Single Equality Policy
This Equality Policy for Tolworth Girls School brings together all previous policies, schemes and action plans around equality including those that we had previously for Race, Gender and Disability.
It includes all the protected characteristics covered under the Equality Act 2010 as well as other aspects which have the potential to discriminate against or to devalue any individuals within our community.
This policy is a whole school policy which is closely linked with a number of other whole school policies, including Behaviour Policy, Accessibility Policy, Inclusion Policy (including SEN) and Anti bullying policy.
Principles/ Vision statement
The Governors have expressed the values they wish to promote in Tolworth Girls' School and Sixth Form. These are published and further expanded upon in the school prospectus, the Home–School agreement and the Community Code of Conduct.
Our approach and commitment to Equal Opportunities must ensure that everyone in our school community feels respected and valued as an individual – with due regard to his or her gender, age, ethnic origin, social group or class, ability or disability, religion, creed or sexuality. We seek to embed equality of access, opportunity and outcome for all members of our school community, within all aspects of school life.
We should at all times be accepting of differences, and seek to develop knowledge, understanding and empathy.
The purpose of this Policy is to outline how our practice and policies have due regard to the need to:
- eliminate discrimination, harassment and victimisation;
- remove/minimise disadvantages
- advance equality of opportunity and
- foster good relations between groups.
It explains how we aim to listen to and involve students, staff, parents and the community in achieving better outcomes for our children and young people.
Tolworth Girls School is a 8 form entry non selective urban school Academy with a mixed 6th form. We have over 1300 students on the register, including approximately 50 male students in our 6th form.
We are a diverse school with over 56 different languages spoken as a first language with approximately 30% of students with English as an additional language. We have 127 students who are eligible for FSM (9) and 5% of our students are identified as Gifted and Talented.14% of our students have identified SEN needs with 0.9% having a statement.
Tolworth Girls' School is committed to, and actively promotes, equal opportunities for all its pupils and staff.
This school is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and young people and expects all staff and volunteers to share this commitment.
All members of the Tolworth Girls' School and Sixth From community have a duty and responsibility to implement the Code of Practice.
Every opportunity must be taken to develop an awareness of and sensitivity to differences in social custom, behaviour and religious beliefs. This should include helping students to develop a capacity to understand and accept the unfamiliar.
Whilst the Senior Leadership Team (SLT) and the Leadership Team (HOF) will monitor equality of opportunity within the school, other key members of staff have a duty to ensure that there is equal access to the school's curriculum and other planned activities. Our recruitment policy and procedures will reflect our commitment to Equal Opportunities.
The school must comply with any reasonable recommendations and modifications as advised by external agencies working on behalf of students and adults in the school community. In addition the school must comply with the statutory regulations governing terms and conditions and access for those deemed to be different or vulnerable.
How we developed our Policy - Using information
We know our school well because we regularly collect information about ourselves in a variety of ways and other people help us to do this. We collect and analyse a range of data that helps inform us, determine equality objectives and evaluate our policy including;
• attainment and progress,
• incident records,
We analyse this information in relation to protected characteristics to provide us with a picture of engagement and attainment across the school.
We also value more qualitative information which may be given to us through pupil/learner voice, less formally or even anonymously. Throughout the year we also undertake a survey where by our parents/carers are able to voice their views and inform our whole school practice.
The Local Authority provides us with a range of services which support the equality agenda and helps us to identify our strengths and those areas requiring action. We access support, as appropriate from local authority staff such as EMA consultant, Education Welfare Service and Behaviour Consultant. We have positive working partnerships with a range of local services, including FASS, FACT and Local Neighbourhood Police Teams.
We have established good links with our local and our wider community. We welcome them into our school in a variety of ways, including supporting lesson and schemes of work to making use of our site facilities. Such local partners include local primary schools, local Sikh and Hindu communities and community education providers.
The roles and responsibilities within our school community
Our Head teacher will:
• ensure that staff, parents/carers, students are engaged in the development and informed of the Equality Policy
• oversee the effective implementation of the policy
• make sure all staff know their responsibilities and receive training and support to implement these
• take appropriate action in cases of harassment and discrimination
• monitor the policy and report to the Governing Body at least annually on the effectiveness of the policy and publish this information
• ensure that the Senior Leadership team is kept up to date with any development affecting the policy or actions arising from it
Our Governing Body will:
• designate a governor with specific responsibility for the Equality Policy
• ensure that the objectives arising from the policy are part of the School Improvement Plan (SIP)
• support the head teacher in implementing any actions necessary
• monitor progress towards achieving equality objectives.
• publish data and publish equality objectives
• evaluate and review the policy annually and the objectives every 4 years
Our Senior Leadership Team will:
• have responsibility for supporting other staff in implementing this Policy
• provide a lead in the dissemination of information relating to the Policy
• with the Head teacher, provide advice/support in dealing with any incidents/issues
• assist in implementing reviews of this policy as detailed in the SIP
Our students will:
• be involved in the development of the Policy and will understand how it relates to them, appropriate to age and ability
• be expected to act in accordance with the Policy
• be encouraged to actively support the Policy
Our parents/carers will:
• be given accessible opportunities to become involved in the development of the Policy
• have access to the Policy through a range of different media appropriate to their requirements
• be encouraged to actively support the Policy
• be encouraged to attend any relevant meetings and activities related to the Policy
• be informed of any incident related to this Policy which could directly affect their child
Our school staff will:
• be fully aware of the Equality Policy and how it relates to them
• encourage students of all abilities and ethnic groups to take part in the full range of school activities
• monitor the take up of these activities by different groups of students and individuals
• actively promote and celebrate the achievements of all students across the spectrum of ability
• value the unique contribution made by those who can speak languages other than English
• use collaborative and cooperative approaches to learning, ensuring that students' religious, cultural and linguistic experiences are reflected and built upon positively in the classroom
• ensure at all times that students are paired or grouped in ways which encourage students to feel included and engaged
• use spoken and written language thoughtfully, in order not to cause possible offence. Be sensitive in the use of jocular comment to avoid causing unintentional offence
• ensure that students agree protocols in discussion of sensitive topics, alerting them to the need to listen respectfully and to avoid using provocative language
• ensure that all visiting speakers are made aware of the school's Equal Opportunities Policy
• address groups or assemblies appropriately
• ensure that students with limited mobility are accommodated in all activities through prior arrangement with their carer and/or teaching assistant
• have high expectations and set challenging targets for all students, making known to them our confidence in their ability to achieve, ensuring that each student's individual learning and social needs are met
Responding to hate or prejudice-based incidents and bullying
Through our school ethos and curriculum, we want our students to understand better the diversity that exists in society. We encourage this through our interactions with students, extra curricular activities, and directly through the curriculum, such as SPACE, Tutorial programme and Religious Education lessons.
We recognise that hate incidents or prejudice-based bullying behaviour is driven by negative assumptions, stereotypes or misinformation. These are then directed against an individual or group, based on difference (real or perceived), and linked to, for example, racism, homophobia, negative views of disabled people or sexism. We will take action to prevent, challenge and eliminate any such behaviour.
We want to provide opportunities for students to explore the subtleties and complexities in order to prevent and respond to incidents and situations. We will address the experience, understanding and needs of the victim, the perpetrator, bystanders and the wider school community through our actions and responses.
We will record all hate incidents and prejudice-based bullying. We use this information to identify trends and patterns so that we have approaches in place to provide appropriate responses to respond to such incidents.
Greater detail regarding our policy and practice can be found in our Anti bullying policy.
Using the views of students, parents, staff and community and analysis of the information as outlined above we have set ourselves specific and measurable objectives that will help us achieve the aims of the general equality duty. These will be reviewed every 4 years.
Advance equality of opportunity
Improve the attainment of students
Students whose additional educational require support from outside agencies
Collate, monitor and analyse data relating to the attainment by target group.
Work with faculties to identify and implement strategies to improve attainment of target group
Advance equality of opportunity
Health & well
To increase the confidence of some female students in accessing sexual health services
Reported increase in female students accessing local sexual health services
Establish and run small group sessions for targeted students
Dates set for group
Advance equality of opportunity
To promote opportunities for students to learn more about careers that challenge gender stereotyping
Increase interest and positive changes around work experience
Provide activities that allow students to explore gender stereotyping in careers
Jan 2013 – July 2014
Implementation, monitoring and reviewing
This policy was published on. It will be actively promoted and disseminated through the school website, staff intranet and staff meetings.
Implementation, monitoring and review are the responsibility of our Senior Leadership Team and our governors who have agreed and published this policy which sets out our priorities and supports these with specific and measurable objectives.
We will report annually to the governing body on the policy and analyse whether our policy and related objectives have furthered the aims of the general equality duty and in particular educational outcomes for all within our school community with reference to the protected groups.
The Equal Opportunities Policy will be subject to regular review and its effectiveness monitored as part of the work of the Leadership Team.
Next review date: April 2013