Promote Equality, Diversity
Policies must also pay regard to the values & practice which are part of all aspects of school life. The rights of all children & young people are stated in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (1989). The UK government ratified the treaty in 1991 & must ensure that the rights of children in the UK are protected through law. The table below lists the relevant legislation, which forms a basis for government statutory codes of practice & frameworks, & school policies & procedures relating to equal opportunity & inclusive practice.
Race Relations (amendment) Act 2000Outlines the duty of organisations to promote good relationships between people from different races. Human Rights Act 1998Sets out rights of all individuals & allows them to take action against authorities when their rights have been affected. Children Act 1989Sets out the duty of local authorities (including schools) to provide services according to the needs of children & to ensure their safety & welfare.
Children Act 2004Sets out the duty to provide effective & accessible services for all children & underpins the 5 Every Child Matters outcomes. Education Act 1996Sets out the schools responsibilities toward children with special educational needs. The Act also requires schools to provide additional resources, equipment &/or additional support to meet their needs. Equality Act 2010Sets out the legal responsibilities of public bodies, including schools, to provide equality of opportunity for all citizens. This brings together 9 equality laws.
The Equality Act 2010 replaced all previous equality legislation such as the Race Relations Act, Disability Discrimination Act and Sex Discrimination Act. It also provides some changes about which schools need to be aware. The Equality Act 2010 provides a single, consolidated source of discrimination law, covering all the types of discrimination that are unlawful. It simplifies the law by removing anomalies and inconsistencies that had developed over time in the existing legislation, and it extends the protection from discrimination in certain areas.
As far as schools are concerned, for the most part, the effect of the new law is the same as it has been in the past – meaning that schools cannot unlawfully discriminate against pupils because of their sex, race, disability, religion or belief and sexual orientation. Protection is now extended to pupils who are pregnant or undergoing gender reassignment 1. 2 It is important to support participation and equality of access so that every pupil has the same opportunities offered to them regardless of personal background.
In order for us to achieve this we must involve the children in finding out what works well in school and what doesn’t. I believe that involving the children in this process would make the children more confident and feel more valued. The Equality Act 2010 states that there are seven different types of discrimination, which are: • Direct discrimination: discrimination because of a protected characteristic. • Associative discrimination: direct discrimination against someone because they are associated with another person with a protected characteristic.
This includes carers of disabled people and elderly relatives, who can claim they were treated unfairly because of duties that had to carry out at home relating to their care work. It also covers discrimination against someone because, for example, his or her partner is from another country. ) • Indirect discrimination: when you have a rule or policy that applies to everyone but disadvantages a person with a protected characteristic. • Harassment: behaviour deemed offensive by the recipient. Employees can claim they find something offensive even when it’s not directed at them.
Harassment by a third party: employers are potentially liable for the harassment of staff or customers by people they don’t directly employ, such as a contractor. • Victimisation: discrimination against someone because they made or supported a complaint under Equality Act legislation. • Discrimination by perception: direct discrimination against someone because others think they have a protected characteristic (even if they don’t). If we just ignored these guidelines we would not be offering the children the same opportunities as those we didn’t discriminate against. 1. Culture can have many different meanings & the way the term is used has changed over time.
Culture can cut across nationality & religions. It is what gives groups of people in our society their identity. It also refers to the way groups live eg, shared customs, thoughts, arts, language & social activity. Recognising & promoting the cultural diversity of individuals & groups within the school will enrich learning & promote the knowledge & understanding of all pupils. It is important that schools celebrate the bilingual & multilingual skills of pupils & that people understand the cultural diversity of the pupils within the school.
Understanding & taking account of their background & culture is essential to build effective relationships & provide support. The diverse cultures in society should be recognised & reflected throughout the curriculum. For example, incorporating music, foods, stories & drama from a range of cultures will contribute to a rich curriculum & demonstrate that you are not only valuing the culture of groups but also supporting all pupils to explore & understand cultures which are different from their own.
Outcome 2 – Understand the impact of prejudice & discrimination on children & young people 2. 1 Everyone working in schools must be aware that children can experience prejudice & discrimination. Prejudice can occur through lack of knowledge & understanding of diversity. Prejudice is making assumptions about children or young people because they belong to a particular group. For example, a child who has a disability may be assumed to have learning difficulties. When people demonstrate prejudice, they often go on to label children. A label may be given to an individual or group.
It happens when a particular characteristic or label is given because of prejudices. For example, a group of children who receive additional support with reading may be labelled as the ‘slow’ group. Boys may be labelled as ‘noisy’ & girls ‘quiet’. Prejudice & labelling can often lead to discrimination. Discrimination happens when children do not receive equality of opportunity. Some individuals or groups are more likely to experience discrimination. This may happen because of their race, culture, social background, sexual orientation, special educational needs or disability.
Children or young people may experience direct discrimination or indirect discrimination. Direct discrimination happens when children & young people are not allowed to access part of the curriculum & school activities because of their particular situation such as race, gender or disability. Indirect discrimination is often more difficult to spot. It often occurs when practice & procedures are applied without consideration to individual’s circumstances. A child will not be excluded directly, but will be unable to participate because of their personal situation.
Discrimination can be: Institutional – this happens when the policies & procedures of an organisation allow practice which directly or indirectly discriminates against someone. Individual – this may be practised by individuals or groups within the school. Individuals could be staff, visitors or other children & young people. 2. 2 Prejudice & discrimination can have negative effects on children & young people. As well as affecting academic progress of children, discrimination can negatively impact their overall health & well-being.
When children or young people feel they are being discriminated against they may experience: Loss of self-esteem Disempowerment Confusion Anger Lack of motivation Depression 2. 3 All those working within the school have a legal duty to protect the rights of children & young people. It is important for each individual to examine their own attitudes & values critically, & consider how these may impact on the way they work with children. An individual’s background, upbringing & experiences can have an effect on attitudes towards individuals & groups, so it’s important to recognise these.
Personal prejudices, which may lead to discriminatory practice, can be overcome through developing a greater understanding of diverse groups in society. For example, find out about the religious beliefs & cultures of the children you work with, or ensure you know about any special educational needs or disabilities. Do not make assumptions about children & young people. Finding out about their backgrounds, interests, abilities & individual needs will help you to provide more effective, appropriate & personalised support. 2. 4 The promotion of anti-discriminatory practice should underpin all work n schools.
It is not sufficient to have policies in place which make statements about anti-discriminatory practice or just to pay lip service to it. Schools MUST demonstrate anti-discriminatory practice. Promoting anti-discriminatory practice can be done as follows: Be a good role model – demonstrate anti-discriminatory practice in everything you do. Appreciate & promote diversity & individuality of children & young people by acknowledging their positive attributes & abilities. Listen to & involve children & young people in the delivery of services & respond to their concerns.
Recognise that the child or young person is at the centre of the learning by treating each one as individual. Have realistic but the highest expectations of all children & young people. Support a positive ethos within the school. Give pupils the confidence & skills to challenge prejudice or discriminatory behaviour of others. Recognise & question anti-discriminatory practice. 2. 5 Discrimination should always be challenged, but to do this it’s essential that you can recognise anti-discriminatory practice. If you ignore it when it happens, it will be viewed as condoning discrimination.
It can be difficult to challenge discrimination, so it’s important that you consider how to deal with different & often difficult situations. To be able to challenge discrimination you require knowledge of policy, procedures & practice. If you feel confident about what is good practice, you will be able to deal more effectively with incidents that arise. When challenging discrimination you should: Explain what has happened or what has been said that is discriminatory. State the effect of this on the individual, group or others. Suggest or model ways to ensure anti-discriminatory practice.
Outcome 3 – Support inclusion & inclusive practices in work with children & young people. 3. 1 Inclusive practice is a process of identifying, understanding & breaking down barriers to participation & belonging. Inclusion is about ensuring that children & young people, whatever their background or situation, are able to participate fully in all aspects of the life of the school. Inclusive practices will ensure that everyone feels valued & has a sense of belonging. In an inclusive environment there is recognition, acceptance & celebration of differences & similarities.
Inclusion can be seen through differentiation of work eg different expectations of work levels for different groups of children. It can also be seen through identification of specific needs of children . 3. 2 Legislation requires schools to make ‘reasonable adjustments’ & remove barriers so that children & young people can take part in educational & social activities within the school alongside other pupils. Pupils with additional needs often require the additional support of a TA or school support worker, but inclusion for pupils is not only about providing additional support.
Adjustments may relate to: The physical environment – providing lifts, ramps, rails & furniture at the correct height for children with a physical disability or improved lighting for those with a visual impairment. Providing information – worksheets & books with larger print, audio tapes, symbols, signing or alternative forms of communication.