Strategic Equality Plans 2014

Last modified 20/04/2015 09:17

 

 

 STRATEGIC EQUALITY PLANS

2012 - 2016

 

 

 

 

Last reviewed November 2014

Adolygu ddiw ethaf

Next Review November 2015

Adolygiad nesaf

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Contents of our Strategic Equality Plan (SEP)

 

  1. 1.            Our school                                                                                                               5

1.1         Values                                                                                  

1.2         Characteristics                                                        

1.3         Mainstreaming equality into policy and practice                                   

1.4         Setting our equality objectives                                                     

2.         Responsibilities                                                                                                      7

                        2.1       Governing Body

                        2.2       Senior Leadership Team

                        2.3       Staff – teaching and non-teaching

3.         Information gathering and Engagement                                                          8

                        3.1       Purpose and process

                        3.2       Types of information gathered

                        3.3       Engagement

4.         Equality Impact Assessment                                                                              10

 

5.         Objectives and Action Plans                                                                               10

 

6.         Publication and reporting                                                                                    11

 

7.         Monitor and Review                                                                                              11

 

 

Appendices

App. 1            Regional Equality Objectives     

 

App. 2            School Equality Objectives and Action Plan

 

App. 3            School Access Plan (use current plan for 2013/14) 

 

1. Our Distinctive Character, priorities and Aims 

 

1.1 School values

 

At Dylan Thomas Community School we are committed to ensuring equality of education and opportunity for all pupils, staff, parents and carers receiving services from the school, irrespective of disability, race, gender, age, sexual orientation, religion or belief, gender reassignment, pregnancy & maternity, marriage and civil partnership.  We aim to develop a culture of inclusion and diversity in which all those connected to the school feel proud of their identity and able to participate fully in school life.

 

The achievement of pupils will be monitored and we will use this data to support pupils, raise standards and ensure inclusive teaching.  We will tackle discrimination by the positive promotion of equality, challenging bullying and stereotypes and creating an environment which champions respect for all.  At Dylan Thomas we believe that diversity is a strength, which should be respected and celebrated by all those who learn, teach and visit here.

 

1.2 Characteristics of our school

 

Dylan Thomas is a small Community School,  a place where children can feel safe and happy.  We believe that pupils can only achieve their best when they are secure and feel valued by the people around them.

At our school we pride ourselves upon the range of support offered to remove barriers to learning. We have specialist behaviour for learning staff, pastoral support officers, school counsellors and a full time school nurse who can encourage pupils to overcome any social or emotional problems they may have.

The catchment of Dylan Thomas School is within one of the most deprived areas in Wales and over 50% of our pupils have special educational needs and experience difficulties in their learning.

There are two specialist teaching facilities, for pupils with moderate to severe learning difficulties and the new built Dereck Roberts Centre providing an education for pupils who have been identified as having additional learning needs associated with Autistic Spectrum Disorder.

Dylan Thomas is a multilingual school with at least 20 languages being spoken it has a number of students for whom English is an additional language.  We support such students by using specialist staff from the EMLAS team and out general policy is to support such students in the mainstream curriculum.  We value the diversity of our student population and the richness this adds to our community.

 

1.3 Mainstreaming equality into policy and practice

(See Equal Opportunities Policy)

We aim to provide all our pupils with the opportunity to succeed, and to reach the highest level of personal achievement.  To do this, we will:

  • use contextual data to improve the ways in which we provide support to individuals and groups of pupils;
  • monitor achievement data according to the various protected characteristics and action any gaps;
  • take account of the achievement of all pupils when planning for future learning and setting challenging targets;
  • ensure equality of access for all pupils and prepare them for life in a diverse society;
  • use materials that reflect the diversity of the school, population and local community in terms of the various protected characteristics, without stereotyping;
  • promote attitudes and values that will challenge discriminatory behaviour or prejudice;
  • provide opportunities for pupils to appreciate their own culture and celebrate the diversity of other cultures;
  • seek to involve all parents in supporting their child’s education;
  • encouraging classroom and staffroom discussion of equality issues which reflect on social stereotypes, expectations and the impact on learning;
  • including teaching and classroom-based approaches appropriate for the whole school population, which are inclusive and reflective of our pupils

 

1.4 Setting our equality objectives

We recognise our duty and responsibility to establish equality for all learners, staff, other members of the school community and service users regardless of any protected characteristic defined within the Equality Act 2010:

  • Age
  • disability
  • gender reassignment
  • marriage and civil partnership
  • pregnancy & maternity
  • race
  • religion or belief
  • sex
  • sexual orientation

 

The purpose of our Strategic Equality Plan (SEP) is to fulfil the duties to promote equality for all and embed fairness and equality at the heart of our school community and in all aspects of our school plans and policies.   

In setting the equality objectives for this school, we will take due regard to the Public Sector Equality Duty to:

  1. Eliminate discrimination, harassment, victimisation and any other conduct that is prohibited under the Act;
  2. Advance equality of opportunity between persons who share a relevant protected characteristic and persons who do not share it
  3. Foster good relations between persons who share a relevant protected characteristic and persons who do not share it

 

Our SEP and Equality Objectives are set in the light of:

  • The regional equality objectives identified in Appendix 1;
  • views expressed by our school council and governing body that have been involved in the development of the plan;
  • issues arising as a result of our analysis of our pupil data, e.g. attainment data of boys v. girls;

 

Our School Equality Objectives are set out in Section 5 & Appendix 2. 

 

2. Responsibilities

2.1 Governing Body 

The governing body has set out its commitment to equality and diversity in this plan and it will continue to do all it can to ensure that the school is fully inclusive to pupils, and responsive to their needs based on the protected characteristics.  The governing body:

  • seeks to ensure that people are not discriminated against when applying for jobs at our school;
  • takes all reasonable steps to ensure that the school environment gives access to disabled people, and also strive to make communications inclusive for parents, carers and pupils;
  • ensures that no pupil is discriminated against whilst in our school

 

In order to meet its reporting responsibility, the governing body will report on the progress of the SEP annually, as part of its Annual Report to parents.

2.2 Headteacher / Senior Leadership Team (SLT) 

The SLT promotes equality and eliminates discrimination by:

  • implementing the school’s SEP, supported by the governing body in doing so;
  • ensuring that all staff are aware of their responsibilities under the Act and are fully informed of our school’s SEP and equality objectives,
  • ensuring that all appointments’ panels give due regard to this plan, so that no one is discriminated against when it comes to employment or training opportunities;
  • promoting the principle of equal opportunity when developing the curriculum, and promoting respect for other people and equal opportunities to participate in all aspects of school life;
  • treating any incidents of bullying, harassment or discrimination in accordance to the Authority’s and school’s policies

 

2.3 Staff – teaching and non-teaching  

The school regards equality as a responsibility for all. Every member of staff contributes to ensuring that our school is a fair, just and cohesive community by:

  • ensuring that all pupils are treated fairly, equally and with respect, and will maintain awareness of the school’s SEP;
  • striving to provide material that gives positive images based on the protected characteristics and challenges stereotypical images;
  • challenging any incidents of prejudice,and record any serious incidents as prescribed in the LA and school’s policies, e.g. reporting of racial incidents;
  • supporting the work of ancillary or support staff and encourage them to intervene in a positive way against any discriminatory incidents
  •  

3. Information gathering and Engagement

3.1   Purpose and process

 

The collection of information is crucial to supporting us in:

  • deciding what actions to take to improve equality and eliminate discrimination within the school community
  • reviewing our performance.
  • undertaking Equality Impact Assessments

 

Engagement is based on the information gained about representation of different groups. We aim to do this as fully as possible while recognising issues of sensitivity in relation to the different protected characteristics. The reason that this progress is important is to understand the full range of needs of the school community.

3.2   Types of information gathered

 

The wide range of information gathered to support our planning and action to promote equality and eliminate discrimination includes the following:

  • an analysis of the responses received from pupils, parents/carers, staff, governors and community groups following the distribution of a questionnaire to determine equality issues.  The questions included in the questionnaire do not highlight specific protected characteristics, but seek to obtain stakeholders’ views across the board; a template is available for this work
  • pupil attainment and progress data relating to different groups;
  • school council’s views actively sought and incorporated in a way that values their contribution;
  • exclusions data analysed by group;
  • records of bullying and harassment on the grounds of any protected characteristic

 

3.3 Engagement

The school involves stakeholders including children and young people, staff, parents/carers, governors and other users of the school in relation to all equalities duties. We ensure that we communicate with everyone in an accessible way., using interpreters and different information formats when appropriate.

The views of stakeholders and other equalities related groups are genuinely taken into account when we set priorities.

 

The school surveyed the following groups, via a questionnaire:

 

  • Pupils
  • Parents
  • Staff
  • Governors
  • School Community Users
  • Visitors

 

4. Equality Impact Assessment

An EIA is basically a way of looking at what we do as a school to ensure our policies and proposals do not discriminate against people on the basis of:

  • Age
  • Disability
  • Gender reassignment
  • Marriage & civil partnership
  • Pregnancy and maternity
  • Race
  • Religion or (non-)belief
  • Sex
  • Sexual orientation
  • Welsh language

 

The purpose of an EIA is to identify any potential risks of unlawful discrimination and opportunities to promote equality. They also support the outcome of delivering excellence in terms of meeting the needs of all.

We will undertake EIAs on all our policies and proposals

5. Objectives and Action Plans

Our Equality Objectives are

  • Develop an ethos which respects and values all people
  • Actively promote equality of opportunity
  • Prepare students for life in a diverse society
  • Promote good relations amongst people within the school community and the wider communities within which we work
  • Eliminate all forms of unfair discrimination, bullying, harassment or other oppressive behaviour
  • Delivery equal opportunities through our school policies, procedures and practice
  • do our utmost, within available resources, to remove barriers which limit or discourage access to School provision and activities
  • take positive action to provide encouragement and support to individuals and groups whose progress has been limited by stereotyping and cultural expectations
  • monitor the implementation of equal opportunities within the School
  • set targets for improvement and evaluate the impact of equal opportunities action in achieving our goals.
  •  

Further information on how we will achieve these objectives is contained in Appendix 1.

The school evaluates the effectiveness of the SEP on a regular basis, through the governing body and with Estyn when the school is inspected.

6. Publication and reporting

 

We will publish our SEP on our school website and make it available from the school office.  The Plan will be available in a range of formats on request. 

 

The school reports annually on the progress made on the action plans and the impact of the SEP itself on school ethos and practice within the school.  This is undertaken as part of the Governors’ Annual Report.

All data collected will be used solely for the purpose of analyzing trends by protected characteristic in performance, take -up and satisfaction with services offered by the school or local authority. Such information will be stored separately from personal information which identifies the individual. In order to protect the identities of individuals when trend information is published no counts containing less than 5 individuals will be published.

7. Monitor and Review

As part of our responsibility to monitor the SEP, we commit to:

  • revisiting and analysing the information and data used to identify priorities for our Equality Objectives
  • undertaking an annual review of progress against our Equality Objectives..

 

We will undertake a full review of our SEP by September 2016

 

 

 

Strategic Equality Plan 2012 – 2016

 

Appendices

 

 

 

App. 1       Equality Opportunities Policy

App. 2       Disability Policy and Action Plan

App. 3       Current school Access Plan

 

 

 

 

EQUAL OPPORTUNITIES POLICY

 

Aims:

Dylan Thomas Community School is committed to promoting and achieving equality of opportunity for all students, parents, staff, governors and visitors. We believe that all people are of equal value and are entitled to equality of opportunity irrespective of ability, disability, sex, race, ethnicity, religion, culture, social class, appearance or sexual orientation.

 

Values, Principles & Standards:

Equality of opportunity is fundamental to good practice in education, in which

fairness of opportunity for all is a basic right. This policy is therefore

underpinned by the following values, principles and standards:

 

? equality and social justice

? acknowledging and valuing diversity

? respect for others

? compliance with equal opportunities legislation

? elimination of all forms of prejudice and unfair discrimination

? active challenge to stereotypes, prejudiced attitudes and unfair discriminatory behaviour

? commitment to inclusive education which enables and supports all students to develop their full potential

? commitment to the positive development of all staff and governors

? accountability for compliance with this policy by all members of the School and College communities and others engaged in School business

or activities.

 

Objectives:

The objectives of this Equal Opportunities Policy are to: 

 

(i) develop an ethos which respects and values all people

(ii) actively promote equality of opportunity

(iii) prepare students for life in a diverse society

(iv) promote good relations amongst people within the School community and the wider communities within which we work

(v) eliminate all forms of unfair discrimination, bullying, harassment or other oppressive behaviour

(vi) deliver equal opportunities through our School policies, procedures and practice

(vii) do our utmost, within available resources, to remove barriers which limit or discourage access to School provision and activities

(viii) take positive action to provide encouragement and support to individuals and groups whose progress has been limited by stereotyping and cultural expectations

(ix) monitor the implementation of equal opportunities within the School

(x) set targets for improvement and evaluate the impact of equal opportunities action in achieving our goals. 

Communication of Equal Opportunities Policy:o

Communication of Equal Opportunities Policy

We will take active steps to communicate this Equal Opportunities Policy to

all students, parents, staff, governors, partners, stakeholders, contractors

and visitors to the School

 

Responsibilities and Accountabilities:esponsibilities and accountabilities

The Governors are responsible for:

? making sure the School follows all of its equality and diversity policies and codes, and meets its legal responsibilities with respect to equality.

 

The Head Teacher is responsible for:

? giving a consistent and high-profile lead on equality and diversity

? promoting equal opportunities inside and outside the School

? ensuring policies and procedures are in place to comply with all equality legislation

? ensuring that the School implements its equality and diversity policies and codes of practice

 

School managers are responsible for:

 

? putting the School’s equality and diversity policies and codes into practice

? making sure that all staff know their responsibilities and receive the support and training necessary to carry them out

? following the relevant procedures and taking action in cases of unfair discrimination, harassment or bullying

 

All staff are responsible for:

 

? promoting equality and diversity, and avoiding unfair discrimination

? challenging any incidents of unfair discrimination, or racial, sexual or

other stereotyping, perpetrated by students or other staff

? keeping up-to-date with equality law and participating in equal

opportunities and diversity training

 

Pupils are responsible for:

 

? respecting others in their language and actions

? obeying all of the School’s equal opportunities policies and codes

Monitoring and review

ACCESSIBILITY PLAN

 

  1. This Accessibility Plan has been drawn up in consultation with the Local Authority, pupils, parents, staff and governors of the school and covers the period from September 2012 – August 2015.

 

  1. We are committed to providing a fully accessible environment which values and includes all pupils, staff, parents and visitors regardless of their education, physical, sensory, social, spiritual, emotional and cultural needs.  We are committed to challenging negative attitudes about disability and accessibility and to developing a culture of awareness, tolerance and inclusion.

 

  1. The Dylan Thomas Community School plans, over time, to increase the accessibility of provision for all pupils, staff and visitors to the school.  The Accessibility Plan will contain relevant actions to:

 

  • Improve access to the physical environment of the school, adding specialist facilities as necessary. This covers improvements to the physical environment of the school and physical aids to access education.

 

  • Increase access to the curriculum for pupils with a disability, expanding the curriculum as necessary to ensure that pupils with a disability are as, equally, prepared for life as are the able-bodied pupils; 
  • This covers teaching and learning and the wider curriculum of the school such as participation in after-school clubs, leisure and cultural activities or school visits. It also covers the provision of specialist aids and equipment, which may assist these pupils in accessing the curriculum.

 

  • Improve the delivery of written information to pupils, staff, parents and visitors with disabilities. Examples might include handouts, timetables, textbooks and information about the school and school events. The information should be made available in various preferred formats within a reasonable time frame.

 

  1. Attached are Action Plans, relating to these key aspects of accessibility. These plans will be reviewed and adjusted on an annual basis. New Plans will be drawn up every three years.

 

  1. We acknowledge that there is a need for ongoing awareness raising and training for staff and governors in the matter of disability discrimination and the need to inform attitudes on this matter.

 

Target

Tasks

Timescale

Finance

Responsibility

Monitoring

Success

Criteria

 

ACCESS TO CURRICULUM

 

Ensure access to computer technology appropriate for pupils with disabilities.

 

 

  • § ICT Action Plan includes prioritised purchasing list for computer technology as required for pupils with disabilities.
  • § LEA & School staff to update on available technology on a termly basis.

 

 

As required – unless needs of pupils in school require immediate action.

 

Up to £500 p.a.

 

All Key Leaders

 

Governors

 

Access to appropriate computer technology will be improved for all disabled pupils.

 

ACCESS TO CURRICULUM

 

Reflect identified areas of need in lesson planning and delivery.

 

  • § staff training in disability awareness to reflect diverse needs of students within the school and anticipatory duties.
  • § Purchase of resources to increase student participation.

 

 

Ongoing

 

 

 

SMT

All staff

 

I Team Leader

 

Governors

 

Improved access to curriculum for all pupils.

 

ACCESS TO CURRICULUM

 

Prioritise student participation in school activities.

 

  • § Promote student awareness of the rights of the child, Children should have special care and support if they need it.
  • § Ensure school activities are accessible to all students.

 

Ongoing

 

 

 

SMT

 

All staff

 

Governors

 

I Team Leader

 

Governors

 

Increased participation in school life for students with disabilities.

 

SCHOOL POLICIES

 

Ensure all policies consider the implications of Disability Access.

 

 

  • § Consider all policies in view of DDA

 

Ongoing

 

n/a

 

Governors

 

Governors

 

Access to all aspects of school life for all students.

 

SCHOOL BUILDINGS

 

Ensure that access to school buildings and site can meet diverse pupil needs.

 

 

  • § Accessibility and clarity of signs around school.
  • § Awareness of independent access.
  • § Clear identification of room functions.
  • § Provision of safe evacuation plans for all pupils as outlined in Fire Action Plan May 2012

 

 

Ongoing

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

O Team

 

Governors

 

O Team

 

Access to school buildings and site improved.

 

CLASSROOMS

 

Ensure that classrooms are optimally organised for disabled pupils within current restraints.

Identify needs and actions for future improvements.

 

 

  • § Plan classrooms in accordance with pupil need.
  • § Organise resources within classrooms to reflect student need.
  • § Incorporate accessibility into any proposed structural alternatives.
  • § Provide quiet areas within school.
  • § Think beyond the ramp.  Look at accessibility in all areas of school life.

 

 

Ongoing

 

 

 

O Team

 

O Team

 

Governors

 

Appropriate use of resources for diverse needs of pupils with disabilities.

 

NEWSLETTERS AND DOCUMENTS

 

Availability of newsletters and school documents in alternative formats.

 

 

  • § Use of pastel paper for dyslexic students.
  • § Large print and audio formats as required.
  • § Information in student planners when student need requires this.
  • § Home / School pack for students and ASD spectrum and students with communication difficulties.
  • § Homework information available as information sheets in alternative formats when requested.
  • § Use of symbol software.

 

 

 

£500 p.a.

 

O Team

 

O Team

 

Governors

 

Information to pupils with disabilities and parents / carers will be improved.