Equal Opportunities Policy
The School is a Roman Catholic School which is committed to treating everyone with equality of esteem, respect and dignity, and aims to prepare its pupils to serve as witnesses to the moral and spiritual values of the Gospels and to recognise and value the enrichment which flows from diversity of age, gender, racial, national and social origins, abilities, culture and religion.
The School is committed to discouraging all forms of unlawful discrimination, both direct and indirect, on the grounds of age, race, colour, nationality, ethnic origin, gender, marital status, sexual orientation, disability, political views and religious or similar philosophical beliefs. The School reserves the right to give preference in employing Catholic teachers and staff and in admitting Catholic pupils in accordance with its published admissions criteria.
This policy is part of that commitment and through its implementation the School aims to ensure the promotion of its above stated commitments.
The School will regard as racialism any attitude held by a person or group of one ethnic origin towards an individual or group of different ethnic origin which is offensive, discriminatory or hostile towards the individual or group. The School also considers racialism to be behaviour, acts or expressions that reflect such attitudes, or any incitement to behaviour of that kind. This means that the School must aim to:
- eliminate unlawful racial discrimination
- promote equality opportunities
- promote good relations between people of different racial groups
The School will regard sexism to be any attitude held by a person or group of one sex towards an individual or group of the other sex which is offensive, discriminatory or hostile towards the individual or group. The School also considers sexual harassment to be behaviour, acts or expressions that reflect such attitudes, or an incitement to behaviour of that kind.
The School will regard it unacceptable to hold or express any attitude towards an individual which is offensive, discriminatory or hostile on the basis of that individual’s or group’s orientation towards persons of the same sex or opposite sex (namely homosexuals, heterosexuals and bisexuals). It is also unacceptable to discriminate on the grounds of perceived sexual orientation (that is, assuming – correctly or incorrectly – that someone is homosexual, heterosexual or bisexual), and association (that is, being discriminated against on the grounds of the sexual orientation of those with whom you associate).
Religion or Belief
Within its environment as a Roman Catholic school and its lawful admissions criteria relating to religious belief and practice, the School will regard it unacceptable to hold or express any attitude towards an individual which is offensive, discriminatory or hostile on the basis of that individual’s or group’s religious belief or similar philosophical belief. It is also unacceptable to discriminate on the grounds of perceived as well as actual religion or belief. Further, it is unacceptable to discriminate against individuals or groups on the grounds of the religion or belief of those with whom they may associate.
The School will consider it unacceptable to hold or express any attitude towards an individual which is offensive, discriminatory or hostile on the basis of that individual’s age. It is also unacceptable to discriminate on the grounds of perceived as well as actual age.
The School must have in place arrangements to assess, monitor the impact of and to publish its equality policy and the results of its assessment and monitoring on pupils and staff.
This policy document aims to fulfil the School’s duty in relation to the publication of a
policy. The School recognises that the publication of a policy alone is not enough and that it has an obligation to ensure that the policy is translated into practice in the everyday life of the School.
The Governing Body of the School is ultimately responsible for ensuring that the School complies with its obligations under the relevant legislation and with the commitments set out in this policy.
The Headmaster will be responsible for:
- ensuring that this policy is implemented;
- advising the Governing Body in relation to the fulfilment of the School’s duties under the legislation and its commitments under this policy; and
- appointing a senior member of the teaching staff as the Designated Officer of the School to be responsible for facilitating and monitoring the implementation of the policy.
The Designated Officer will report to the Headmaster and will consult as he believes appropriate and necessary with members of staff, pupils and parents.
The Designated Officer will:
- make any necessary arrangements for teaching and non-teaching staff of the School to receive appropriate training in all manner of equality issues covered under the Equality Act 2010;
- ensure that all new members of staff are made aware of the School’s Equality Policy and, where appropriate, receive induction training in relation to the School’s commitment to the promotion and implementation of this policy;
- ensure that pupils receive information (through the curriculum, pastoral system, religious education programme or directly) in relation to this policy and the School’s commitment to it;
- monitor complaints of unlawful discrimination made by members of staff and pupils. The results of such monitoring will be reported to the Headmaster;
- make recommendations to the Headmaster regarding general steps which should be taken by the School to promote the objects of this policy.
Assessing the impact of policies
The School has a duty to assess the impact of its policies (including the equality policy) on pupils and staff.
The Designated Officer will, where necessary, draw up a list of policies to be assessed, prioritise the list in accordance with his assessment of the impact of the policies on equality issues and will recommend a rolling programme and timetable for the assessment of the policies. He will be responsible for identifying and collecting any information which may be required in order to make an assessment.
The Designated Officer will be responsible for putting his recommendations to the Headmaster and ensuring that, subject to their approval or amendment by the Headmaster, the assessment takes place within the specified timetable.
The purpose of the assessment of policies will be primarily to answer the following questions:
- the extent to which different groups of pupils and staff are achieving and fulfilling their potential;
- whether any additional steps would be likely to be effective to promote greater levels of achievement in relation to any such groups;
- what action is already being taken to promote equality and tackle proscribed inequalities in the relevant area; and
- what changes the School needs to make to its policies and procedures.
Regular review of the policy
The Governing Body will review annually the information published under this policy, any steps which have been taken to act upon any such information or otherwise to promote equality or tackle unlawful discrimination and any steps which have been taken to review this policy. Following such review, the Governing Body will consider any further or other steps which may be desirable in view of the School’s duties under the legislation and its commitments under this policy.
The Governing Body may delegate responsibility for reviewing the policy to a Committee of the Governing Body, in which case the Committee concerned will make a written report to the Governing Body for its consideration.
In reviewing the policy, the Governing Body or Committee will consult the Headmaster and consider and report on any recommendations made by him.