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
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
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
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
“Not everything that is faced can be changed
but nothing can be changed until it is faced.”
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
Requirements and Expectations in Official Educational
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
“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
„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
HMI Annual Report 1992
To create a supportive and challenging ethos, environment and
curriculum in which all pupils can make progress and fulfil their
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
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.
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
To treat everyone differently and thereby treat everyone
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
Songs and music should reflect this policy as well as help
to promote positive images of other places, languages,
Teachers will ensure equal opportunities for talking and
listening in whole class discussion, group work and paired
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
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
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,
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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
Appendix 1 Equal Opportunities is………………
Equal Opportunities is not…………..
Appendix 2 Understanding of discrimination
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:-
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
Encouraging the celebration of difference and diversity
Creating a safe environment for everyone (staff and pupils
Taking positive action
Making sure the best person gets the job
Equal Career development opportunities for all
Making schools representative of the communities they
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
which generates which
misinformation and Any ISM the
ignorance for further
which creates socially
beliefs, feelings assumptions
Fighting any „ism‟: 4 levels
1. Personal Level
2. Institutional Level – perpetuating what has gone on before
without checking why?
Discrimination is the justifying of inferior opportunities and
treatment on the grounds of difference or „otherness‟.