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 belief; 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 students. Under the Act, the school/college 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 done 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/college 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 reflects 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; including; boys and girls, students eligible for pupil premium, students with different special educational needs and disabilities and students from different heritage groups.
- To further improve accessibility across the school for students, staff and visitors with disabilities.
- To endeavour to ensure that the governance representation and staff in leadership roles is reflective of the education community we serve.
For 2015-16, further Equality Objectives are:
- To use pupil information to monitor children and young people’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 create 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 Northern Counties.
- To increase pupils’ awareness and understanding of issues in different communities through a diverse curriculum and whole school assemblies.
- 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 educational improvement documentation, the curriculum and policy documentation.
This statement will be reviewed annually and the impact of objectives will inform future targets.