Roselyn House School
Single Equality Policy
This Policy should be read in conjunction with other Roselyn House School policies, particularly;
Anti-Bullying Policy, Race Policy, Special Educational Needs Policy and DDA.
We welcome our duties under the Equality Act 2010 to ensure protection from discrimination, harassment and victimisation on the grounds of specific characteristics (referred to as protected characteristics) and advance equality of opportunity and foster good relations in relation to age (as appropriate), sex, race (including ethnicity), religion and belief, sexual orientation and transgender, pregnancy and maternity, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership.
We follow Ofsted Criteria in that Roselyn House School is ‘an inclusive community in which the students all feel safe and valued. The school actively advances equality of opportunity, tackles discrimination and fosters good relations’.
We recognise that these duties reflect international human rights standards as expressed in the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, the UN Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities, and the Human Rights Act 1998.
The Equality Act 2010 requires all public organisations, including schools to comply with the Public Sector Equality Duty and two specific duties:
The Public Sector Equality Duty or “general duty”
This requires all public organisations, including schools to:
· eliminate unlawful discrimination, harassment and victimisation
· advance equality of opportunity between different groups
· foster good relations between different groups
We aim to promote respect and equality across all protected characteristics, including sexual orientation and gender identity, and preparing students for life in diverse 21st Century Britain. We challenge discrimination and aim to provide positive information about different groups of people that is non-stereotyping, this includes LGBT people.
In fulfilling the legal obligations cited above, at Roselyn House School, we are guided by nine principles:
Principle 1: All learners are of equal value.
It is unacceptable for educational attainment to be affected by gender, disability, race, social class, sexual orientation or any other factor unrelated to ability. Every child deserves a good education and every child should achieve high standards. (The Education Act 2011 Equalities Impact Assessment).
We see all learners and potential learners, and their parents and carers, as of
Principle 2: We recognise and respect difference and understand that diversity is a strength.
Treating people equally (Principle 1 above) does not necessarily involve treating them all the same. Our policies, procedures and activities must not discriminate but must nevertheless take account of differences of life-experience, outlook and background, and in the kinds of barrier and disadvantage which people may face, in relation to: disability, so that reasonable adjustments are made:
We believe that diversity is a strength, which should be respected and celebrated by all those who learn, teach and visit here.
Principle 3: We foster positive attitudes and relationships, and a shared
sense of cohesion and belonging.
Roselyn House School actively promotes positive attitudes and mutual respect between groups and communities different from each other. We foster a shared sense of cohesion and belonging. We want all members of our school community to feel a sense of belonging within the school and wider community and to feel that they are respected and able to participate fully in school life.
We intend that our policies, procedures and activities should promote:
Principle 4: We observe good equalities practice in staff recruitment,
retention and development.
We ensure that policies and procedures should benefit all employees and potential employees, for example in recruitment and promotion, and in continuing professional development:
Principle 5: We aim to reduce and remove inequalities and barriers that
We expect that all students can make good progress and achieve to their highest potential.
In addition to avoiding or minimising possible negative impacts of our policies, we take opportunities to maximise positive impacts by reducing and removing inequalities and barriers that may already exist between:
Principle 6: We consult and involve widely.
We engage with a range of groups and individuals to ensure that those who are affected by a policy or activity are consulted and involved in the design of new policies, and in the review of existing ones. We consult and involve:
Principle 7: Society as a whole should benefit.
We intend that our policies and activities should benefit society as a whole, both locally and nationally, by fostering greater social cohesion, and greater participation in public life of:
Principle 8: We base our policies and practices on sound evidence.
We utilise the services of Penninusula Business Services in order to keep Employment Policy and Guidance up to date.
We follow guidance from the Department of Education and Ofsted Inspection criteria.
We are Stonewall School Champions.
Principle 9: Measurable objectives
We integrate equality objectives within Roselyn House School’s improvement plan and DDA (3 Year Accessibility plan).
These are reviewed annually and progress is monitored towards achieving them.
We keep each curriculum subject or area under review in order to ensure that teaching and learning reflect the principles set out in principle 4 above.
We actively promote equality and diversity though all areas of the curriculum by creating an environment which supports respect for all. The school monitors and evaluates its effectiveness in providing an appropriate curriculum for all students. The allocation of students to teaching groups and therapeutic subjects is fair and equitable to students. We take action to close any gaps, for example, for those making slow progress in acquiring age-appropriate literacy and number skills through classroom work and during morning workshops. We offer a nurture provision for those young people who may need a more flexible approach to learning along with our RHISE Programmes. Resources that promote equality are used across the curriculum. As part of the personal well-being programme all students attend lessons on equality issues such as sexual bullying and stereotyping within the PSHE curriculum.
(See Schemes of Work, Lesson Planning, SMSC Policy, Curriculum Policy)
Examination access arrangements and reasonable adjustments
Roselyn House School’s Exams Officer ensures that all students requiring an examination arrangement are catered for. Guidance is taken from the JCQ booklet Adjustments for candidates with disabilities and learning difficulties. This booklet is available as a hardcopy from the exam’s officer or via:
Race includes colour, nationality and ethnic or national origins.
Disability – the Equality Act changes the definition of disability. The definition is almost the same as that under the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA), with two main exceptions:
· There is now no longer a requirement that a mental impairment must be a clinically well-recognised illness.
· There is no longer an exhaustive list of what constitutes day-to-day activities.
The consequence of the relaxation of the definition of disability is that more students are now legally disabled. It follows that more SEN children will now also be classed as disabled to a greater extent than before. As before, as soon as a child is legally disabled and the school either know or could reasonably have been expected to know that they are disabled, discrimination provisions kick in to protect the student.
Sex- students and employees of one sex must not be singled out for different or less favourable treatment. Gender equality must still be promoted.
Religion or belief - is defined by the Act as being any religion or belief including philosophical belief. The lack of religion or belief is also a protected characteristic. Religions include all major faith groups and denominations or sects. Belief includes non-religious world views such as humanism but not political beliefs such as communism.
Sexual orientation- refers not only to the students’ and employee’s sexual orientation but also to the children and partners of gay, lesbian, bi-sexual or trans parents. It is recognised that many people’s views on sexual orientation and sexual activity are grounded in their religious beliefs but this is not accepted as an excuse for allowing discrimination to continue.
Pregnancy and maternity – the Act applies to students and is a new area of equality legislation.
Gender reassignment –If a student chooses gender reassignment, it is acknowledged that a number of issues will arise which will need to be sensitively handled. We work closely with Stonewall and have adopted certain practices within school which supports a trans young person. We have non gender specific toilets, mixed PE, Library containing LGBT themes, displays in school to celebrate diversity, opportunities to discuss gender stereotypes and gender identities within PSHE, SEAL, CCC Curriculum and a Policy on Sex and Relationship Guidance which includes LGBT relationships.
Protected characteristics - is used as a term to refer to the categories to which the law applies e.g. sexual orientation.
Direct discrimination occurs when one person treats another less favourably, because of a protected characteristic, than they treat – or would treat – other people. This describes the most clear-cut and obvious examples of discrimination – for example if a school were to refuse to let a student be a ‘head girl’ because she is a lesbian.
Ethos and organisation
We ensure the principles listed in principle 4 above apply to the full range of
our policies and practices, including those that are concerned with: students' progress, attainment and achievement (See Assessment and Marking Policy and Curriculum Policy).
Understanding the difference between equity and equality
We aim to create inclusive and equitable classrooms at Roselyn House School by understanding the difference between equity and equality.
Main differences between equity and equality
When it comes to equity vs equality in education, the terms are often used interchangeably but understanding the distinction between the two is essential for resolving issues faced by disadvantaged students in the classroom. While working towards equity and equality can both do good, equity should be an educator’s end goal. The reason lies in the difference between being fair vs equal.
Equality is more commonly associated with social issues, perhaps because more people know what it means. In a nutshell, its definition is as it sounds–the state of being equal. When a group focuses on equality, everyone has the same rights, opportunities, and resources. Equality is beneficial, but it often doesn’t address specific needs. Giving each student a take-home laptop, for example, would not address students who don’t have Internet in their houses. Even if a school is equal, some students may still struggle.
Equity, on the other hand, provides people with resources that fit their circumstances. The World Health Organization (WHO) definition of social equity is “the absence of avoidable or remediable differences among groups of people.” At Roselyn House School we aim to prioritise equity over equality. We aim to be in tune with our students’ needs and provide resources to overcome their specific challenges.
To provide a brief summary, equality is:
And equity is:
“The route to achieving equity will not be accomplished through treating everyone equally,” says the Race Matters Institute. “It will be achieved by treating everyone equitably, or justly according to their circumstances.”
Equity is more thoughtful and, while it’s harder work, it is better at resolving disadvantages. Equality is an admirable goal, but by realising equity we will achieve a more effective outcome.
Challenges Involving Equity and Equality
In terms of equity vs equality in the classroom, most schools focus on horizontal equity. The definition of horizontal equity in education is treating people who are already assumed equal in the same way. Horizontal equity is only useful in homogenous schools, where each person really is given the same opportunities in life. But in most schools, students will come from a variety of backgrounds–some more privileged than others. At Roselyn House School, we recognise that our students are often disadvantaged, have special educational needs and have a range of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACES) and traumatic experiences which affect them. We focus on vertical equity, which assumes that students have different needs and provides individual resources based on said needs.
Another challenge facing equity vs equality in education is poverty. Often many of our students come from low-income homes, communities and some are looked after by Children’s Social Care. It can be difficult to provide these students with equitable resources as the funding from home is just not available. We try, where possible to provide all resources for our students but Roselyn House School is bound by budgets which are paid in fees based on each students’ needs. This funding does not always match their realistic need. We have a really positive staff retention at Roselyn House School and aim to match the expertise of staff to the needs of the students, however we recognise that staff’s careers in this work can be difficult to maintain for many years. It can affect consistency for students when particular staff leave but is unavoidable along with staff absence.
Some additional barriers to equity we face at Roselyn House School are:
We recognise the challenges which prevent equity and this goes towards resolving them. We constantly evaluate practices and provide individualised, bespoke programmes within School and on our RHISE Service in order to allow students to succeed in School. If something isn’t working we, rework it. Our aim is to understand the barriers our students often face and provide the necessary support to overcome them. This is reflected in all policies in the School.
Benefits of Focusing on Equity in Education
At Roselyn House School, we believe that everyone has the right to succeed regardless of original circumstance. We aim towards achieving an equitable community where the importance of equity extends to our society as a whole. We believe in a humanitarian approach to education where we introduce the concept of the desire to reduce suffering, save lives and maintain human dignity. ‘Humanitarian education is based on the assumption that people have an innate desire to help others, so is centrally concerned with our shared humanity.’ It is our aim to help our students/ community to become more understanding and knowledgeable about the world and how they can fit in to influence change and positivity.
We aim towards a achieving a School where everyone in it helps each other succeed. ‘Moving forwards together to a positive future’.
Equity can also strengthen a student’s health and social-emotional development. Students who feel safer, less lonely, and accept others have higher diversity levels. At Roselyn House School, we promote diversity and provide for students with a variety of complex SEMH needs, which makes for an environment where students feel comfortable and have better emotional regulation. Equitable communities are linked to better health and longer average lifespans.
The communities our students come from benefit from equity in schools as well. Equity is linked to stronger social cohesion, meaning that individuals connect with each other better and are more compassionate. It also leads to long-term economic growth.
At Roselyn House School we:
(See Behaviour Policy, Curriculum Policy, Anti-Bullying and SEN Policy)
Addressing prejudice and prejudice-related bullying
Roselyn House School is opposed to all forms of prejudice which stand in the way of fulfilling the legal duties referred to in principles 1–3:
(See Anti-Bullying Policy, SEN Policy, PSHE Policy, Supporting Trans Students)
There is guidance in the staff handbook on how prejudice-related incidents should be identified, assessed, recorded and dealt with.
We keep a record of prejudice-related incidents and, if requested, provide a report to the local authority about the numbers, types and seriousness of prejudice-related incidents at our school and how they are dealt with. Bullying and prejudice- based incident reporting form.
It is important to record, monitor and report all incidents that are motivated by prejudice, including those that fall below the definition of bullying. A prejudiced incident is a one-off incident of unkind or hurtful behaviour that is motivated by a prejudice or negative attitudes, beliefs or views towards a protected characteristic or minority group. It can be targeted towards an individual or group of people. Recording and monitoring prejudice- based incidents helps to prevent bullying as it helps Roselyn House School to target anti-bullying interventions.
(See Race Policy, Behaviour Policy, Anti- Bullying Policy Care and Control Policy, Safeguarding/Child Protection Policy, Supporting Trans Students)
Roles and responsibilities
KS Education Limited is responsible for ensuring that the school complies with legislation, and that this policy and its related procedures and action plans are implemented.
The Headteacher is responsible for implementing the policy; for ensuring that all staff are aware of their responsibilities and are given appropriate training and support; and for taking appropriate action in any cases of unlawful discrimination.
Senior staff have day-to-day responsibility for co-ordinating implementation of the policy.
All staff are expected to:
Information and resources
KS Education Limited ensure that the content of this policy is known to all staff and as appropriate, to all students and their parents and carers.
All staff have access to a selection of resources which discuss and explain concepts of equality, diversity and community cohesion in appropriate detail.
Roselyn House School is a Stonewall Champion and has achieved the Bronze Award and is now working towards The Silver Award.
Information is reflected through PSHE Programmes of Study and SMSC content of lessons.
(See SMSC Policy, PSHE and CCC Policy)
We respect the religious beliefs and practice of all staff, students and parents/ carers, and comply with reasonable requests relating to religious observance and practice.
Staff development and training
We ensure that all staff, including Learning Support and administrative staff, receive
appropriate training and opportunities for professional development, both as individuals and as groups or teams.
Breaches of the policy
Breaches of this policy will be dealt with in the same ways that breaches of other school policies are dealt with, as determined by the Headteacher and Roselyn House School’s Disciplinary Procedures will apply.
Monitoring and review
This Policy is reviewed annually and adjustments made as appropriate.
Revised objectives are reviewed within Roselyn House School’s action plan and the DDA.
Background and acknowledgements
In its overall framework this model policy on all equalities in education is based on
Dissemination of the Policy
This policy is available on the school website, on request to parents and carers, the LA and Ofsted through the Headteacher.
Reviewed November 2019
Updated March 2020