Equality policy

  1. Aims
    Our college aims to meet its obligations under the public sector equality duty by having due regard to the need to:
     Eliminate discrimination and other conduct that is prohibited by the Equality Act 2010
     Advance equality of opportunity between people who share a protected characteristic and people who do
    not share it
     Foster good relations across all characteristics – between people who share a protected characteristic and
    people who do not share it
    At Blessed Edward Oldcorne Catholic College we wish to create and maintain a trusting, secure and happy
    environment where everyone can work as equals. Our college virtues underpin this policy. All members of the college
    community have responsibilities to promote equality of opportunity, experience and treatment. We are all treated
    equally in the eyes of God and we are all of equal worth.
    Our college consists of a diverse range of people – employees, visitors students and parents. We celebrate our
    difference, by understanding them and enjoying the diversity this brings. This policy takes into account the
    requirement of the Equality Act 2010. The policy will be applied to all staff and students, as well as any volunteers
    working in Blessed Edward Oldcorne Catholic College. We want to foster mutual tolerance and our aim is for everyone
    to feel valued within the college. By actively promoting equal opportunities and not discriminating either directly or
    indirectly against anyone on the grounds of colour, race, nationality, beliefs, sexuality or gender the college can
    ensure that all staff, students and volunteers:
     Have opportunities to achieve their potential.
     Have access to and can make full use of the college’s facilities and resources.
     Are prepared for life in a diverse and multi-ethnic society.
     Understand the meaning of prejudice, how discrimination occurs and how to take a stand against these.
     Participate in our positive ethos and environment.
     See that Racist and discriminatory incidents are dealt with effectively (see Discipline policy and Anti-Bullying Policy).
     See that Inclusion issues are taken seriously and are considered in all aspects of college life.
     Are free of any discrimination whether religious, race, disability, sexual orientation or gender.
  2. Legislation and guidance
    This document meets the requirements under the following legislation:
     The Equality Act 2010, which introduced the public sector equality duty and protects people from
    discrimination
     The Equality Act 2010 (Specific Duties) Regulations 2011, which require colleges to publish information to
    demonstrate how they are complying with the public sector equality duty and to publish equality objectives
    This document is also based on Department for Education (DfE) guidance: The Equality Act 2010 and colleges.
  3. Roles and responsibilities
    The governing body will:
     Ensure that the equality information and objectives as set out in this statement are published and
    communicated throughout the college, including to staff, students and parents, and that they are reviewed
    and updated at least once every four years
     Delegate responsibility for monitoring the achievement of the objectives on a daily basis to the headteacher
    The headteacher will:
     Promote knowledge and understanding of the equality objectives amongst staff and students
     Monitor success in achieving the objectives and report back to governors
    All college staff are expected to have regard to this document and to work to achieve the objectives as set out in
    section 8.
  4. Eliminating discrimination
    The college is aware of its obligations under the Equality Act 2010 and complies with non-discrimination provisions.
    Where relevant, our policies include reference to the importance of avoiding discrimination and other prohibited
    conduct.
    Staff and governors are regularly reminded of their responsibilities under the Equality Act, for example during
    meetings. Where this has been discussed during a meeting it is recorded in the meeting minutes.
  5. Advancing equality of opportunity
    As set out in the DfE guidance on the Equality Act, the college aims to advance equality of opportunity by:
     Removing or minimising disadvantages suffered by people which are connected to a particular characteristic
    they have
     Taking steps to meet the particular needs of people who have a particular characteristic
     Encouraging people who have a particular characteristic to participate fully in any activities
    In fulfilling this aspect of the duty, the college will:
     Publish attainment data each academic year showing how students with different characteristics are
    performing
     Analyse the above data to determine strengths and areas for improvement, implement actions in response and
    publish this information
     Make evidence available identifying improvements for specific groups
     Publish further data about any issues associated with particular protected characteristics, identifying any issues
    which could affect our own students
  6. Fostering good relations
    The college aims to foster good relations between those who share a protected characteristic and those who do not
    share it by:
     Promoting tolerance, friendship and understanding of a range of religions and cultures through different
    aspects of our curriculum. This includes teaching in RE, citizenship and personal, social, health and economic
    (PSHE) education, but also activities in other curriculum areas. For example, as part of teaching and learning in
    English/reading, students will be introduced to literature from a range of cultures
     Holding assemblies dealing with relevant issues. Students will be encouraged to take a lead in such assemblies
    and we will also invite external speakers to contribute
     Working with our local community. This includes inviting leaders of local faith groups to speak at assemblies,
    and organising college trips and activities based around the local community
     We have developed links with people and groups who have specialist knowledge about particular
    characteristics, which helps inform and develop our approach
  7. Equality considerations in decision-making
    The college ensures it has due regard to equality considerations whenever significant decisions are made.
    The college always considers the impact of significant decisions on particular groups. For example, when a college trip
    or activity is being planned, the college considers whether the trip:
     Cuts across any religious holidays
     Is accessible to students with disabilities
     Has equivalent facilities for boys and girls
  8. Equality objectives
    Objective 1: Undertake an analysis of recruitment data and trends with regard to race, gender and disability by July
    2020, and report on this to the Finance and General Purposes committee of the governing board.
    Objective 2: Have in place a reasonable adjustment agreement for all staff with disabilities by July 2020, to meet their
    needs better and ensure that any disadvantages they experience are addressed.
    Objective 3: Train all members of staff and governors involved in recruitment and selection on equal opportunities and
    non-discrimination by the beginning of the next academic year. Training evaluation data will show that 100% of those
    attending have a good understanding of the legal requirements.
  9. Monitoring arrangements
    The headteacher will update the equality information we publish, [described in sections 4-7 above], at least every
    year.
    This document will be reviewed by the governing body at least every 4 years.
    This document will be approved by the governing body.
  10. Links with other policies
    This document links to the following policies:
     Accessibility plan
     Safeguarding policy
    5
     Anti bullying policy
    APPENDIX 1
    Gender Reassignment
    Introduction
    Gender reassignment is a protected characteristic under section 7 of the Equality Act 2010. This section states that “A
    person has the protected characteristic of gender reassignment if the person is proposing to undergo, is undergoing or
    has undergone a process (or part of a process) for the purpose of reassigning the person’s sex by changing
    physiological or other attributes of sex.” It is important to note that gender reassignment is to do with the individual.
    As a Catholic College we uphold the belief that everybody is made in the image and likeness of God and therefore
    must have their unique dignity respected.
    Blessed Edward Oldcorne Catholic College recognises that as soon as a student proposes to undergo a process which
    will result in a change of sex they are protected from discrimination under the Equality Act 2010. When the college is
    informed that a student is proposing to undergo gender reassignment the following steps will be followed.
    Mentoring
    A member of staff will be assigned to act as an identified point of contact for the parents and student.
    Initial discussion
    Initial discussions will take place between parents and the mentor to gather information on how the student can be
    supported in college. The student will be asked which term he/she prefers the college to use when discussing their
    gender identity. Some individuals may prefer to use the term transgender person or trans male or female. The student
    and their parents will be asked if from this point onward they wish the student’s photograph to be used on the college
    website, newsletter or future publicity material.
    Toilets and changing facilities
    The mentor will identify a toilet and changing facility for the student’s use. This will be done so as to respect the
    dignity and privacy of the student and others using the toilet whilst ensuring their safety.
    Physical Education
    The college will deal with each student individually and sensitively in in terms of participation in PE whilst recognising
    that each student has a right to access physical education in college. PE is important to the physical and mental
    wellbeing of students and is a key part of the college curriculum. Issues will be discussed with the student and parents
    and lesson plans will be devised sensitively and carefully in agreement with the mentor. Different rates of
    development of students will be taken into account when considering participation in certain contact sports and
    discussion will take place with parents and the student before the lesson. In terms of competitive college sports the
    college will adopt a common sense approach in light of limited current guidance from sporting bodies.
    Change of name
    If parents request it the college will refer to a student who is proposing to undergo gender reassignment by their
    preferred name. At this stage the Chair of Governors and staff will be informed by the Headteacher. The college will
    also inform the Archdiocese and discuss the issue with their press officer. Staff will also be informed and asked to
    pass all enquiries regarding the student to the Headteacher. At all times the college will be open and transparent
    whilst recognising the student’s right to privacy. Staff will be reminded that they should not disclose information that
    may reveal the student’s transgender status unless legally required to do so or the young person has asked them to do
    so. Staff should not discuss the student outside of college even when making no particular reference to their name or
    personal details.
    College uniform
    If after a series of meetings the parents request that their child be allowed to wear the uniform with which he/she
    identifies the college will request a period of half a term before implementing the change. This is to ensure that all
    necessary steps are followed in protecting the needs of the student concerned.
    College trips
    Learning about different cultures and lives and taking part in activities may involve overnight stays both at home and
    abroad. The college recognises that issues may arise for young transgender people but these should not mean they
    are excluded from the trip. Any trip involving overnight stays will be discussed well in advance with parents and the
    student and consideration given to any additional needs, such as the safety of the child and other children and adults
    on the trip. Plans will be agreed by the trip organiser and mentor.
    Outside agencies
    The college will liaise where necessary with any outside agencies working with the student who are aware of the
    individual’s gender reassignment. Parental and student consent will be sought before doing so.
    Medication
    If the student is taking medication the college will ensure that appropriate staff are fully briefed on the effects of
    these medications in line with all relevant college policies