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Equal Opportunities Policy

Introduction

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.  

Race

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

Gender

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.

Sexual Orientation

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.

age

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.

Implementation

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.

Responsibilities

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.