Public Sector Equality Duty Statement
Public bodies such as schools have a duty, under the 2010 Equality Act, to ensure they promote equality within their organisation and this statement sets out how we endeavour to achieve this at Balfour Infant School.
Belonging to Balfour Principles encapsulate the belief in the right of every single person to be treated with equal dignity and compassion alongside equal legal protection is fundamental to the ethos that underpins everything we do in school.
The Equality Act makes explicit our responsibility to have due regard to the need to:
- Eliminate discrimination and other conduct that is prohibited by the Act
- 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.
In this respect, a protected characteristic could be any one of a multitude of factors that are shared by particular groups of people, but will include characteristics such as race, disability, sex, age, religion or belief, sexual orientation, pregnancy and maternity and gender reassignment. Central to a commitment to fulfil this responsibility is a recognition that all groups with protected characteristics equal status and equal rights.
At Balfour Infant School we recognise that the way in which we treat people to our world view. As a school, we are in the privileged position of supporting equality in our current practices, whilst also helping children to develop and embed the principles of equality and responsibility in their present and future lives.
Our equality objectives are based on the principles of human rights and human dignity, and can be summarised as follows:
- To ensure that the school retains a culture of advancing equality both in its policies and its practices
- To develop the children's understanding of, and commitment to, the promotion of equality and the elimination of discriminatory practices and beliefs
- To deepen an understanding among all children and staff of the strengths and needs of all protected characteristic groups
- To continue to seek ways in which the culture, policies and practices within school can be further improved to advance equality and to eliminate discrimination
- To celebrate the rich variety of individual and group characteristics which constitute our school community, as well as the wider world.
Principles into Practice
The following list covers some of the main ways in which the school community seeks to implement its moral and legal responsibilities to ensure equality within school. This is by no means an exhaustive list.
Balfour Infant School recognises its duty towards the children in its care as well as to its employees. Some of the following measures may be relevant to each of these groups to a greater or lesser extent. Where there is crossover between the elements they are numbered for ease of reference. The order in which they are listed should not be seen as being in terms of degree of importance, and nor should each element be seen as a discrete unit. The school community believes that equal opportunities is an unquestionable principle, and these elements taken together are the basis on which we seek to demonstrate and promote this principle.
- The Governing Body when reviewing policies and practice takes into account any relevant equal opportunity implications. Where relevant, the details of equal opportunity considerations will be specifically identified. The school's key policies are kept updated on the website and all policies are available by request at the school office.
- Leaders at all levels in school regularly analyse the progress and attainment of all children in the school, including the progress and attainment of specific pupil groups. Where significant variations are identified between the children who share a protected characteristic and children in the school generally this is explored more deeply. As a school we work tirelessly to ensure that children in particular groups are not being inadvertently disadvantaged. As each child is unique we also examine each child’s progress individually, and examine whythe discrepancy is showing up, so that we are best placed to support children in the way that is most appropriate for them.
- All aspects of the curriculum are open to all children, and we will always make reasonable adjustments where necessary to accommodate the particular needs of a child or group of children.
- Balfour Infant School promotes the British Values of respect and tolerance to all people, irrespective of characteristics, and we consider it our moral duty to promote and develop this understanding and good practice in the children themselves. When a child demonstrates intolerance or disrespect with regard to the characteristics of another person, we will work with that child to strengthen their understanding of why their behaviour or language has not been appropriate. In line with our teaching of the academic curriculum, we believe that education is by far the most effective response to incidents of intolerance or disrespect.
- As a school community we promote a culture in which children feel comfortable sharing concerns and worries with adults in school. Although worries can affect all children, those in protected characteristic groups may face greater barriers than their peers. Three principles are at the heart of the school’s approach to supporting children with their concerns.
Recognition that what might seem like a small issue to an adult can feel hugely important to a child. As a school we explore concerns to reach the root of a child's anxiety
Articulation of that concern by the child can be challenging so we seek to encourage and support that in a range of ways. We support the development of language to explore feelings. We understand the hold anxiety can have over children and how this can sometimes become a barrier to them seeking help. Children in certain protected characteristic groups may need greater levels of support in developing these skills.
Trust is vital in all relationships. A strong rapport and mutual respect and trust are integral to the school’s Belong to Balfour Principles. Consequently, when a child feels vulnerable or worried, they are able to choose, from a number of adults that they know well, the person they feel most comfortable approaching.
- At Balfour Infant School we also seek to promote a culture in the school that recognises the needs of staff members whether they belong to a protected characteristic or not. Support may take the form of emotional support, time off to attend family events or medical appointments, or requests for changes in working arrangements.
- Partnership with parents is core to the endeavours of Balfour Infant School. The school community promotes a culture in which parents feel comfortable to approach the school with concerns or difficulties. Through this partnership any barrier to equality can be explored and protected characteristics can be valued.
- As a school we have dedicated member of staff who supports the school community to celebrate and value a range of languages and world celebrations and events. The school community as a whole works together in tolerance, respect and understanding to share experiences and enjoyment.
Balfour Infant School, Pattens Lane, Rochester, Kent ME1 2QT
For all general enquiries please contact our Headteacher Ms D Atkinson
Our Designated Safeguarding Lead is Ms D Atkinson
For all enquiries relating to SEND please contact our LINC Mrs M Forbes
Our Data Protection Officer is Mrs M Marden
Tel: 01634 338280