Public Sector Equality Duty
Public bodies, including schools, have a duty, under the 2010 Equality Act, to ensure that they promote equality within their organisation and this statement sets out how we try to achieve this at Higher Openshaw Community School. We fundamentally believe that it is the right of every person to be treated with equal dignity and respect which is integral to our school ethos and underpins all that we do.
What is the Public Sector Equality Duty (the PSED)?
The Public Sector Equality Duty requires public bodies to promote equality. The relevant protected characteristics are-
- gender reassignment
- pregnancy and maternity
- religion or belief
- sexual orientation
Legislation and guidance
This document meets the requirements under the following legislation:
- The Equality Act 2010, which introduced the public sector equality duty and protects people from discrimination
- The Equality Act 2010 (Specific Duties) Regulations 2011, which require schools to publish information to demonstrate how they are complying with the public sector equality duty and to publish equality objectives
This document is also based on Department for Education (DfE) guidance: The Equality Act 2010 and schools.
THE EQUALITY ACT 2010
5.1 The general equality duty is contained in S149 of the Act and requires schools to have “due regard” to the need to:
eliminate unlawful discrimination, harassment and victimisation and any other conduct prohibited by the Act;
advance equality of opportunity between people who share a protected characteristic and those who do not, and foster good relations between people who share a protected characteristic and those who do not.
5.2 Guidance is attached at Appendix A which provides a brief overview of the provisions of the Act, information about the Protected Characteristics and information about the different types of discrimination and other forms of unlawful behaviour. It is provided as part of our commitment to eliminating all forms of conduct and behaviour deemed unlawful by the Act.
5.3 Information about how this school complies with its general duty and how we incorporate all three strands of the general duty into school life on a daily basis is detailed in Appendix B.
5.4 We will assess equality implications in relation to all new school policies, procedures and projects as part of our on-going duty to have due regard to our general duty. This will help to ensure the school is not unlawfully discriminating against certain individuals or groups with protected characteristics in line with our commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion and in line with the Key Principles in section 3.3 of this policy.
5.5 The Governing Body, the Headteacher and SLT (as appropriate) will keep written records of all relevant decisions and actions where equality issues have arisen. This will help us to show that equality implications have been considered and that the school’s equality duties have been actively considered before, and at the time decisions have been made.
6. EQUALITY OBJECTIVES
6.1 The school’s current equality objectives are set out in Appendix C. Our objectives are specific, measurable and achievable. They relate to people with protected characteristics and cross reference the three strands of the general duty. They represent our school’s priorities.
6.2 The school’s objectives are the outcome of a careful review and analysis of our school data and other information. We have chosen a combination of targets.
6.3 We have detailed the reasons why we have chosen each objective and the relevance to the school’s general equality duty. The overall aim is that the school achieves or makes significant progress towards each specific objective within a specified timeframe
6.4 The Headteacher will report to the Governing Body in relation to the progress we have made towards achieving our objectives. The Governing Body will ensure the school’s equality objectives are reviewed annually and that they are updated at least every four years.
The school’s current Equality Objectives are:-
1. To reduce the use of prejudice-related derogatory incidents and use of derogatory language specifically aimed at race, gender and homophobic terms
2. To improve the attendance and punctuality of White British who are pupil premium and the attendance rates of white other
3. To ensure all staff and governors are well informed of the Equality Duty Act and are able to deliver and challenge everyone’s right to equality
For 2022-23 our overriding aim is to address any inequalities that have become apparent for cohorts, groups or individuals as a result of the pandemic and periods of school closure or absence.
The Equality Act 2010 makes it explicit that we have a responsibility to have due regard to the need to:
- eliminate discrimination and other conduct that is prohibited by the Act
- advance equality of opportunity between people who share a protected characteristic and people who do not share it
- foster good relations across all characteristics – between people who share a protected characteristic and people who do not share it
A protected characteristic could be one of a multitude of factors that are shared by particular groups of people, but will include characteristics such as sex, age, race, disability, religion or belief, sexual orientation, gender reassignment, pregnancy or maternity. Central to a commitment to fulfil our responsibility is a recognition that all groups with protected characteristics fall within the human race as a whole and therefore have equal status and equal rights in light of this. As a result, we believe that success can be achieved by realising the uniqueness of individuals. As far as we possibly can, we ensure that we have a prejudice-free environment where no one will discriminate against, harass or victimise any member of our community or the wider human race for any reason linked to their individual characteristics, circumstances or beliefs.
Our governors, in their work to uphold their responsibility will:
- Ensure that equality information and objectives are explicit in our policies and procedures and that these are communicated clearly with all members of the school community and beyond
- Monitor, review and evaluate the effect and impact of these regularly and often (at a minimum, every four years)
- Seek ways to address physical or environmental barriers that get in the way of equality and inclusion
- Work closely with the Head Teacher, delegating responsibility to her for the day to day implementation of policies and procedures and for monitoring their effectiveness
Our head teacher will:
- Promote knowledge and understanding of equality amongst staff, pupils and parents
- Monitor the effectiveness of the curriculum in promoting equality and tackling inequality in order to encourage and develop learners who are understanding, accepting, tolerant, respectful and inclusive of others
- Ensure good support systems, including staffing, are in place for cohorts, groups or individuals in order to ensure that everyone has the potential to achieve highly
- Put in place and monitor support mechanisms to tackle inequalities that may impact on the education and life chances of our pupils for whole cohorts, groups and individuals
Our classroom staff will:
- Teach a balanced and fair curriculum that challenges knowledge and promotes understanding
- Support every individual to achieve highly and progress well from their individual starting points
- Promote a culture of mutual trust and support where everyone feels valued, comfortable and listened to in all aspects of school life, including when sharing concerns or worries, no matter how small
- Work effectively with a range of people who support our children eg. parents, medical colleagues and education support staff, to maximise potential and to overcome barriers to progress
Our whole staff group will:
- Promote equality and inclusivity
- Lead by example
Our pupils will:
- Be encouraged, taught and supported to understand one another and to accept respect and celebrate individual difference and under pin this with our school ethos and values.
- Be encouraged and supported to include everyone
- Be reminded of what to do if someone is unkind to another person in order to effectively support one another
Higher Openshaw Community School prides itself of being a school where inclusion and equal opportunity is important, indeed central to our work with every individual. Evidence of our impact can be seen in our monitoring and assessment outcomes, including statutory assessment outcomes at the end of Key Stages, Ofsted reports, local authority visits outcomes and pupil, staff and parent questionnaires.
Examples of our compliance with the Public Sector Equality Duty can be seen in, but are not limited to, the following examples:
- Policies that deal with equality issues eg. Accessibility Plan, Equality Policy; SEND policy, Behaviour and Discipline Policy, Teaching and Learning Policy, The Curriculum statement
- Promotion of understanding, respect, individual liberty and tolerance in assemblies, religious education lessons and through our curriculum
- Strong and consistent Code of Conduct for Behaviour
- Equal access to the curriculum including through the use of online teaching if needed
- Monitoring and evaluating the attainment and progress of cohorts, groups and individuals and support mechanisms and strategies to address underperformance or vulnerability
- Effective working with outside agencies such as counselling services, medical professionals and education support services
- Equal access to wider school activities such as clubs, visits and residential trips
- Charitable support and fundraising
LAST UPDATED: 1.9.22