Equal Opportunity

1       The Policy Statement

1.1. The staff and pupils of Balfron High School will continue to work together to provide equal opportunities for all.

The Equality Act 2010  provides a new cross-cutting legislative framework to protect the rights of individuals and advance equality of opportunity for all.  The Act protects people from discrimination on the basis of ‘protected characteristics’ (these used to be called ‘grounds’).  The relevant characteristics for services and public functions are:

  1. disability (definition changed)
  2. gender reassignment (definition changed)
  3. pregnancy and maternity
  4. race – this includes ethnic or national origins, colour and nationality
  5. religion or belief
  6. sex, and
  7. sexual orientation.

1.2.   In implementing this policy, we will continue to do our best to help our pupils to realise their potential in every aspect of their development, and to prepare them to be well-adjusted and open-minded members of society.

1.3.   To achieve this aim, we will

  • promote an ethos which enhances personal development, and in which the concepts of tolerance and self-worth are central
  • challenge and discourage prejudice and discrimination of any kind
  • promote in all pupils, an understanding of the concepts of justice and human rights.

2        Implementing the Policy

2.1.   We will continue to promote a school ethos in which staff, pupils, parents and visitors feel welcome; where everyone is treated with courtesy and respect.

2.2.   The school ethos will continue to reflect the principles of multicultural and anti-racist education.

2.3.   Good-quality relationships will continue to be encouraged at all levels between pupils, between staff and pupils, with parents and with our external partners.  Members of staff are expected to be positive role models for equality, tolerance and fairness.

2.4.   The management structure is well organised and clear.

2.5.   Areas used by visitors are welcoming and routes around the school buildings are clearly signposted.

2.6.   Signs and displays reflect the language spoken within the school and the cultures represented in the locality.

2.7.   Everyone will continue to strive to keep the school clean, tidy and free of graffiti.

2.8.   Everyone is expected to dress in a way which shows self-respect and is in keeping with the ethos of the school.

2.9.   Pupils on visits out of school are expected to behave in a way which shows respect for others.  This will help to encourage respect for our school.

2.10. Behaviour support through restorative practice approaches is fair and appropriate, contributing to personal and social development.

2.11. Harassment in any form, of staff or pupils, will be treated as a serious matter, and any such offence will be dealt with on an individual basis using restorative practice approaches in the first instance.

3      Learning

3.1.   The curriculum will continue to provide every pupil with a course which is well-suited to his or her individual needs.

3.2.   There will continue to be equality of access for all pupils to all areas of learning.

3.3.   Every effort will be made to provide pupils who have mobility problems or other additional support needs, with access to all aspects of school life.

3.4.   Staff will continue to discourage any statements or practices which discriminate in any way.

3.5.   Staff will continue to eliminate discriminatory terminology from learning situations.

3.6.   Opportunities will continue to be taken throughout the curriculum to discuss the issues of disability, gender, sexual orientation, race and religious stereotyping.

3.7.   All pupils will continue to be provided with the necessary resources to enable them to participate fully in mainstream classes and to derive full benefit from these classes.

3.8.   Resources and displays will reflect the achievements of males and females of all cultures.

3.9. Assessment procedures and materials will be free of any discriminatory bias.

3.10. Parents and pupils will continue to be encouraged to see all subjects as being equally suitable for pupils of both sexes.

3.11. Boys and girls will continue to be treated equally in the way they are spoken to, in the amount of attention they are given and in the way they are supported.

4       Language and Communication

4.1.   Our overall aim is to continue to build good relationships between our school and members of the community so that we can co-exist in an atmosphere of mutual trust and respect.

4.2.   We will ensure that communication within the school and between school and home continues to be effective and that the lines of communication will be as clear and as simple as possible.

4.3.   It is important that parents/guardians work with staff to eliminate any discriminatory ideas.

4.4.   Parents/guardians will continue to be expected to work with staff in eliminating bullying.

4.5.   Our admissions policy will continue to help us to find out about parents and pupils with a first language other than English.

4.6.   Bilingual pupils will be supported by an ESL teacher where possible.

4.7.   In the case of a bilingual pupil, we will continue to recognise the importance of studying the first language, as this can accelerate proficiency in English.

4.8.  All communications between school and home will be translated where necessary.

4.9.   All parties connected to this policy have access to it via our website, and we welcome their comments on it.

5       Staff Development

5.1.   Our school’s Equal Opportunities policy will continue to be most effective if all members of staff understand the importance of the policy and appreciate its value.

5.2.   In-service training will take place at regular intervals (at least once per year), to raise staff awareness on the issues involved and on the implementation of this policy.

6       Further information

6.1    The webpage Equality Act 2010: What do I need to know? contains summary guides to the Act explaining how the changes to the law affect different people and organisations and providing practical examples. It also contains “Quick Start” guides to help people understand the particular measures being commenced in October. Further quick-start guides are due to be published shortly.

6.2     To comment on this policy, please send an email to balfronhs@glow.sch.uk  stating clearly that it refers to the Equal Opportunities policy, and marking ‘For the attention of Mrs Short, Depute Headteacher’.

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