area, the listening corner or footballs at
    playtime.



   Teachers will ensure equal expectations for both genders
    in all subjects.



   Teachers and adults will have an awareness of gender
    issues around the school such as mixing boys and girls
    together when lining up or grouping for activities, giving
    equal weighting to boys and girls helping around the
    school in non-stereotypical ways.



   Occasionally „positive discrimination‟ may be necessary,
    especially in the early years, to actively encourage girls into
    areas they already think of as „male‟ – such as construction
    toys – or to encourage boys into home corners or writing
    corners.



   Aptitudes and interests will be recognised and children
    encouraged to be active participants in their own learning.
   Good use of differentiation in planning and delivering the
    curriculum will enable the least able to receive the support
    and help that they need and the most able to be stretched
    to their full potential through activities which will extend
    their skills and knowledge.



   Children often require extra encouragement to build up
    their self – esteem and to feel valued for their contributions
    in school. For example sharing work in class, at
    assemblies and through displays, will help boost
    confidence.



   All clubs and activities will be open to every child in the
    school and encourage positive self-images



   Role playing is seen as an essential means to address the
    issues raised in the area of equality of opportunity.



   Team work will be encouraged in all aspects of school life
    to show the advantages of pooling experience, knowledge
    and various points of view. (Staff and children)



   PSHE, Circle Time, Assemblies and Drama sessions will be
    used to explore issues pertinent to equality of opportunity,
    such as stereotyping and diversity of pupils/peoples
    backgrounds, cultures, beliefs, prejudices.
   Positive action, especially by pupils, will continue to be
    rewarded and made known to the wider school community.



   Displays will reflect our wider community.



   Class resources will be chosen to be non-sexist and non-
    racist as well as of a high quality.



   All children should have work displayed at some time
    during the school year.



   Teaching will promote tolerance.



   All children will have the opportunity to take books home
    to read.



   Songs and music should reflect this policy as well as help
    to promote positive images of other places, languages,
    cultures etc.


   Teachers will ensure equal opportunities for talking and
    listening in whole class discussion, group work and paired
    work.



   Teachers will create an environment in which co-operation
    is central and in which children will work in a range of
     grouping contexts (single or mixed sex, mixed ability,
     random or compatible) comfortably and with purpose.



    Children will be taught the skills to resolve conflicts and to
     become assertive.



    Teachers will ensure that the children in their class feel
     safe and supported so that they can report incidents of
     discrimination or abusive behaviour.



Curriculum Planning and Context


In carrying out our curriculum planning we must:


    review the taught curriculum and actively seek
     opportunities to address the issues of equal opportunities;



    ensure that multicultural issues are not presented in a
     tokenistic way;



    be aware of, and challenge bias and stereotypical
     viewpoints within our teaching and language; eg only
     presenting images of Africa or India as poor and rural;



    draw on examples from many cultural traditions and
     recognise Britain as having a diverse cultural background;
    help children explore the idea of „stereotyping‟ in order
     that they can make more informed choices in relation to
     their identity (ie gender, ethnic or cultural background,
     disability).



    be aware of the balance of male/female roles,
     disabled/able bodied and roles from a variety of cultural
     backgrounds, when choosing historical figures or artists,
     composers, authors work etc. as a focus for a curriculum
     area.


STAFF


Teaching staff and school helpers will be sensitive to
unacceptable behaviour and take appropriate action. Repeated
incidents or abuse will be recorded for discussion with the Head
teacher and for possible further discussion with parents and the
Governing Body.


The school will maintain clear, factual and up-to-date records to
identify patterns of behaviour which are contrary to our aims.


Staff will also be encouraged to challenge unacceptable
behaviour with colleagues and parents.


    Job vacancies will be widely advertised to promote a
     diversity of candidates.


The school values diversity amongst the staff. In all staff
appointments the most suitable candidate will be appointed on
professional criteria and recruitment carried out in a manner
consistent with equal opportunity.
Involving Parents


As with all school policies, there is a critical role to be played by
parents. Several aspects of this document have referred to the
consultation process and the need to reinforce good behaviour in
our community.


Parents will continue to be informed of their child‟s behaviour,
good and bad, together with any aspects of their attitude
towards others which gives rise to concern. Initial liaison
regarding discrimination problems is expected to be of an
informal nature.


However, all forms of discrimination by any person within the
school are to be treated very seriously and a careful note kept of
any such incidents.


Records will also be maintained of repeated incidents of abuse
and ongoing concerns will be discussed in depth by the Head
Teacher and parents. Parents who are unavailable/unwilling to
discuss individual cases will receive a letter inviting their
response, a copy of which will be held on file.


In the event that formal disciplinary proceedings are
contemplated, or if co-operation is not evident, the governing
body will be consulted and a plan of action agreed. Continued
unacceptable behaviour could result in exclusion procedures for
the pupil.


Racial Incidents


With regard to incidents of a racist nature, all such incidents will
be recorded and monitored in line with our Race Equailty Policy
and the „Greenwich Racial Incident Policy Procedures.‟ This
policy/procedure relates to recommendation 68 of the Stephen
Lawrence Inquiry. All schools will need to report information
about racial incidents to pupils parents/guardians, school
governors and the L.E.A.


The Racial Incidents Policy Procedure gives guidance on:


a)    definition of a racial incident


b)    procedure for dealing with a racial incident


c)    monitoring of racial incidents


d)    reporting information to parents, governors and the L.E.A.



In order to help staff to understand and work positively with
some of the multi –cultural dimensions of education in
Greenwich Schools, Greenwich Council has produced „The
Religious and Cultural Needs of Minority Ethnic Pupils‟ (see
Appendix 3).


This guide assists teachers/other staff in their understanding of
different ethnic groups – eg Asylum Seekers, Gypsies and
Travellers, Indian, Afro-Caribbean, Chinese – and issues
sensitive to one or more of these groups – eg dress and uniform,
jewellery, sex education, fasting.


For further details see Discovery Primary School‟s Race Equality
Policy.
                      APPENDICES




Appendix 1   Equal Opportunities is………………
             Equal Opportunities is not…………..



Appendix 2   Understanding of discrimination
                            Appendix 1




Equal Opportunities is NOT:-


1.    “Positive Discrimination” illegal
2.    Treating everybody the same.
3.    A trendy lefty idea
4.    Just about being politically correct
5.    Eliminating the prejudices of everyone in a school
6.    Having an equal opportunities statement
7.    “Special Needs” of disabled pupils
8.    Related only to pupils achievement
9.    A cheap option
10.   Impossible to achieve (in a time of budget cuts)
11.   Easy to achieve


Equal Opportunities IS:-


     Eliminating discrimination
     Maximising potential of all pupils
     Enabling pupils to have full access to the curriculum
     Enabling pupils to make informed life choices
     Encouraging respect and integration between staff and
      pupils
     Encouraging the celebration of difference and diversity
     Creating a safe environment for everyone (staff and pupils
      and parents)
     Taking positive action
     Making sure the best person gets the job
     Equal Career development opportunities for all
    Making schools representative of the communities they
     serve.
                            Appendix 2


                 Understanding of Discrimination


Overt and Covert Discrimination


The School recognises that discrimination can be either overt or
covert and that there is a need to identify and to take action to
counter all kinds of discrimination.


Overt discrimination can take place in school organisation and
discipline and in extra curricular activities – such discrimination
is illegal. However, this form of discrimination is easier to detect
and, sometimes, clearer to deal with.


Covert discrimination relates to the assumptions, beliefs and
values acquired over a long period of time which affects pupil‟s
instinctive responses. It may be shown in the attitudes of
teachers, parents and other adults towards pupils and in the
attitudes of pupils towards themselves and each other.
The Perpetuation of Discrimination



                       Systematic Discrimination
                          and mistreatment



which generates                                      which
becomes
misinformation and                  Any ISM                the
justification
ignorance                                            for further
discrimination




                        which creates socially
                         sanctioned attitudes,
                   beliefs, feelings assumptions



Fighting any „ism‟: 4 levels


1.    Personal Level
2.    Institutional Level – perpetuating what has gone on before
      without checking why?
3.    Society/National
4.    International



Discrimination is the justifying of inferior opportunities and
treatment on the grounds of difference or „otherness‟.

				
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