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Equalities Statement and Objectives

Statement

Mersea Island School is committed to meeting its public sector duties and acknowledges that 
the staff and Governors have a statutory duty to promote equality. This involves tackling the barriers which could lead to unequal outcomes for identified groups of pupils in school, ensuring there is equality of access and celebrating and valuing the heritage and strengths within the school community.

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. At Mersea Island School, equality is a key principle for treating all people the same irrespective of their gender, ethnicity, disability, religious beliefs/faith tradition, sexual orientation, age or any other recognised area of discrimination.


Objectives

Promoting Equality: Curriculum


We aim to provide all our pupils with the opportunity to succeed, and to reach the highest level of personal achievement. To achieve this we will ensure:


  • Curriculum planning reflects a commitment to equality;

  • The curriculum prepares pupils for life in a diverse society and uses opportunities to reflect the background and experience of pupils and families in the school;

  • There will be opportunities in the curriculum to explore concepts and issues related to identity and equality;

  • The promotion of attitudes and values  that challenge discriminatory behaviour and language;

  • The use of non-stereotyped materials which reflect accurately a range of cultures, identities and lifestyles.



Promoting Equality: Achievement


There is a consistently high expectation of all pupils regardless of age, gender, ethnicity, ability, social background and sexual orientation. To secure the best possible outcomes we recognise that:


  • Adults in the school will be expected to provide good, positive role models in their approach to all issues relating to equality of opportunity;

  • It is important to identify the particular needs of individuals and groups within the school and to use targeted interventions to narrow gaps in achievement;

  • It is important to place a high priority on the provision for special educational needs and disability;

  • A range of teaching methods need to be used throughout the school to ensure that effective learning takes place at all stages for all pupils and that to promote pupil engagement pupils are encouraged to be actively involved in their own learning.



Promoting Equality: Ethos and Atmosphere


  • At Mersea Island School, 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;

  • We aim for a feeling of openness and tolerance 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 and are regularly monitored;

  • Reasonable adjustments will be made to ensure access for pupils and visitors (including parents) with disabilities;

  • Provision is made to cater for the cultural, moral and spiritual needs of all children through planning of both assemblies, classroom based and off site activities;

  • Pupils are given an effective voice, for example through the School Council and through pupil perception surveys which regularly seek their views;

  • Positive role models are used throughout the school to ensure that different groups of pupils can see themselves reflected in the school community.



Promoting Equality: 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 to avoid discrimination and ensure good equality 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 policy and practice is covered in all staff inductions;

  • All supply staff and contractors are made aware of equalities policy and practice;

  • Employment policy and procedures are reviewed regularly to check conformity with legislation and impact.



Promoting Equality: Countering and Challenging Harassment and Bullying


  • The school counters and challenges all types of discriminatory behaviour and this is made clear to staff, pupils, parents and governors;

  • The school has a clear, agreed procedure for dealing with prejudice related bullying incidents and has a nominated member of staff responsible for recording and monitoring incidents;

  • The school reports to Governors, parents and LA on an annual basis the number of prejudice related incidents recorded in the school.



Promoting Equality: Partnerships with Parents/Carers and the Wider Community


Mersea Island School aims to work in partnership with parents/carers. We:


  • Take action to ensure parents/carers from all backgrounds are encouraged to participate in the full life of the school;

  • Ensure that there are good channels of communication, e.g. parent forum, parents’ evenings to ensure parents views are captured and acted upon;

  • Encourage members of the local community to join in school activities and celebrations;

  • Ensure that the parents/carers of newly arrived pupils e.g. EAL, Traveller or pupils with disabilities are made to feel welcome.




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