Under the Equality Act 2010 we have a legal duty to publish information that shows compliance with the Public Sector Equality Duty, which are updated annually, and to publish our equality objectives.
Background to The Public Sector Equality Duty (PSED):
The Equality Act 2010 introduced a single, general duty for public bodies, including schools, and which extends to all ‘protected characteristics’ – race, disability, sex, age*, religion or belief, sexual orientation, pregnancy and maternity and gender reassignment.
There are three main elements within the act and in carrying out our functions, as a school, we must have regard for the need to:
1. Eliminate discrimination and other conduct prohibited by the act.
2. Advance equality of opportunity between people who share a protected characteristic and people who do not share it.
3. Foster good relations across all characteristics – between people who share a protected characteristic and people who do not share it.
*Age is a relevant characteristic for schools when considering their duties as an employer but not in relation to pupils.
The PSED replaces the previous three sets of separate duties to promote disability, race and gender equality. All schools must have ‘due regard’ to the three elements. Therefore whenever significant decisions are being made, or policies being developed or reviewed, the school will consider carefully any equalities implications.
How does Chevening (St Botolph’s) CE Primary School comply with the PSED?
Our School Biblical vision is based on Matthew 13: 31-32:
“The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his field. Though it is the smallest of all seeds, yet when it grows, it is the largest of garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds come and perch in its branches.”
In line with our Biblical Vision, our policy and approach have been developed being mindful of our aim to provide an excellent education and to
- Be true to Christ and His teachings.
- Be known for kind and thoughtful actions and attitudes.
- Be inclusive in serving, sharing and showing God’s love to benefit all.
The governors recognise their obligation to ensure that the school ethos, policies and practices guarantee equality of opportunity and freedom from discrimination to all pupils and staff so that they are enabled fully to express their abilities and qualities.
The school has a range of policies which make explicit the long established commitment to actively promote equality of opportunity for all, whether child or adult. Many of our pupil-focused and employment policies deal with equality of opportunity, including:
Special Educational Needs and Disability Policy, Anti-Bullying Policy, Behaviour Policy, Accessibility Plan, Child Protection and Staff Code of Conduct.
School leaders and staff know the school context well; they keep a clear focus on ensuring that the response to any suggestion of prejudice or inequality is significant and effective in each of the three main elements.
Jan 2021: Chevening (St Botolph’s) had 198 children on roll; 54% Girls; 46% Boys.
* SEND has Special Educational Needs or Disability; +derived from DFE Jan 2021 Statistics
1 Eliminate discrimination
The school serves an area of social advantage with a small proportion of pupils coming from less privileged backgrounds. (See data in Chevening Context)
Close tracking of all pupil outcomes takes place in a structured, systematic way and the school intervenes where it reveals underachievement, low attainment or concerns about specific groups or individuals. Monitoring and evaluation, and the analysis of data, takes place across the school and is used within the improvement cycle at each Key Stage. Assessment data leads to judgments for key areas of improvement and development.
2 Advance equality of opportunity
The school is committed to advancing equality of opportunity between people who share a protected characteristic and people who do not share it, and has put a range of approaches in place to ensure that this happens. The school monitors and evaluates, frequently and regularly, the attainment and progress of all pupils and looks at the performance of particular groups who share a protected characteristic to compare their performance with those who do not share it. Interventions are then planned and implemented in order to close any disparities in progress and attainment.
Examples of practice which advances equality of opportunity: Where necessary, we use the services of outside agencies to support families and individual pupils. Pupils with SEND, including those with medical needs, are fully supported by our SENDCo and external specialist professionals. We have excellent links with local nurseries and local secondary schools, which ensures that transition into Reception and Year 7 runs smoothly. Swimming lessons are for all children, regardless of ability. We use the services of the Kent Safeguarding Team, Early Help, Fegan’s Counselling Service and Child Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) for pupils who need expert support. Our Accessibility plan and School Single Equalities Policy are reviewed regularly to ensure that they include the relevant and up to date information. Our More Able, Gifted and Talented pupils are effectively identified and their learning is provided for, not only in routine differentiation but specifically according to individual need. We select individuals for courses, duties and involvement in appropriate activities that will use and extend their abilities, gifts and talents.
3. Foster good relations across all characteristics
The school adopts a wide range of approaches to foster good relations across all characteristics. Some specific examples are as follows:
The school participates in fund raising for many charities supporting local, national and global issues, which are understood and supported by children. These charities are often suggested by the children and the support they give forms part of our courageous advocacy work. The strong global dimension of our curriculum develops our pupils’ awareness of different countries and cultures. Our links with Kondoa and Cambodia enable our children to understand the relative wealth of our daily lives and to contrast our plentiful Harvest and opportunity with those who live in more extreme need.
Our PTFA support our work in broadening experiences and horizons, recently funding new books celebrating diversity and inclusion for classroom collections.
As a Christian school with strong links with St Botolph’s Church and other local Churches, we regularly have the Church Rector and other people of faith visit us to lead our whole school Acts of Worship and to support learning in different elements of RE.
All governors are highly engaged and committed, offering strategic insight in areas such as health and safety, Social, Moral, Spiritual and Cultural development, SEND and equality. They diligently support and strategically promote the inclusive nature of our school, the well-being of staff and pupils and with attendance and behaviour.
Our partnership with local schools forms an integral part of our school provision. Through the Sevenoaks Primary Partnership and Diocesan links, our children have access to a range of activities and competitions that span the curriculum. They are able to interact with pupils from other schools, visit other schools and bring the impact of this, back into their own classrooms. We are very proud of our extended services offered in the form of a wide variety of teacher run clubs which are both within and outside of the school day and a proportion are free of charge. The impact of this is that children experience enrichments to the basic curriculum. These clubs are popular and very well attended.
Our Equality Objectives
Under the Public Sector Equality Duty (PSED) the school is required to set Equality Objectives. Our published information must be updated annually and objectives published at least once every four years.
1: To ensure that on-going reviews of all school policies/procedures consider PSED and ensure that, where relevant, the importance of avoiding discrimination, victimisation or harassment is addressed.
2: To narrow the gap between the progress made by ‘all’ children and that made by those eligible for the Pupil Premium.
3: To raise the attainment of more able girls in Maths
4: To increase the knowledge and understanding of other world faiths, ethnic minority groups and SEND.