Promoting Equality at Mayfield School
We do not practice equality because we are required by law (The Equality Act 2010) but do so because equality is entrenched in our ethos.
Equality Statement and Principles
Mayfield School is a special school for learners with disabilities, and complex educational and emotional needs. We believe that education helps us grow and develop, can transform lives and is key for every child to achieve social inclusion and a happy and fulfilled life.
Mayfield (Staff and Governors) is committed to promoting equality and diversity, and removing barriers that could lead to unequal outcomes. We believe that equality is the responsibility of every member of the school and wider community, and should be embedded in every aspect of school life. We strive to ensure that every member of the school community feels safe and secure, valued and of equal worth.
We are fully committed to the core principle of The Equality Act 2010:
- Eliminate unlawful discrimination, prejudice, 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.
We promote attitudes and values that celebrate and respect diversity and challenge discriminatory behaviour wherever it occurs. To this end, we adhere to the principle of equality by;
(i) Providing strong leadership, and supporting and treating everyone fairly.
In partnership with the Governing Body, the school senior leaders provide leadership and vision in respect of equality by overseeing the implementation of equality policy and schemes, and by setting an example to the whole school community.
(ii) Expecting high standards of conduct and behaviour.
We promote equality and diversity by ensuring they are embedded in all aspects of school life. We challenging negative attitudes, and avoid using stereotypes in teaching and curriculum resources, and set clear rules that promote respect for others. All staff are expected to promote positive attitudes and values that celebrate and respect diversity, and challenge discriminatory behaviour or acts wherever it occurs.
(iii) Legal discrimination and breaches; Procedure for resolving problems.
We have clear and robust complaints procedures that guarantee confidentiality and provide an environment where victims or witnesses of bullying, victimisation or harassment can come forward and know that they will be listened to and supported.
To make Equality happen we set a number of specific objectives and regularly review their outcomes.
- Develop and review a robust Equality policy
- Develop and review an inclusive curriculum that reflects a commitment to equality within the framework of our SEND provision
- Adhere to the principles of equality in our pupil admissions process
- Apply equalities practice in staff recruitment, retention and professional development.
- We will make sure that our employment practices are fair and promote equality.
- Track the progress of every pupil to ensure they make progress, and to intervene when necessary
- Ensure that all pupils can access personal development and curricular enrichment
- Monitor incidents of all forms of bullying or prejudice
The school is aware of its obligations under the Equality Act 2010 and complies with non-discrimination provisions.
Where relevant, our policies include reference to the importance of avoiding discrimination and other prohibited conduct.
Staff and governors are regularly reminded of their responsibilities under the Equality Act, for example during meetings. Where this has been discussed during a meeting it is recorded in the meeting minutes.
New staff receive training on the Equality Act as part of their induction, and all staff receive refresher training every September.
We ensure we teach a wide curriculum which includes specific teaching of difference and equality.
Advancing Equality of Opportunity
As set out in the DfE guidance on the Equality Act, the school aims to advance equality of opportunity by:
- Removing or minimising disadvantages suffered by people which are connected to a particular characteristic they have (e.g. pupils with disabilities)
- Taking steps to meet the particular needs of people who have a particular characteristic (e.g. enabling Muslim pupils to pray at prescribed times)
- Encouraging people who have a particular characteristic to participate fully in any activities (e.g. encouraging all pupils to be involved in the full range of school activities)
In fulfilling this aspect of the duty, the school will:
- Provide a safe environment where there is a strong focus on high expectations and challenge to improve outcomes for all our children.
- Provide a learning environment where all learners learn to be independent and resilient with the support of those around them.
- Prepare children for life in a culturally diverse society where the children are able to be confident in understanding their place and responsibilities in their local, regional, national and international communities.
- Include and value the contribution of all families to our understanding of equality and diversity with a clear focus on the participation of children and parents in decision-making.
- Provide positive non-stereotyping information about different groups of people regardless of protected characteristics under the law (age, disability, gender, gender identity, race, religion or belief, sexual orientation, marriage or civil partnership and pregnancy/maternity)
- Plan systematically to improve our children’s understanding and promotion of diversity
- Actively challenge all types of discrimination.
- Ensure that positive messages and actions about inclusion, equality and diversity are part of our daily practice.
- Use all available information to set suitable learning challenges, respond to children’s individual needs and support children in overcoming potential barriers to their success.
- Ensure that all reasonable adjustments are made to ensure equality of opportunity with respect to disability or varying needs.
- Apply a graduated approach to identifying and supporting pupils and students with SEND.
Fostering Good Relations
The school aims to foster good relations between those who share a protected characteristic and those who do not share it by:
- Promoting acceptance, friendship and understanding of a range of religions and cultures through different aspects of our curriculum. This includes teaching in RE, citizenship and personal, social, health and economic (PSHE) education, but also activities in other curriculum areas. For example, as part of teaching and learning in English/reading, pupils will be introduced to literature from a range of cultures.
- Holding assemblies dealing with relevant issues. Pupils will be encouraged to take a lead in such assemblies and we will also invite external speakers to contribute.
- Working with our local community. This includes inviting leaders of local faith groups to speak at assemblies, and organising school trips and activities based around the local community
- All pupils are encouraged to participate in the school’s activities, such as sports clubs.
- Actively promote parent/carer engagement to monitor that needs are met and provision is appropriate.
- Maintain high expectations of behaviour which demonstrate respect to others.
- Work closely with other agencies to actively promote inclusion, equality and diversity.
- Work closely with the Friends of Mayfield and equality Governor
- Safeguarding training – through Torbay Council
- Encourage all children to have a voice through children surveys
Equality Considerations in Decision Making
The school ensures it has due regard to equality considerations whenever significant decisions are made.
Monitoring and Review
Our commitment to equality is ongoing. The senior leadership team and the Governing Body are responsible for monitoring and evaluation of equality, and providing updates on relevant legislation and the school’s responsibilities.
We also regularly review our admissions procedures, teaching and learning practices, and other policies to ensure they reflect a commitment to equality.
Our school curriculum prepares pupils for life in a diverse society. Curriculum planning is frequently reviewed to ensure it explores concepts and issues related to identity and equality, and promotes respect for diversity and challenges negative attitudes and stereotyping.
We monitor incidents of all forms of bullying or prejudice. We have a nominated member of staff responsible for recording and monitoring incident of harassment, victimization and bullying. We have clear, agreed procedures for reporting, monitoring and responding to prejudice related bullying incidents.
We monitor (on equality grounds) staff access to opportunities for professional development.