Every school must produce a range of policies which formally set out guidelines and procedures for ensuring equality. These policies must take account the rights of all children and young people. The policies in place work to ensure equality and inclusion; this can be conducted through the teaching and learning that occurs in the setting. However, the policies must also pay regard to the values and practice which are part of all aspects of school life.
All work with children should be underpinned by the principles and values as stated in the National Occupational Standards in Children’s Core Learning and Development. These principles and values are stated below:
1. The welfare of the child is paramount
2. Practitioners contribute to children’s care, education and learning, and this is reflected in every aspect of practice and service provision. 3. Practitioners work with parents and families who are partners in the care, development and learning of their children and are the child’s first and most enduring educators.
1. The needs, rights and views of the child are the centre of all practice and provision 2. Individuality, difference and diversity are equally valued and celebrated 3. Equality of opportunity and anti-discriminatory practice are actively promoted 4. Children’s health and well-being are actively promoted 5. Children’s personal and physical safety is safeguarded whilst allowing for risk and challenge as appropriate to the capabilities of the child 6. Self esteem, resilience and positive self image are recognised as essential to every child’s development 7. Confidentiality and agreements about confidential information are respected as appropriate unless a child’s protection and well-being is at stake 8. Professional knowledge, skills and values are shared appropriately in order to enrich the experience of children more widely 9. Best practice requires reflection and a continuous search for improvement
The rights of all children and young people are stated in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (1989). The UK government ratified the treaty in 1991 and must ensure that the rights of children in the UK are protected through law. These rights are extensive and include the right to education and the right for children to have their views respected.
The table below lists the relevant legislation, which forms a basis for government statutory codes of practice and frameworks and social policies and procedures relating to equal opportunity and inclusive practice.
Disability Discrimination Act 1995
| Protects the rights of all those with disabilities. It also places a duty on schools plus other organisations to eliminate barriers to ensure that individuals can gain equal access to services.
| Disability Discrimination Act 2005
| Places a duty for schools to produce a Disability Equality Scheme and an Access Plan. Schools must encourage participation in all aspects of school life and eliminate harassment and unlawful discrimination.
| Special Educational Needs and Disability Act 2001
| Makes it lawful for educational providers to discriminate against pupils with special educational needs or a disability.
| Race Relations Act 2000
| This act outlines the duty of organisations to promote good relationships between people from different races.
| Human Rights Act 1998
| This sets out rights of all individuals and allows them to take action against authorities when their rights have been affected.
| Children Act 1989
| This sets out the duty of local authorities, including schools, to provide services accordingly to the needs of children and to ensure their safety and welfare.
| Children Act 2004
| This sets out the duty to provide effective and accessible services for all children and underpins the five Every Child Matters outcomes. The five outcomes are: 1. Be healthy. 2. Stay safe 3....
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