The Equality Act 2010 replaced existing equality legislation, including the Race Relations Act, the Disability Discrimination Act and the Sex Discrimination Act and we welcome our duties under the Equality Act to eliminate discrimination, advance equality of opportunity and foster good relations in relation to age (as appropriate), disability, ethnicity, gender, religion and sexual identity.
Wootton Park School recognises the duty under the Education and Inspections Act 2006 to promote community cohesion and recognises 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 Policy and Accessibility Plan covers all users of the school and is set within the context of the Equality Act 2010 and SEND Code of Practice 2014.
The Equality Act 2010 sets out the protected characteristics that qualify for protection from discrimination as:
- gender reassignment;
- marriage and civil partnership;
- pregnancy and maternity;
- religion or belief;
- sexual orientation.
In fulfilling our legal obligations we adhere to the following:
- All learners and school team members are of equal value
- We recognise and respect difference
- We foster positive attitudes and relationships, and a shared sense of cohesion.
- We observe good equalities practice in staff recruitment, retention and development
- We aim to reduce and remove inequalities and barriers that already exist
- We will consult and involve widely
- Society as a whole should benefit.
At Wootton Park School, we believe that all learners, their parents and carers, and school team members are of equal value. We also understand that treating people equally does not necessarily mean treating them all the same. Our policies, procedures and activities must not discriminate but must take account of differences of life experience, outlook and background, and in the kind of harassment, barriers and disadvantages which people may face.
Our approach, procedures and activities will promote:
- positive attitudes towards disabled people, good relations between disabled and non-disabled people, and an absence of harassment of disabled people.
- positive interaction, good relations and dialogue between groups and communities different from each other in terms of ethnicity, culture, religious affiliation, national origin or national status, and an absence of prejudice-related bullying and incidents.
- mutual respect and good relations between boys and girls, and women and men, and an absence of sexual and homophobic harassment.
We will ensure that policies and procedures benefit all employees and potential employees, for example in recruitment and promotion, and in continuing professional development:
- whether or not they are disabled
- whatever their ethnicity, culture, religious affiliation, national origin or national status
- whatever their gender and sexual identity, and with full respect for legal rights relating to pregnancy and maternity .
We will also take opportunities to maximise impact by reducing and removing inequalities and barriers that may already exist between:
- disabled and non-disabled people
- people of different ethnic, cultural and religious backgrounds
- girls and boys, women and men.
We will 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 will consult in ways which take into account:
- views of disabled people as well as those who are non-disabled
- ethnicity, so that different cultural backgrounds and experiences of prejudice are recognised
- gender, so that the differing needs and experiences of girls and boys, and women and men are recognised
- religion, belief or faith background
- sexual identity.
Our policies and activities will benefit society as a whole, both locally and nationally, by fostering greater social cohesion, and greater participation in public life of:
- disabled people as well as non-disabled
- people of a wide range of ethnic, cultural and religious backgrounds
- both women and men, girls and boys
- all people, regardless of sexual orientation.
We will ensure that the aims listed above apply to the full range of our policies and practices, including those that are concerned with:
- learners' progress, attainment and achievement
- learners' personal development, welfare and well-being
- teaching styles and strategies
- admissions and attendance
- staff recruitment, retention and professional development
- care, guidance and support
- behaviour, discipline and exclusions
- working in partnership with parents, carers and guardians
- working with the wider community.
Access and Equality for Learners, Staff and Visitors
The school has completed the following adaptations to learning provision and to the site:
- Use of ICT for assessments and examinations to increase levels of independence for learners
- Provision of specialist equipment in subjects to meet specific student needs.
- School trips are planned on the basis that all students are included and can access all activities – external advice is sought as necessary to meet individual needs
- Provision of an interpreter for parents’ evenings to aid communication for families with specific needs
- Installation of disabled access toilets on the site – one on each floor, with one containing shower facilities
- All disabled toilet sinks have been equipped with ‘paddle’ taps for ease of use
- Installing carpeting and blinds into the majority of classrooms
- Providing accessible parking spaces in the main car park and in the Learner Drop-off car park
- Installing a lift to access classrooms on the first floor
- Installing ramps to all ground floor entrances where there is a change in height