“Where respect is the foundation of all relationships. Everyone is treated fairly, equally and justly.” (Extract from The St Cecilia’s RC High School Mission Statement).
Statement of Principles
The policy outlines the commitment of the staff, pupils and governors of St Cecilia’s RC High school to ensure that equality of opportunity is available to all members of the school community. For our school this means not simply treating everybody the same but understanding and tackling the different barriers which could lead to unequal outcomes for different groups of pupils in school, whilst celebrating and valuing the achievements and strengths of all members of the school community. These include:
- The governing body
- Multi-agency staff linked to the school
- Visitors to school
- Students on placement
We believe that equality at our school 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 St Cecilia’s RC High school, equality is a key principle for treating all people fairly and creating a society in which everyone has the opportunity to fulfil their potential – irrespective of their gender, ethnicity, disability, religion or belief, sexual orientation, age or any other recognised area of discrimination.
The School’s Mission Statement clearly says:
“Where respect is the foundation of all relationships. Everyone is treated fairly, equally and justly. Where everyone is shown forgiveness by God and each other, with the chance to start again whenever they go wrong.”
The Ofsted inspection in September 2011 found that:
`St Cecilia’s is a school with a caring Catholic ethos which works hard to nurture individual children. The school aims to offer a ‘family’ atmosphere and prides itself in knowing students as individuals’.
School in Context
St Cecilia’s is a smaller than average secondary school. There are 454 pupils on roll. The majority of pupils come from a white British background. The vast majority of pupils are from the local Catholic community, with a small number from other Christian backgrounds
There are a small number from a Polish heritage background who have joined the school in the last few years. They form the majority of the small number who speak English as a second language.
The school has from time to time had pupils from an Afro-Caribbean or African heritage background. Along with those of mixed racial heritage.
The staff are from a white British background in the main, with two members of staff from a white Irish background. One member of staff is from a Portuguese/ American background and one from a Polish cultural background
The Governing Body is similarly comprised of White British/ Irish with one Governor from a Jewish cultural background.
In the recent past the school has had a small number of pupils who were from a Pakistani heritage background and were adherents of the Islamic faith. There are currently a tiny number of pupils who follow faiths other than Christianity.
The school is in a semi-rural location and attracts pupils from both the local town of Longridge along with pupils from very rural communities. About one third of the school community comes from the City of Preston, in particular the Ribbleton ward, an area of social deprivation.
The school has one pupil who is physically disabled. The school is accessible by wheelchair with a chair lift in the main reception area. There are separate disabled toilets on the ground and first floors.
There is one member of staff who is registered as disabled.
There a four Children Looked after on the school roll 2011-12.
Ethos and Atmosphere
At St Cecilia’s RC High school, the leadership of the school community will demonstrate mutual respect between all members of the school community there is an openness of atmosphere which welcomes everyone to the school.
- All within the school community will challenge any type of discriminatory and/or bullying behaviour, eg through unwanted attentions (verbal or physical) and unwelcome or offensive remarks or suggestions.
- All pupils 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 of opportunity and are frequently monitored.
- Provision is made to cater for the spiritual needs of all the children through planning of assemblies, classroom based and externally based activities.
This policy applies to the whole school community. It has been drawn up as a result of the outcomes of a transparent process and through consultation with:
- The School Council
- The Pastoral Leadership Team
- The Curriculum Leadership Team
- Senior leadership Team
- The Governing Body
- The Local Education Authority
Monitoring and Review
St Cecilia’s RC High is an inclusive school, working towards greater equality in the whole school community. We use the curriculum and teaching to enhance the self-esteem of all those it serves and to provide a learning environment in which each individual is encouraged to fulfil his or her potential.
We collect and analyse a range of equality information for our pupils/students:
- Number of pupils eligible for Free School Meals (FSM)
- Gifted and Talented Pupils
- Pupils who are Children Looked After
- Pupils from minority ethnic backgrounds
- Children for whom English is an additional language
- The number of disabled pupils
- The number of pupils with statements of Special Education Need (SEN)
- The number of SEN pupils without formal statements
- The attendance of our pupils
- The attainment and progress of our pupils
- The number of pupils excluded from our school
- The number of pupils isolated from lessons
- The number of detentions or other sanction applied to each pupil.
- The subject options that pupil select in Year 9
- Pupils engaged on the One to One project for Maths and English
- The number of boys and the number of girls in our school
We make regular assessments of pupils’ learning and use this information to track pupils’ progress, as they move through the school. As part of this process, we regularly monitor the performance of different groups, to ensure that all groups of pupils are making the best possible progress. We use this information to adjust future teaching and learning plans, as necessary.
Resources are available to support groups of pupils where the information suggests that progress is not as good as it should be. The governing body receives regular updates on pupil performance information.
School performance information is compared to national data and local authority data, to ensure that pupils are making appropriate progress when compared to all schools, and to schools in similar circumstances.
As well as monitoring pupil performance information, we also regularly monitor a range of other information. This relates to:
- Exclusions and truancy
- Racism, disabilism, sexism, homophobia and all forms of bullying
- Parental involvement
- Participation in Extended Learning Opportunities
Our monitoring activities enable us to identify any differences in pupil performance and provide specific support as required, including pastoral support. This allows us to take appropriate action to meet the needs of specific groups in order to make necessary improvements.
St Cecilia’s RC High School is also committed to providing a working environment free from discrimination, bullying, harassment and victimisation. We aim to recruit an appropriately qualified workforce and establish a governing body that is representative of all sections of the community in order to respect and respond to the diverse needs of our population.
We collect and analyse a range of profile information for our staff and governors:
- Continuing Professional Development opportunities
- Performance Management Information
- Lesson observations
- Medical Information
- Personal details held in personnel files
- Recent applicant details (up to 6 months)
- Single central records (CRB)
- Copies of professional qualifications
We have identified the following issues from the analysis of the data:
- Staff data not separated into ethnicity, disability or gender
- No governor information is collected
Due regard is given to the promotion of equality in the School Improvement Plan. The person responsible for the monitoring and evaluation of the policy and action plan is Mr G Caulfield, Assistant Headteacher
Their role is to:
- Lead discussions, organise training, update staff in staff meetings, support discussions
- Work with the governing body on matters relating to equality
- Support evaluation activities that moderate the impact and success of this policy
Developing Best Practice
We aim to provide all our pupils with the opportunity to succeed, and to reach the highest level of personal achievement. To do this, teaching and learning will:
- Provide equality of access for all pupils and prepare them for life in a diverse society
- Use materials that reflect a range of cultural backgrounds, without stereotyping
- Use materials to promote a positive image of and attitude towards disability and disabled people
- Promote attitudes and values that will challenge discriminatory behaviour
- Provide opportunities for pupils to appreciate their own culture and Faith and celebrate the diversity of other cultures
- Use a range of sensitive teaching strategies when teaching about different cultural and religious traditions
- Develop pupils advocacy skills so that they can detect bias, challenge discrimination, leading to justice and equality
- Ensure that the whole curriculum covers issues of equality and diversity;
- All subject leaders’ departments, where appropriate, promote and celebrate the contribution of different cultures to the subject matter
- Seek to involve all parents in supporting their child’s education
- Provide educational visits and extended learning opportunities that involve all pupil groups
- Take account of the performance of all pupils when planning for future learning and setting challenging targets
- Make best use of all available resources to support the learning of all groups of pupils
- Identify resources and training that support staff development
There is a consistently high expectation of all pupils regardless of their gender, ethnicity, disability, religion or belief, sexual orientation, age or any other recognised area of discrimination. All pupils are encouraged to improve on their own achievements and not to measure themselves against others. Parents are also encouraged to view their own children’s achievements in this light.
- Teacher enthusiasm is a vital factor in achieving a high level of motivation and good results from all pupils
- Adults in the school will provide good, positive role models in their approach to all issues relating to equality of opportunity
- The school should place a very high priority on the provision for special educational needs and disability. We will meet all pupils’ learning needs including the more able by carefully assessed and administered programmes of work
- The school must provide an environment in which all pupils have equal access to all facilities and resources
- All pupils are encouraged to be actively involved in their own learning
- A range of teaching methods are to be used throughout the school to ensure that effective learning takes place at all stages for all pupils
- Consideration will be given to the physical learning environment – both internal and external, including displays and signage
At St Cecilia’s RC High School, we aim to ensure that:
- Planning reflects our commitment to equality in all subject areas and cross curricular themes promoting positive attitudes to equality and diversity
- Pupils will have opportunities to explore concepts and issues relating to identity and equality
- Steps are taken to ensure that all pupils have access to the mainstream curriculum by taking into account their cultural, backgrounds, linguistic needs and learning styles
- All pupils have access to qualifications which recognise attainment and achievement and promote progression
Resources and Materials
The provision of good quality resources and materials within St Cecilia’s RC High school is a high priority. These resources should:
- Reflect the reality of an ethnically, culturally and sexually diverse society
- Reflect a variety of viewpoints
- Show positive images of males and females in society
- Include non-stereotypical images of all groups in a global context
- Be accessible to all members of the school community
We recognise that it is important at St Cecilia’s RC High School that all members of the school community use appropriate language which: .
- Does not transmit or confirm stereotypes
- Does not offend
- Creates and enhances positive images of particular groups identified at the beginning of this document
- Creates the conditions for all people to develop their self esteem
- Uses accurate language in referring to particular groups or individuals and challenges in instances where this is not the case.
Extended Learning Opportunities
It is the policy of this school to provide equal access to all activities from an early age.
We undertake responsibility for making contributions to extended learning opportunities and are aware of the school’s commitment to equality of opportunity (e.g. sports helpers, coach drivers) by providing them with written guidelines drawn from this policy.
We try to ensure that all such non staff members who have contact with children adhere to these guidelines.
Provision for Bi-lingual Pupils
We undertake at St Cecilia’s RC High School to make appropriate provision for all EAL/bi-lingual children/groups to ensure access to the whole curriculum. These groups may include:
- Pupils for whom English is an additional language
- Pupils who are new to the United Kingdom
- Gypsy, Roma and Traveller Children
- Advanced bi-lingual learners
- Use first language effectively for learning
- Staff take account of gender, ethnicity, disability, religion or belief, sexual orientation, orientation, age or any other recognised area of discrimination and the experience and needs of particular groups such as Gypsy, Roma and Traveller, refugee and asylum seeker pupils
- All pupils are encouraged to consider the full range of career opportunities available to them with no discriminatory boundaries placed on them due to their disability, gender, race or sexual orientation (whilst acknowledging that a disability may impose some practical boundaries to some career aspirations)
- All pupils/staff/parents/carers are given support, as appropriate, when they experience discrimination
- We recognise that perpetrators may also be victims and require support.
- Positive role models are used throughout the school to ensure that different groups of pupils can see themselves reflected in the school community
- Emphasis is placed on the value that diversity brings to the school community rather than the challenges.
Personal Development and Pastoral Guidance
Staffing and Staff Development
We recognise the need for positive role models and distribution of responsibility among staff.
- This must include pupils’ access to a balance of male and female staff at all key stages where possible
- We encourage the career development and aspirations of all school staff
- It is our policy to provide staff with training and development, which will increase awareness of the needs of different groups of pupils
- Access to opportunities for professional development is monitored on equality grounds
- All those involved in recruitment and selection are trained and aware of what they should do to avoid discrimination and ensure equality good practice through the recruitment and selection process
- Equalities policies and practices are covered in all staff inductions
- All temporary staff are made aware of policies and practices
- Employment policy and procedures are reviewed regularly to check conformity with legislation and impact
Under the Equality Act 2010, in very limited circumstances, an employer can claim that a certain religious denomination or belief is considered to be a genuine occupational requirement of that role. An aided school may be able to rely on this for some roles in school, particularly those roles that provide spiritual leadership. However this would not apply for all staff in School.
In addition, there are also instances in which a job will qualify for a genuine occupational qualification on the grounds of gender. However, only in very few instances would this be permissible, for example, where the job is likely to involve physical contact with members of the opposite sex, where matters of decency or privacy are involved.
Partnerships with Parents/Carers/Families and the Wider Community
We will work with parents/carers to help all pupils to achieve their potential.
- All parents/carers are encouraged to participate in the full life of the school.
- Setting up, as part of the schools’ commitment to equality and diversity, a group made up of all stakeholders of the school community. This will be developed to support the school with matters related to its equalities duties
- Members of the local community are encouraged to support school activities where appropriate
- Exploring the possibility of the school having a role to play in supporting new and settled communities
- Our governing body will ensure that the school complies with statutory requirements in respect of this policy and action plan
- The headteacher is responsible for the implementation of this policy, and will ensure that staff are aware of their responsibilities, that they are given necessary training and support and report progress to the governing body
- The headteacher has day-to-day responsibility for co-ordinating the implementation of this policy
- Our staff will promote an inclusive and collaborative ethos in the school, challenge inappropriate language and behaviour, respond appropriately to incidents of discrimination and harassment, ensure appropriate support for children with additional needs and maintain a good level of awareness of equalities issues
- All members of the school community have a responsibility to treat each other and staff with respect, to feel valued, and to speak out if they witness or are subject to any inappropriate language or behaviour
- We will take steps to ensure all visitors to the school adhere to our commitment to equality
Roles and Responsibilities
Commissioning and Procurement
St Cecilia’s RC High School will ensure that we buy services from organisations that comply with equality legislation. This will be a significant factor in any tendering process.
The Measurement of Impact of the Policy
This policy will be evaluated and monitored for its impact on pupils, staff, parents and carers from the different groups that make up our school. An action plan will be published to enable an impact assessment to be undertaken at the appropriate time within a given timescale.
Publicising the Policy and Plan
This policy will be made available to any interested party as a paper “hard copy.” It can also be downloaded off the schools’ website.
Annual Review of Progress
This policy will be reviewed annually by the schools’ Senior Leadership Team and revised very three years in accordance with legislative need.