3 THE WHERRY SCHOOL Equal Opportunities Policy 1 The Trustees at The Wherry School are committed to the development and positive application of procedures aimed at promoting equality of opportunity in employment so that potential and existing employees are not disadvantaged because of sex, marital status, race, ethnic origin, religion, disability, age, or sexual orientation. 1.1 Any behaviour, comments or attitudes that undermine or threaten an individual s self esteem on these grounds will not be tolerated. We aim to provide equal access to high quality educational opportunities and to ensure that everyone feels that they are a valued member of the school community. We seek to provide a safe and happy environment where all can flourish and where cultural diversity is celebrated. We aim to empower our pupils to make informed choices so that they are better prepared for the opportunities responsibilities and experiences of life within their community. Equality of opportunity cannot be realised without the involvement and commitment of all members of the school community and a common understanding of the pivotal role of Equal Opportunities in the context of the school s ethos and values. In particular the recognition that the role of all staff is crucial in the delivery of the objectives of the Policy. All members of the school community are responsible for promoting the school s Equal Opportunities Policy and are obliged to respect and act in accordance with the Policy. 2. It is the prime concern of the Trustees to ensure that its statutory responsibilities are fully met in such matters. Within that, it is the policy of the Trust to ensure that all staff are selected, trained, and promoted on the basis of the requirements of their post, individual capabilities, and other similar objective and relevant criteria. The sex, marital status, race, ethnic origin, religion, disability, age, or sexual orientation of an applicant or employee shall not affect the employment opportunities made available to them except as permitted within the terms of paragraphs 4, 5, 6.3, and 6.5 below. 3. Aims and Objectives 3.1 The school through its Equal Opportunities Policy aims to: Carry out its legal duty in complying with the relevant legislation including The Equality Act 2010
4 The Employment Equality Act 2010 The Race relations Act 2003 The Education and Inspections Act Reinforce the school s position as a provider of high quality education, and as good employer providing development opportunities 3.3 Ensure that equality remains high on the school s strategic agenda 3.4 Establish good people management practice and to set out a proactive agenda in which discrimination is recognised as an organisational issue which needs an organisational response. 3.5 Try to achieve a staffing composition that reflects the composition of the wider community 3.6 Ensure all staff work together with a shared sense of purpose to meet the needs of every pupil 3.7 Ensure that pupils and staff contribute towards a happy and caring environment by showing respect for, and appreciation of, one another as individuals 3.8 Ensure that complaints or evidence of failure to comply with the school s equal opportunities policy will be dealt with promptly and fully investigated according to the relevant procedure (e.g. complaints relating to staff may be investigated either under the Disciplinary, Grievance or Anti Harassment Procedure as appropriate). All forms of discrimination by any person within the school s responsibility will be treated seriously as such behaviour is unacceptable. 4. Policy and Planning 4.1 Equal opportunities implications, including race equality, will be considered and recorded whenever school policies are developed or reviewed. All policies will be regularly reviewed to provide a comprehensive and consistent process of monitoring and evaluation. 5. Employment/recruitment 5.1 In all staff appointments the best candidate will be appointed based on strict professional criteria. 5.2 Family friendly policies: the school is a family friendly employer and will do its best to respond to the changing needs of all staff by publicising existing schemes designed to support employees in combining work and other responsibilities (parental leave arrangements, job share opportunities, flexi-time where appropriate, carers leave provision) 5.3 HIV/AIDS: the School and Governing Body recognises that people with AIDS or HIV, which leads to the condition, suffer not only from the purely medical effects of the infection but may also experience prejudice and misunderstanding leading to unfair discrimination and victimisation. The School and Trustees therefore will ensure that people with AIDS or HIV do not experience unfair treatment in relation to employment, as pupils or as other members of the school community. The School and Governing Body will follow the detailed guidelines regarding staff recruitment and pupil admissions set out in Appendix B.
5 5.4 Transsexual employees and gender reassignment: the Sex Discrimination Act now expressly covers discrimination on grounds of gender reassignment. 5.5 Trustees should consult Norfolk LA (Gender Reassignment Code of Practice). This provides clear guidelines in respect of recruitment and selection and arrangements for existing staff in cases of gender reassignment. 6 Training and development 6.1 The success of the Equal Opportunities Policy is closely linked to the provision of relevant training. Trustees will be encouraged to take up all relevant opportunities provided by the Trustees Training Programme. The school will endeavour to: Enhance and develop the skills knowledge and abilities of existing employees to realise their full potential irrespective of background or employment status provide equal access to training and development opportunities for all staff, including part time, on the basis of their assessed training needs Promote greater awareness of equal opportunities and the contribution which staff, Trustees, parents/guardians and pupils can make equip employees with the skills to provide personal and organisational solutions discriminatory practices and behaviour and to promote anti-discriminatory behaviour generally Professional development involves a continuous process of learning involving selfdevelopment, encouragement and motivation. The school places great importance on the relationship between team leaders and their teams and will ensure that employees are encouraged and supported to take responsibility for their own learning and development in the context of the school s performance management system. 7. Pupils and the Curriculum 7.1 The school follows LA and/or Governing Body pupil admission policies that do not permit sex, race, colour or disability to be used as criteria for admission. 7.2 The schools aim is to provide for all pupils according to their needs, irrespective of gender, ability or ethnic origin. 7.3 The Education Reform Act 1988 stated that the school curriculum should reflect the culturally diverse society to which pupils belong and of which they will become adult members. Pupils should have access to a broad balanced curriculum, which avoids stereotypes and provides good role models for all pupils. Equality of opportunity should inform the whole of the curriculum and be reviewed regularly. 7.4 Equal opportunities issues will be taken account of in planning the curriculum. This will be reflected in curriculum planning documentation.
6 8. Internal Managerial Issues These guidelines are primarily designed to address employment aspects of Governance and Management. However in consulting on the policy and developing it further Principals and members of the Senior Leadership team will wish to take a range of other internal issues into account. Many of the issues listed will already be the subject of detailed agreed policies. It will be helpful to ensure that these existing polices are audited from an equal opportunities perspective: Classroom organisation Expectations Resources Parental involvement Cultural diversity of family background Arrangement for sport, music etc. Assemblies and celebrations Diet Bilingualism Use of language Additional needs Abusive behaviour by pupils. 9. Monitoring, Review and Evaluation 9.1 Trustees have a duty to ensure that policies are regularly monitored and reviewed. Monitoring is an essential aspect of this policy, as it should provide important information by which the School can measure its performance against its aims and objectives. Statistical information can also enable the Trustees and Principal to detect where potential or actual imbalances exist and to take steps to correct them. 9.2 Monitoring with respect to employment will be undertaken in the following areas on at least an annual basis by sex, race, disability, grade and subject area: 9.3 Composition of the school staff Recruitment trends Take up of training opportunities Promotion patterns Use of complaints procedure Use of grievance, disciplinary, harassment etc Use of sanctions Take-up of family friendly policies e.g. flexible working arrangements 9.4 Exit interviews can also provide further helpful information and feedback.
7 10. The Trustees have agreed this policy which incorporates the policy and principles agreed by the Local Authority in which the Wherry School sits and supported by its recognised trade unions. 11. It is recognised that the Trustees may properly discriminate on grounds of sex by virtue of legislation and conditions of employment: (a) in providing special rights for women in respect of their pregnancy or confinement; (b) (c) with regard to death or retirement (in the terms of pensions); in relation to permitted positive action for in-service training. 12. It is further recognised that (as expressly permitted by legislation) it shall be proper for the Trustees to discriminate on the grounds of sex in the selection of employees for any post where there is a genuine occupational qualification that necessitates the employee being of a specific sex. 13. In Summary To ensure disabled people have the same opportunities as others to lead satisfying working lives and to make their full potential contribution to the school, the Trustees will adopt the following principles: 13.1 Full and fair consideration will be given to disabled people in recruitment Equal opportunities for training, career development and promotion to suitable posts will be made available to disabled staff in the same way as they are to other employees Within its capacity the Trustees will take steps so far as is reasonably practicable to provide a suitable working environment for disabled employees All employees will be encouraged to do everything within their capabilities to accept disabled colleagues into their working group Wherever possible and subject to the requirements of the job/service, existing employees who become disabled or whose disability increases will be retained. Where that proves impracticable, consideration will be given to ill-health retirement, redeployment, or, through the Trustees, reference to the Disablement Resettlement Service with a view to resettlement in some other employment With regard to redundancy, disabled staff will neither be discriminated against unfavourably, nor treated differently from other staff by reason of their disability. 14. All existing staff and applicants for vacant posts will be made aware of the Trustees policy and procedures on equal opportunities and will be encouraged to co- operate in ensuring its effective implementation. New staff will receive this information with their particulars of employment. 15. All Trustees and staff having a responsibility for recruitment shall receive appropriate training and advice on the implementation and fulfilment of the equal opportunities policy and statutory responsibilities in this area.
8 16. The Trustees of The Wherry School shall have overall responsibility for developing and reviewing the equal opportunities policy and procedures for the school in consultation with the Teachers Representatives and the recognised non-teaching staff representatives, and for promoting their adoption and implementation by Trustees. 17. If any employee considers that he or she is suffering from unequal treatment on grounds of sex, marital status, ethnic origin, religion, disability, age, or sexual orientation, and unless the alleged discrimination is in relation to a matter listed in paragraphs 4, 5, and 6.5 of the policy, then he or she may make a complaint which will be dealt with through The Wherry School s Grievance Procedure. This policy will be reviewed by the Trustees at The Wherry School on an annual basis. Signed Dated Date to be reviewed: Autumn 2017