The Equality Act 2010 replaced all previous equality legislation such as the Race Relations Act, Disability Discrimination Act and Sex Discrimination Act. It also provides some changes about which schools need to be aware.
The Equality Act 2010 provides a single, consolidated source of discrimination law, covering all the types of discrimination that are unlawful. It simplifies the law by removing anomalies and inconsistencies that had developed over time in the existing legislation, and it extends the protection from discrimination in certain areas.
In addition, the public sector equality duty 2011 outlines what the act means for the public sector including Academies and other educational establishments. The Public Sector Equality Duty 2011 outlines 3 main aims which the Maltby Learning Trust abides by:
- Eliminate unlawful discrimination, harassment and victimisation 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.
The Equality act (2010) and the Maltby Learning Trust abide by the following definitions in defining the scope of this policy.
At our academies, 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
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 Trust 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.
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.
The Maltby Learning Trust is committed to securing purposeful partnerships with parents, staff, governors, local community groups and broader business partners to deliver the very best for every child and young person. The MLT is entrusted to provide outstanding teaching and learning and personalised guidance and support so that all learners develop the personal qualities, resilience and competencies that make them employable and enables them to live healthy, successful and fulfilled lives. The common goal is high aspirations, challenge and support for all young people and adults who learn and work within the Maltby Learning Trust.
To achieve this ambition, the Trust is committed to the following values:
- Excellence as standard. Everyone strives to reach their potential and achieve the highest standards possible, enabling them to contribute effectively to society as responsible citizens who value learning and secure a positive progression route through relevant education or training to fulfil their career ambitions.
- Providing outstanding provision. Secure outstanding teaching and learning through a curriculum which meets every young persons’ individual learning and developmental needs.
- Developing a moral compass. Everyone appreciates a range of different viewpoints, values and cultures in order to give context for their own moral compass, developing in the process, respect for diversity and an understanding of their obligations and responsibilities to others. Everyone understands their own rights as individuals and have the strength to challenge extremist views and ideologies in all their forms.
- Securing high expectations and ambition. Ensure all are ambitious and focused on achieving the very best for themselves and others, and recognise that underperformance is challenged through support and personal development.
- Taking responsibility. Develop a culture in which all recognise that success depends upon personal responsibility as well as the support and challenge of others.
- At the heart of the community. Build strong, sustainable links with the local community including representative groups, other schools, the LA, health, voluntary sector, faith groups and employers to embed ambition, raise aspirations and enrich the learning experience on offer.
- Focus on success, for today and the future. Embed a culture of high aspirations so that all members are aware of, and seek, opportunities allowing them to develop the confidence, resilience, creativity and enquiring mind required to be successful now and in the future.
- Maintaining healthy lifestyles. Equip everyone with the knowledge and skills to maintain both physical and mental wellbeing for themselves and their families.
Leadership, Management and Governance
The Maltby Learning Trust is committed to:
- Being proactive in promoting good relationships and equality of opportunity across all aspects of school life and the wider community;
- Encouraging, supporting and enabling all students and staff to reach their potential and make a positive contribution;
- Working in partnership with Trust Academies, families, the local authority (LA) and the wider community to establish, promote and disseminate inclusive practice and tackle discrimination ensuring that our Equality and Diversity Policy is followed.
Promotion of Equality and Diversity
We believe that it is our responsibility to promote equality and diversity wider than the eight characteristics (areas) covered by legislation. We work to remove barriers and we will not unfairly discriminate on any grounds.
We do this by:
- Making appropriate changes to teaching resources to meet all needs.
- Accessing Local Authority Services e.g. Early Help, Learning Support and liaising with any other relevant external agencies whether LA or third sector.
- Supporting children’s emotional needs through a range of therapeutic programmes.
- Providing a curriculum, which promotes positive understanding of different characteristics, recognises the contribution that individuals and groups with protected characteristics make to society, and challenges stereotyping and discrimination.
- Monitoring and reviewing of this policy will take place annually and will be made accessible through the individual school websites or will be made available in an alternative format as requested.
The policy applies to:
- School Governors
- Visitors to the school
- Multi-agency Professionals
Roles and Responsibilities
The MLT Trust Board
It is the Trust Board’s responsibility to ensure that Trust academies carry out the range and scope of duties under the act outlined below.
The Local Governing Body
It is the Local Governing Body’s responsibility to:
- Ensure that the Academy complies fully with equality legislation;
- Meet requirements to publish equality schemes;
- Ensure that the academy’s policy and its procedures and strategies are carried out and monitored with appropriate impact assessments informing future plans;
- Scrutinise the recording and reporting procedures at least annually;
- Follow a fair and equitable admissions policy which does not discriminate by any of the nine protected areas;
- Monitor attendance and take appropriate action where necessary;
- Have equal opportunities in staff recruitment and professional development and membership of the Local Governing Body/Trust Board;
- Provide information in appropriate, accessible formats;
- Be involved in dealing with serious breaches of the policy;
- Be pro-active in recruiting high-quality applicants from under-represented groups.
It is the Principal’s responsibility to:
- Implement the policy and its strategies and procedures;
- Ensure that all staff receive appropriate and relevant continuous professional development;
- Actively challenge and take appropriate action in any cases of discriminatory practice;
- Deal with any reported incidents of harassment or bullying in line with LA guidance;
- Ensure that all visitors and contractors are aware of, and comply with, the school’s equality and diversity policy;
- Produce a report on progress for governors annually.
It is the responsibility of all staff to:
- Be vigilant in all areas of the academy for any type of harassment and bullying;
- Deal effectively with all incidents from overt name-calling to the more subtle forms of victimisation caused by perceived differences;
- Identify and challenge bias and stereotyping within the curriculum and in the school’s culture;
- Promote equality and good relations and not discriminate on grounds of race, gender, religion, sex, age and sexual orientation;
- Promote an inclusive curriculum and whole school ethos which reflects our diverse society;
- Keep up to date with equality legislation, development and issues by attending relevant training and accessing information from appropriate sources.
We are committed to supporting community cohesion by:
- Developing a common vision and sense of belonging
- Developing an appreciation of the diversity of people’s backgrounds and circumstances
- Creating opportunities for all learners to achieve their potential
- Building strong and positive relationships
- Through pastoral systems, enable pupils to foster and develop self-control and a sense of responsibility
- Engaging parents through a range of activities, consultation evenings and focus groups.
- Ensuring learners have a strong voice and opportunities to take responsibility through our Student Council
- Providing mental health support to enable pupils to both discuss their concerns and address emerging senses of identity
Links with extended services and the wider community
We promote equality through our links with expended services and the wider community by:
- Fostering and promoting good links with other schools, locally and regionally.
- Through all staff displaying high levels of equality of behaviour and professional practice – demonstrating this to other professionals as well as members of the school community
- Having dedicated attendance officers who work with the EWO service, to improve children’s attendance and improve equality of access to education
- Linking with external agencies including social services, the EWO service, the health service and police in order to promote equality and respect.
- Fostering multi- agency working with voluntary agencies and private sector and building networks and partnerships between services to encourage joint thinking and sharing of skills.
- Delivering outreach work via family support team including preventative work and crisis intervention, satellite groups, home visits and needs-led support.
- Providing relevant signposting to other agencies in the community.
- Raising awareness in the community about the range of services on offer at the centre and locally.
Breaches of the Policy
All breaches of the policy will be rigorously followed up using the appropriate procedures and reported to the Principal, Executive Principal (Primary) and Chief Executive as necessary.
Policy Planning and Review
All areas of school practice will be developed taking into account principles of equality.
Policy Planning and Development
In the planning and development stage of policy-making, we will ensure we have consulted and taken into account stakeholder views.
All improvement plans will (where appropriate) be designed with an element of impact assessment built in to monitor the success of each activity in tackling inequalities, whether this be inequalities of access, attainment or any other form of inequality.
When policies are reviewed, there will be a systematic analysis of the impact of all policies and procedures on equality and diversity to address any areas of inequality.
Target-setting processes will ensure appropriate, challenging targets are set in relation to identifiable groups as well as individual students / cohorts.
Monitoring and Quality Assurance
The Trust will ensure that records of behaviour, attainment, progress, attendance and any other relevant data are analysed to identify any variation in performance across a range of factors. These will be at least (but not exclusively) the following:
- Ability or additional needs
- Looked-after status
- Social disadvantage
Students’ progress through the Trust academies is monitored and tracked. The resulting data will be analysed to rule out any potential disadvantage. In addition, regular and focused quality assurance procedures ensure the Trust meets its duty to positively promote diversity. (e.g. lesson observations record evidence of differentiation and texts are reviewed to ensure appropriateness and inclusivity.)
The data collected is used to inform further school planning, target-setting and decision-making.
Bullying and Diversity incidents
The Maltby Learning Trust believes all pupils should be safe and feel valued for themselves, whatever characteristics they may have. Bullying and harassment of pupils, staff, parents, visitors by pupils on the basis of their identity (including a perceived characteristic, and by association with a protected characteristic) is unacceptable. Incidents will be logged, investigated and appropriate actions taken to prevent future incidents and to support the victim as outlined in the Trust’s Anti-Bullying Policy. Any Racial incident will be reported to the local authority using official reporting channels
Staff, Governors and Visitors
The Maltby Learning Trust views any form of discrimination undertaken by adults as serious acts of misconduct. Any such breaches could result in disciplinary action being taken and in the case of harassment, might call for further agency involvement up to and including police involvement.
The Maltby Learning Trust takes all complaints seriously; where a complaint is related to equality/diversity issues, the Trust procedure for dealing with complaints will apply. This procedure will be made accessible through each academy website or will be made available in an alternative format as requested. Complaints should be made to the Principal in the first instance.