Fairfield School is a place where children and young people come first and develop as confident and successful learners. Where children and young people have a voice and make choices, are motivated, enjoy learning and achieve and progress.
This Single Equality Scheme is intended to respond to the spirit as well as the letter of the Race Relations (Amendment) Act 2000, the Disability Discrimination Act 2005, the Gender Equality Act 2006 and the Education and Inspections Act 2006 to promote community cohesion. It also aims to promote all other forms and strands of equality that are relevant to life in schools.
This goes beyond the school’s statutory duties to promote race, gender, disability equality and community cohesion and extends to the legislation protecting against discrimination on the grounds of age, sexuality and religion or belief. Race, gender, disability, sexuality, age and religion/belief are known as the six equality strands.
The Scheme aims to integrate equality into the school’s core priorities and functions.
This Single Equality Scheme will inform our School Development Plan as this will enable us to:
Demonstrate how promoting equality and eliminating discrimination can help raise standards
Ensure that equality and diversity are part of the school’s core business both as a school and as an employer
Ensure that our priorities for raising standards support our equality objectives
Inform the overall evaluation of our effectiveness in our self-evaluation form for future Ofsted inspections
Ensure that our equality objectives complement the Every Child Matters outcomes for children.
The Equality and Human Rights Commission is the enforcement body for equalities legislation and can serve the school with a Compliance Notice it fails in its specific duties under the Acts.
What do we mean by Equality and Diversity?
Equality refers to outcomes, making sure that all social groups benefit equally from our activities. Diversity recognises that we can only achieve equality by taking into account the different needs of communities. Equality is impossible to achieve without recognising diversity.
What is discrimination?
Discrimination is a type of negative treatment that affects a whole group of people, or an individual because they belong to a group.
Direct discrimination is when a person is treated less favourably than others because of their (real or perceived) ethnicity, disability, age, sexuality, religion/belief or gender whether staff, governors, students, parents / carers or visitors.
Indirect discrimination is when there are rules or procedures that have the effect of discriminating against certain groups of people.
Fairfield School is an inclusive school and all activities conducted at or by the school would be affected by this policy.
Anyone who feels that they have been affected adversely by any discrimination described in this policy should use the usual methods of informing the school. If a student is affected by it then the first point of contact is their teacher. Anyone else should make representation to a member of the Senior Leadership Team.
The Scheme will be managed by the SLT. The Headteacher will report termly to governors on what progress has been made on the action plan and the prospectus will carry a summary of the report with information on how to access the full report if required (in writing to the Headteacher).
Profile of our school
Fairfield is a special school for children and young people aged 3 to 19 years. All of our children have special educational needs which cannot be met fully within a mainstream school. Learning takes place in small class groups. We offer a broad and balanced curriculum including the Foundation Stage curriculum at Early Years. We try to ensure that the curriculum is rich with exciting and engaging opportunities for the children to explore and engage with the world around them. This includes two-way links with other schools; enrichment days (this year - Eid, Harvest, Sports Relief, Chinese New Year, Brazil and Africa); regular visits to and work within the community; regular visitors to school such as musicians, dancers and artists, people who help us. We have fabulous resources to support our young people. These include a hydrotherapy pool, a rebound therapy room, sensory room, green screen technology, augmentative and assisted communication technology, extensive grounds and well organised classrooms.
This provides ideal opportunities to enrich the daily lives of our students in order to ensure they learn and progress as well as they possibly can.
We believe in partnership with our parents and carers. We welcome parents and carers into school.
Race Equality Policy
This Scheme incorporates all of our duties under the Race Relations (Amendment) Act 2000.
Our duties fall into two parts, a General Duty and a Specific Duty. The General Duty applies equally to all schools and other organisations that provide employment, services and goods. For a Specific Duty, we have to show what we are planning to do to meet the General Duty.
The General Duty for race equality requires us to:
Eliminate unlawful racial discrimination.
Promote equal opportunities.
Promote good relations between people of different racial groups.
The Specific Duty for race equality requires us to publish a Race Equality Scheme that highlights how the school will:
Prepare a written statement of the school's policy for promoting race equality, and act upon it
Assess the impact of school policies and procedures on pupils, staff. parents and the wider community, including, in particular, the impact of attainment levels of these pupils
Monitor, assess and review the attainment level of black and minority ethnic pupils and act accordingly
Make information available and accessible to all groups
Train and support all school staff and governors to understand race equality and the practical implications for the school and its community
Take reasonable steps to make available the results of its monitoring on an annual basis
All schools are required to record any racial incidents and report them to the Local Authority regularly. We use the electronic reporting system provided by Children's Services to do this when incidents occur and to provide a termly summary. We will also respond appropriately to any racial incidents that happen in school (See our Behaviour and Anti- Bullying Policies)
Ofsted will inspect and report on whether we are meeting the general and specific duties.
Disability Equality Policy
This Scheme incorporates our duties under the Disability Discrimination Act 2005.
The school’s duties fall into two parts, a General Duty and a Specific Duty. The General Duty applies equally to all schools and other organisations that provide employment, services and goods. For a Specific Duty we have to show what we are planning to do to meet the General Duty.
The General Duty for disability equality requires us to:
Promote equality of opportunity for disabled pupils, staff, parents/carers and other school users
Eliminate unlawful discrimination
Eliminate harassment of disabled people
Promote positive attitudes to disabled people
Encourage participation by disabled people in public life
Take into account a disabled person’s disability even if it means treating the disabled person more favourably
The Specific Duty states that we must implement the General Duty by publishing a Disability Equality Scheme which:
Includes a three year action plan
Involves disabled pupils and other disabled people in all stages of the scheme
Carries out Equality Impact Assessments of policies and procedures to make sure that disabled people are not being treated unfairly
Publish the results of these Equality Impact Assessments
Report annually on the progress of the action plan
Social and medical models of disability
One of our key goals is to challenge the view that the inequality faced by disabled people is down to their medical ‘problems’.
The medical model has fed negative stereotypes held by non-disabled people such as:
Focusing only on what a person cannot do.
Making assumptions about what is best for the disabled person.
Thinking that disabled people lack intelligence.
Feeling embarrassed among disabled people.
Bullying and harassing disabled people.
The social model focuses on the social environment and some people to be disabled:
What is a disability and how many disabled people are there in the UK?
Disability is any condition that affects a person in their day to day life. This can happen suddenly, for example as a result of an accident, or gradually as a result of a condition such as arthritis.
In the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) this is called an impairment. The DDA now recognises around 400 impairments including:
Mobility impairments (requiring aids such as sticks or wheelchairs to move about).
Sensory impairments (hearing or sight loss).
Mental ill health (including depression, stress, Alzheimer’s disease and schizophrenia).
Cognitive developmental impairments (including learning disabilities, dyslexia, and autism).
Muscular impairments (including spinal injuries).
Acquired brain injuries
The school is required to improve access to the curriculum, our buildings and our other services to disabled people. This also means that we need to take a proactive stance and anticipate what we may need in the future for disabled users.
See The Accessibility Statement
Recruitment and Retention of disabled staff
Our school welcomes a diverse workforce and we wish for an ethos where potential and existing staff feel able to disclose any impairment that they have. This is not just for data collection purposes, but in order for the school to make any reasonable adjustments for this member of staff. All disclosures will be treated sensitively and confidentially.
Disability and special educational needs
Not all pupils who are defined as disabled will have special educational needs. For example, those with severe asthma or diabetes may not have SEN but may have rights under the DDA. Similarly, not all children with SEN will be defined as having a disability.
Gender Equality Policy
This Scheme incorporates our duties under the Equalities Act 2006 relating to gender equality.
Our duties fall into two parts, a General Duty and a Specific Duty. The General Duty applies equally to all schools and other organisations that provide employment, services and goods. For a Specific Duty we have to show what we are planning to do to meet the General.
The General Duty for gender equality requires us to:
Eliminate unlawful discrimination and harassment
Promote equality of opportunity between men and women.
The Specific Duty requires us to publish a Gender Equality Scheme which includes:
Steps to address the causes of any gender pay gap
Collect and use information on gender equality in the school
Consult with stakeholders on priorities for gender equality
Carry out Equality Impact Assessments
Identify priority areas for gender equality
Publish a three year action plan and report on it yearly
The Gender Equality Duty promotes equality for men, women and transgendered people.
What is gender?
Gender refers to the social construction of female and male identity, rather than biological differences between men and women. It includes the ways in which those differences, whether real or perceived, have been valued and used to classify women and men and to assign roles and expectations to them. Gender identity is not always fixed and the Gender Equality Duty urges us to have due regard to the needs of transgender people.
Sexuality Equality Policy
Unlike race, disability and gender there is not a General and Specific Duty for schools to eliminate discrimination against lesbian, gay or bi-sexual people. However, schools have a legal duty to ensure homophobic bullying is dealt with in schools under the Education and Inspections Act 2006.
The Employment Equality (Sexual Orientation) Regulations (2003), gave all gay, lesbian and bi-sexual employees rights against discrimination. The Sexual Orientation Regulations (2007) extend these rights to goods and services. This means that we have a legal duty to ensure that people of all sexualities are not discriminated when they work for us or use our services.
We are committed to ensuring that everyone should have equal access to all the services provided by the School and that no-one within our school community experiences discrimination due to their sexual orientation.
Age Equality Policy
Unlike race, disability and gender there is not a General and Specific Duty for schools to eliminate age related discrimination.
The Employment Equality (Age) Regulations (2006), gave people of all age groups rights against discrimination at work, including vocational training. The regulations cover:
Discrimination in recruitment, retention and training
Dismissal and redundancy
Statutory sick pay and maternity
Harassment in the workplace
In this Scheme we will extend to age the actions we are undertaking to meet the Specific Duties under race, gender and disability.
We are committed to ensuring that everyone should have equal access to all the services provided by the School and that no-one within our school community experiences age discrimination.
Religion/Belief Equality Policy
Unlike race, disability and gender there is not a General and Specific Duty for schools to eliminate discrimination on the grounds of a person’s religion or deeply held beliefs.
However, The Employment Equality (Religious Belief) Regulations (2003), gave people of all religious faiths rights against discrimination in the workplace. This does not include people’s political beliefs, but does include agnostics or atheists.
We are committed to ensuring that everyone should have equal access to all the services provided by the School and that no-one within our school community experiences age discrimination due to their religion or belief.
In this Scheme we will extend to religion/belief the actions we are undertaking to meet the Specific Duties under race, gender and disability.
Community Cohesion Policy
The Education and Inspections Act 2006 introduced a new duty for schools to promote community cohesion.
What is community cohesion?
A cohesive community is one in which:
There is a common vision and sense of belonging for all communities
The diversity of backgrounds and circumstances are appreciated and valued
Similar life opportunities are available to all
Strong and positive relationships exist and continue to be developed in schools and our communities
Schools and their communities
Community Cohesion needs to be owned by all organisations and community groups if it is to be effective. Schools belong to many different communities. Our school’s communities include:
The school community – our pupils, their families, school staff, school governors, users of the school’s facilities
The local community – our school in its geographical community and the people who live or work in the area
The South Lakes Federation – a soft federation of 8 secondary schools, a special school, an FE college and a university
The Rural Academy – a group of small rural secondary schools from across Cumbria
The UK community – we are by definition part of this
The global community – formed by EU and international links