Hermitage school is committed to:
- challenging discrimination and harrassment whenever they occur.
- promoting equality of access and opportunity within our school and the wider community
- promoting positive attitudes to difference between people of different backgrounds, genders, sexual orientation, ethnic origins, faiths and beliefs, and capabilities
The leadership team and Governors will review the progress we are making to meet our equality objectives with regard to the following groups under the Equality Act(2010): Race, disability, gender, gender reassignment,age, pregnancy, maternity, marital status, sexual orientation, religion and belief.
The Public Sector Equality Duty 2011 has 3 main aims:
- Eliminate unlawful discrimination, harassment and victimization and other conduct prohibited by the Act.
- Advance equality of opportunity between people who share a protected characteristic and those who do not.
- Foster good relations between people who share a protected characteristic and those who do not.
This policy outlines the commitment of our school to ensure that equality of opportunity is available to all members of the school community for our school this means, not simply treating everybody the same but, understanding and tackling the different barriers which could lead to unequal outcomes for different groups of pupils in school, celebrating and valuing the equal opportunity achievements and strengths of all members of the school community. These include:-
- Teaching staff
- Support staff
- Parents/ carers
- Multi-agency staff linked to the staff, AEN services staff, school improvement services staff, school attendance service
- Visitors to school
- Students on placement
We believe that equality at our school should permeate all aspects of school life and is the responsibility of every member of the school and wider community. Every member of the school community should feel safe, secure, valued and of equal worth. We want to provide an environment which is free from unlawful discrimination, harassment or victimization of any kind. We want to educate our pupils in an environment which recognizes, celebrates and draws upon the diversity of London and offers equal respect, appropriate support and fair rewards for all our pupils.
At our school, equality is a key principle for treating all people the same. The Equality Act defines eight ‘Protected Characteristics’:
- Gender reassignment
- Pregnancy and maternity
- Religion and belief
- Sexual orientation
Our Mission Statement
Hermitage is committed to preparing our children to be successful citizens in the wider community, with skills, knowledge, values and attitudes that will prepare them for the opportunities and challenges of the 21st Century.
At Hermitage Primary School we want children to be happy and enjoy their learning. We want children to be healthy and stay safe. The education we provide should enable children to realise their dreams and make positive contributions to their own community and the wider world. Children have a right to be given choices so that they can reflect on and take responsibility for their own learning and behaviour. We want children to be confident and self-motivated, both academically and socially.
The school works hard to provide an inspiring learning environment that promotes high expectations, independent learning and appropriate challenge. The resources are accessible, suitable for each child and well maintained.
The staff at Hermitage strive to be positive role models, inspiring children to have and pursue their own aspirations. The staff team bring to the school a variety of skills, experiences, interests and knowledge that inform their practice and enable children to access and enjoy a varied school experience.
Hermitage school teaches children a wide range of skills to become confident individuals in the outside world. The school involves the wider community in playing an active part in the children’s learning and education.
At Hermitage we are committed to ensuring that every child makes good progress in their learning, and leaves the school able to participate successfully at an academic, social and emotional level in secondary school and beyond.
Our mission statement talks about valuing the individuality of all our pupils. We are committed to giving all our pupils every opportunity to achieve the highest of standards. Within this ethos of achievement, we do not tolerate bullying and harassment of any kind. We actively tackle discrimination against those with a disability, racial discrimination, sexual harassment and discrimination and we promote equal opportunities and good relations between and amongst all. We aim to ensure that the school promotes the individuality of all our pupils, irrespective of ethnicity, attainment, age, disability, gender or background. We are committed to ensuring that positive action is taken where necessary to redress the balance of inequality that may exist. We aim to reflect the diversity of our local community and society and ensure that the education we offer fosters positive attitudes to all people.
Our school admissions policy is equally open to pupils of all groups.
Disability and SEN
In the Equality Act, ‘disability’ is defined as follows:
‘A person has a disability for the purposes of this Act if he/she has a physical or mental impairment which has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on his/her ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities.’
Not all children with disabilities will have SEN- the Department for Education defines children with SEN as:
‘Having learning difficulties or disabilities which make it harder for them to learn or access education than most other children of the same age.’
There can be a significant overlap between the two groups and a child may fall within one or more of the definitions.
Special Education Needs Disabled
The Equality Act makes it illegal to discriminate against a person with a disability for a reason related to their disability. It is also illegal to have rules, policies or practices which apply to everyone but which may disadvantage people with disabilities. Our school is required to make reasonable adjustments to allow children with disabilities to fully take part in the activities. These requirements are derived from the Disability Discrimination Act-
Less favourable treatment– children with disabilities are entitled not to be treated less favourably than non-disabled children for a reason relating to their disability, without reasonable justification.
Reasonable adjustments– children with disabilities are entitled to have reasonable adjustments made with respect to admission arrangements or in provision of education and associated services, to prevent them being placed at a substantial disadvantage, unless the refusal to make those adjustments can be justified.
Current Profile of the School
At present (June 2017) we have 164 boys and 130 girls on roll. The majority of our pupils (64%) are Asian or Asian British Bangladeshi , 6% are White British,8% from other white backgrounds , with 22% of pupils from a diverse range of ethnic groups. We have 11.9% of children at SEN support and 3.8% of children have an education, health and care plan. Our staff reflect the diversity of the population of London. The school is aware of staff and governors who have a disability.
Legislation used as guidance when preparing this policy
- Public Sector Equality Duty 2011
- The Equality Act (2006) amended the requirements of the Equal Pay Act (1970) and the Sex Discrimination Act
- The Disability Discrimination Act (2005)
- The Race Relations Act (2000)
- The Human Rights Act (2000)
- The Children’s Act (2004)
- The European Directives
- The Employment Equality ( Sexual Orientation) Regulations (2003) and the Employment Equality (Religion or Belief) Regulations (2003)
- The respective Codes of Practice associated with the legislation
This policy reflects the consensus of opinion of the whole school community. It has been drawn up as a result of discussing within a working party make up of representatives of teaching and support staff, parents and governors.
Monitoring and review
Equality is identified as an area requiring careful and ongoing monitoring in the School Improvement Plan and due regard is given to the promotion of all aspects of equality within the SIP. The person on the staff responsible for co-ordinating the monitoring and evaluation is Karen Attard She will be responsible for:
- Leading discussions, arranging training, keeping staff updated in designated staff meetings which will include support to discuss qualities within the community
- Working closely with the governing body
- Supporting positively the evaluation activities that moderate the impact and success of the policy
We regularly review the impact of our policies on the needs, entitlements and outcomes for pupils, staff and parents from the equality strands referred to in this policy. We pay specific reference to the impact that our policies have on the attainment of pupils from different groups.
We make regular assessments of pupils’ learning and use this information to track pupils’ progress, as they move through the school. As part of this process, we regularly monitor the performance of individual pupils to ensure that everyone is making the best possible progress. We use this information to adjust future teaching and learning plans, as necessary. Interventions and resources are available to support groups or individual pupils where information suggests that progress is not as good as it should be. The governing body receives regular updates on pupil performance information.
School performance information is compared to national data and Local Authority data, to ensure that pupils are making appropriate progress when compared to all schools, and to schools in similar circumstances. Our small cohort numbers do make this data unreliable as our statistics can vary considerably year on year.
Promoting Equality through the Curriculum
Learning and Teaching
We aim to provide all our pupils with the opportunity to succeed, and to reach the highest level of personal achievement. To do this, teaching and learning will:
- Ensure quality of access for all pupils and prepare them for life in a diverse society;
- Use materials that reflect a range of cultural backgrounds, without stereotyping;
- Promote attitudes and values that will challenge discriminatory behaviour;
- Provide opportunities for pupils to appreciate their own culture and religions and celebrate the diversity of other cultures;
- Use a range of sensitive teaching strategies when teaching about different cultural and religious traditions;
- Develop pupils advocacy skills so that they can detect bias, challenge discrimination, leading to justice and equality;
- Ensure that the PSHE and Citizenship curriculum cover issues of equalities, diversity, religion, human rights and inclusion;
- All subjects, where appropriate, promote and celebrate the contribution of different ethnic groups to the subject matter;
- Seek to involve all parents in supporting their child’s education;
- Provide educational visits and extra-curricular activities that involve all pupil groupings;
- Take account of the performance of all pupils when planning for future learning and settling challenging targets;
- Make best use of all available resources to support the learning of all groups of pupils;
- Identify resources that support staff development.
There is a consistently high expectation of all pupils regardless of age, gender, ethnicity, ability or social background. All pupils are encouraged to improve on their own achievements and not to measure themselves against others. Parents are also encouraged to view their own children’s achievements in this light.
To secure the desired outcomes we recognise:
- Teacher enthusiasm is a vital factor in achieving a high level of motivation and good results from all pupils;
- Adults in the school will try to provide good, positive role models in their approach to all issues relating to equality of opportunity;
- The school places a very high priority on inclusion and the provision for special educational needs and disability. We aim to meet all pupils’ learning needs including the more able by carefully assessed and administered programmes of work (see Inclusion policy and Disability Equality Scheme);
- The school provides an environment in which all pupils have equal access to all facilities and resources;
- All pupils are to be encouraged to be actively involved in their own learning;
- A range of teaching methods are to be used throughout the school to ensure that
effective learning takes place at all stages for all pupils.
We aim to ensure that our:
- Planning reflects our commitment to equality in al subject areas and cross curricular themes promoting positive attitudes to equality and diversity;
- Pupils will have opportunities to explore concepts and issues relating to identity and equality
- All steps are taken to ensure that all pupils have access to mainstream curriculum by taking into account the cultural and lifestyle backgrounds of all pupils, their linguistic needs are taken into account and their learning styles are considered.
Ethos and Atmosphere
- We are aware that those involved in the leadership of the school community are instrumental in demonstrating mutual respect between all members of the school community;
- There should be an ‘openness’ of atmosphere which welcomes everyone to the school;
- The children are encouraged to greet visitors to the school with friendliness and respect;
- The displays around the school are of a high quality and reflect diversity across all aspects of equality of opportunity and are frequently monitored;
- Provision is made to cater for the spiritual needs of all the children through planning of assemblies, classroom based and externally based activities.
Resources and Materials
When ordering new resources and materials we consider how they show equality
The provision of good quality resources and materials within our school is a high priority. These resources should:
- Reflect “the reality of an ethnically, culturally and sexual diverse society;”
- Reflect a variety of viewpoints;
- Show positive images of males and females in society including people with disabilities;
- Reflect non-stereotypical images of all groups in a global context;
- Include materials to raise awareness of equal opportunity issues
- Be equally accessible to all members of school community consistent with health and safety
- Not include explicitly and implicitly racist, sexist, homophobic or ageist materials.
We recognise that it is important that at our school that all members of the school community use appropriate language which:
- Does not transmit or confirm stereotypes;
- Does not offend;
- Creates and enhances positive images of particular groups identified at the beginning of this document;
- Creates the conditions for all people to develop their self esteem;
- Uses correct terminology in referring to particular groups or individuals e.g. Inuit rather Eskimo, Native Americans rather than Red Indians.
- Uses first language effectively for learning
It is the policy of our school to provide equal access to all activities from an early age eg mixed teams wherever possible.
We undertake responsibility for making contributors to extra-curricular activities aware of the school’s commitment to equality of opportunity (e.g. sports helpers, coach drivers) by providing them with written guidelines drawn from this policy.
We try to ensure that all such non staff members who have contract with children adhere to these guidelines and are CRB or DBS checked.
Personal Development and Pastoral Guidance
- Pastoral staff takes account of disability needs, gender, religious and ethnic differences and the experience and needs of particular groups such as Gypsy Roma and Traveller, refugee and asylum seeker pupils;
- All pupils are encouraged to be aspirational and consider the full range of career opportunities available to them later in life with no discriminatory boundaries placed on them due to their disability, gender or race;
- All pupils/staff/parents/carers are given support as appropriate when they experience discrimination. We also recognise that the perpetrators of discrimination are themselves sometimes victims of their personal circumstances and therefore where appropriate remedial work is done to ensure that the actions do not occur again;
- Positive role models are used throughout the school to ensure that different groups of pupils can see themselves reflected in the school community;
- Emphasis is placed on the value that diversity brings to the school community rather than the challenges.
Staffing and Staff Development
We recognise the need for positive role models and distribution of responsibility among staff. This must include pupil’s access to a balance of male and female staff at both key stages.
We undertake to encourage the career development and aspirations of all individuals.
It is our policy to provide staff with training and development, which will increase awareness of the needs of different groups of pupils in the various dimensions of equality of opportunity.
Staff Recruitment and Professional Development
- All posts are advertised formally and open to the widest pool of applicants;
- All those involved in recruitment and selection are trained and aware of what they should do avoid discrimination and ensure equality good practice through the recruitment and selection process;
- Steps are taken to encourage people from under represented groups to apply for positions at all levels of the school ;
- Access to opportunities for professional development is monitored on equality grounds;
- Equalities policies and practices are covered in all staff inductions
- All supply staff are made aware of equalities policies and practices;
- Employment policy and procedures are reviewed regularly to check conformity with legislation and impact.
Harassment and Bullying
It is the duty of this school to challenge all types of discriminatory behaviour e.g.:
- Unwanted attentions (verbal or physical);
- Unwelcome or offensive remarks or suggestions about another person’s appearance, character, race, ability or disability, sexuality, gender (or transgender).
The school has a clear, agreed procedure for dealing with incidents such as these.
Partnerships with Parents/Carers and the Wider Community
We aim to work in partnership with parents to help all pupils to achieve their potential.
We wish to affirm our continuing commitment to each out to all diverse groups within our immediate community and beyond. We would do this by:
- All parents/carers being encouraged to participate at all levels in the full life of the school;
- Encouraging members of the local community to regularly join in school activities e.g. school fair, black history month celebrations, Eid celebrations, harvest festival etc;
- Exploring the possibility of the school having a role to play in supporting new and settled communities.
Responsibility for the Policy
In our school, all members of the school community have a responsibility towards supporting the equality agenda. Responsibilities are laid out as follows:
The Governing Body is responsible for ensuring that:
- The school complies with all equalities legislation relevant to the school community;
- The school’s Equality policy is maintained and updated regularly;
- That procedures and strategies related to the policy are implemented;
- The named Equality Governor will have an overview, on behalf of the governing body, on all racist incidents or incidents which are a breach of this policy and ensure that appropriate action is taken in relation to all said incidents
The Headteacher is responsible for:
- Along with the Governing body, providing leadership and vision in respect of equality;
- Overseeing the implementation of the Equality Poilcy;
- Co-ordinating the activities related to equality and evaluating impact;
- Ensuring that all who enter the school are aware of, and comply with, the Equality Policy;
- Ensuring that staff are aware of their responsibilities and are given relevant training and support;
- Taking appropriate action in response to racist incidents, discrimination against persons with a disability and sexual harassment and discrimination.
All staff are responsible for:
- Dealing with incidents of discrimination and knowing how to identify and challenge bias and stereotyping;
- Not discriminating on grounds of race, disability, or other equality issues;
- Keeping up to date with equalities legislation by attending training events organised by the school or Local Authority or recognised training provider.
We ensure that the commitments embodied in our mission statement for equality permeate the full range of our policies and practices:
- Equal opportunities;
- Pupils’ progress attainment and assessment;
- Behaviour discipline and exclusions;
- Pupils’ personal development and pastoral care;
- Teaching and learning;
- Admissions and attendance;
- The curriculum;
- All subjects;
- Teaching and learning;
- Staff recruitment and retention;
- Governor/staff training and professional development;
- Partnerships with parents/carers and communities;
- Visits and visitors.
The Measurement of Impact of the Policy
Each policy, and any other relevant policies as outlined in the specific duties placed upon us by the relevant legislation, will be evaluated and monitored for its impact on pupils, staff, parents and carers from the different groups that make up our school. As part of the action plan a timeline of high, medium and low priority will be published to enable impact assessment to be undertaken at the appropriate time within a given timescale for impact assessment will be drawn up.
A template providing a framework for conducting an assessment of impact is attached to the policy in Appendix 1
The guidance accompanying the framework is found in Appendix 2
Principles and criteria for equality impact assessments
The DCSF is adopting seven principles for the completion of EQUIAs, derived from duties set out in three different pieces of legislation and the duty on schools to promote community cohesion.
Principle 1: All learners are of equal value
All learners and potential learners are of equal value and should benefit from DCSF policies, practices and programmes:
- Whether or not they are disabled;
- Whatever their ethnicity, culture, religious affiliation and faith, national origin or national status;
- Whichever their gender
Principle 2: Relevant differences should be recognised
Treating people equally can mean treating them differently. Policies, practices and programmes must not discriminate, but may be differentiated to take account of differences of life-experience, outlook and background, and in the kinds of barrier and disadvantage which people face, in relation to:
- Disability, so that reasonable adjustments are made;
- Ethnicity, so that different cultural backgrounds and experiences of racism are recognised;
- Gender, so that the different needs and experiences of boys and girls, women and men are recognised.
Principle 3: Workforce development
Policies and programmes should benefit all members of the workforce, for example in recruitment and promotion, and in continuing professional development:
- Whether or not they are disabled;
- Whatever their ethnicity, culture, religious affiliation and faith, national origin or national status;
- Whichever their gender.
Principle 4: Positive attitudes and relationships should ber fostered
Policies and programmes should promote:
- Positive attitudes towards disabled people, and good relations between disable and non-disabled people;
- Positive interaction and good relations between groups and communities different from each other in terms of ethnicity, culture, religious affiliation and faith, and national origin or national status;
- Mutual respect and good relations between boys and girls, women and men.
Principle 5: Society as a whole should benefit
Policies and programmes should benefit society as a whole, both locally and nationally, by fostering greater cohesion, and greater participation in public life of:
- Disabled people
- People of a wide range of ethnic, cultural and religious backgrounds;
- Women as well as men.
Principle 6: Current inequalities and barriers should be addressed and reduced
In addition to avoiding or minimising possible negative impacts, policies and programmes should take opportunities to maximise positive impacts by addressing, reducing and removing inequalities and barriers that already exist between:
- Disabled and non-disabled people;
- People of different ethnic, cultural and religious backgrounds;
- Boys and girls, women and men.
Principle 7: Policy development should involve widespread consultation and involvement
People affected by a policy or programme should be consulted and involved in the design of new policies, and the review of existing ones. Such consultation should be both direct and through representative organisations, and should be based on principles of transparency and accountability. Further, it should involve those who in the past have been excluded or disadvantaged, and who continue to face barriers:
- Disabled people;
- People of minority ethnic, cultural and religious backgrounds;
- Women as well as men.
Characteristics of the school
(based on the 2016 school census data)
This is our school population. These are the groups of children we need to plan services for. As a school our main function is to provide good access to educational opportunities and help/support our pupils to make good progress and do well at school. We have to make sure we do not disadvantage anyone in our school. We use the following information to help us.
Hermitage is an average sized inner city primary school. The social deprivation factor is high(0.3, compared to 0.2nationally) as is the number of pupils who have free school meals (36%, compared to 24% nationally). There are more boys than girls in the school (40% girls, 60% boys).
The school has a high proportion of pupils from minority ethnic groups(77% compared to 21% nationally) In terms of ethnicity, the largest group is Bangladeshi (63.4%) next is white British (6.2%). The other children come from a wide range of backgrounds. The proportion of children whose first language is not English is high (80.6% compared to 19.5% nationally).
The proportion of pupils supported at school with a statement of special educational needs is higher than national average(3.8% compared to 1.4%).
Hermitage pupils achieve above national average when they leave the school at the end of year 6 in English and Maths.
Our children who receive free school meals make better progress than those nationally,both in English and Maths, as do our children with statements
OFSTED commented " There is no significant difference between the achievements of different groups...well targeted and effective Interventions and very good support... ensure that disabled pupils and those with special educational needs or those at the early stage of learning English, make at least satisfactory, and some good progress"
Our Equality objectives
In order to further support all pupils, raise standards, and ensure inclusive teaching we have set ourselves the following objectives:
to monitor and evaluate pupil achievement by race, gender, SEN, social deprivation and disability and to act on any trends or patterns in the data. We will provide specific interventions, equipment, learning spaces and specialist staff to ensure that all groups make good progress in their learning.
to ensure that children arriving in school with little or no English are fully supported to make rapid progress in English, to enable them to access the curriculum.
to foster good relations between members of the school community who share a relevant protected characteristic and those do not share it, ensuring that our school is a welcoming and comfortable place for all who come here.