The Public Sector Equality Duty – What this means for schools The Equality Act (2010) introduced the Public Sector equality Duty (PSED) which imposes certain duties on public sector organisation including schools. The protected characteristics that must be covered by schools are: Disability Pregnancy and maternity Ethnicity Religion and Belief Gender Sexual Orientation Gender reassignment (Age and marital and civil partnership status are also protected characteristics but not in relation to pupils) The Public Sector Equality Duty comprises a general duty and specific duties. These are outlined below. General duty The general duty requires all schools to consider how their policies and practices impact on pupils and staff and show how they are meeting the aims of the Equality Act by giving ‘Due Regards’ to the need to - Eliminate discrimination, harassment and victimisation - Advance equality of opportunity - Foster good relations Specific duties There are two specific duties that schools must comply with 1.To publish information to demonstrate how they are complying with the Public Sector Equality Duty, and 2.To prepare and publish equality objectives Schools should also have an Access plan Schools were required to publish their initial information and first set of objectives by 6 April 2012.
The Governing body or Academy Trust are responsible for the compliance with the PSED duties of the Equality Act and the specific duties for school pupils The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) can enforce this duty by issuing a compliance notice to order a school to meet the duty within a certain timescale. The LA is responsible for the compliance in the case of PRUs
Are your SLT and Governors aware of the Equality Act? Do members of school staff and Governors need training? Is there a lead member of school staff and a Governor who lead on E&D? Are you clear of the schools Equality Objectives? How are these monitored? Are they published? Is the school equalities information published on the schools website?
Use the Equality Act as a supportive framework Refocus the schools strategic Plan and self evaluation process through an equalities lens Inspire the whole staff team to demonstrate commitment to their equalities duty
Introduction Purpose of the Policy Curriculum, Teaching and Assessment Admissions, behaviour and exclusions Equal Opportunities for Staff Equality and the law Race Equality Disability Gender Equality Sexual Orientation Community cohesion Consultation and involvement Roles and Responsibilities The role of governors The role of the Headteacher The role of all staff: teaching and non-teaching The role of the children in the school The role of the visitors to the school Tackling discrimination What is a discriminatory incident? Types of discriminatory incident Responding to and reporting incidents Public Sector Equality Duty Eliminate unlawful discrimination, harassment and victimisation Advance equality of opportunity between different groups Foster good relations between different groups Equality Objectives 2014-2015 Review of progress and impact Publishing the Policy School Equalities Action Plan An example of an Equality Policy from A Bristol Primary
Equality Objective: To reduce the high number of BME pupils excluded from the schools How Consult with the school community that this impacts on making sure to involve parents/carers of BME pupils. Utilise specialist services available for the consultation. Review related polices and procedures. Outcome To reduce the number of exclusions for BME pupils. To inform the whole school community on the outcome of the findings and update the behavioural policies and procedures to reflect any changes. The outcomes will be published at the end of the academic year
Equality Objective Raise awareness of LGBT, reduce the use of the word ‘Gay’ and increase the number of reported Homophobic Incidents Why Evidence of little or no understanding of the meaning of the word ‘gay’ and how this related to same sex couples. No homophobic incidents reported. How Consult with the whole school community, make sure parents/carers are ensure any LGBT parents/carers are included and use any specialist support available. Introduce resources that show different family make ups, use this as part of the current curriculum to introduce the concept that all families are different. Plan events with LGBT history month.
Questions? Is information on pupils collected by protected characteristics? Is information on protected groups analysed by admissions, attainment, Achievement, G&T, Exclusions, Rewards and sanctions, participation in extra curricular activities, pupil voice representation, satisfaction surveys with pupils/staff/parents, parental involvement staff profile, governor profile Are protected characteristics portrayed positively in resources and the learning environment? Is the curriculum reviewed for its accessibility to all protected characteristics Does the school record and report incidents of harassment? Does the school have a clear policy and procedures? Does the school take part in annual events as Black History Month, LGBT History Month, deaf awareness week? Is there a system in place to ensure that all new and reviewed policies are routinely checked to ensure that they do not have the potential to disadvantage any pupil?
Professional Development Courses School/setting visits for advice and support Support for compliance and policy development. Developing sharing of good practice
Support and advice on: Interpretation and analysis of data Progressing pupil tracking of progress and developing these whilst monitoring interventions Developing needs analysis of individuals and vulnerable groups Developing policy and procedures for reporting and recording prejudice based incidents Developing the schools confidence in tackling community cohesion issues Developing and promoting cohesion Developing policies with Equality Impact Assessments Supporting the school in identifying equality objectives and priorities
MAKING A DIFFERENCE Ethnicity and Achievement in Bristol Schools Thursday 9 th October 2014 Mansion House, Clifton Down, BS8 3LJ 8.30 am registration with breakfast 9.00 am start – 11.00 close Speakers will include Lord Mayor Alastair Watson, Paul Jacobs – Bristol City Council, Professor Leon Tikley This event will launch a resource that considers the achievement of BME learners in Bristol schools. Celebrating and promoting the diversity and effective practice to strengthen engagement and confidence in raising the attainment of BME pupils through shared aspirations and stimulating dialogue between schools, local partners and the wider community. To book your place contact TWS on 0117 9222444 or email us at Tradingwithschools@bristol.gov.uk.Tradingwithschools@bristol.gov.uk