Equality, Diversity and Inclusion in Work with Children and Young People
Identify the current legislation and codes of practise relevant to the promotion of equality and valuing of diversity
Equality Act 2010 in Schools
The Equality Act 2010 is the law which bans unfair treatment and helps achieve equal opportunities in the workplace and in wider society. The Act brings together and replaces the previous anti-discrimination laws, such as the Disability Discrimination, Race Relations and Equal Pay Acts with a single Act. The majority of the Act came into place on 1st October 2010.
What the act requires of schools in particular –
Part 6 of the act states that the responsible school must not discriminate against a pupil – a)
In a way it provides education to the pupil
In the way it affords the pupil access to a benefit, facility or service c)
By not providing education for the pupil
By not affording the pupil access to a benefit, facility or service e)
By excluding the pupil from school
By subjecting the pupil to any other detriment
In addition to the provisions against discrimination, the Act also protects pupils from harassment or victimisation by a school.
A schools duty to its pupils goes beyond just the formal education; it provides and covers all school activities such as extra-curricular and leisure activities, after school and homework clubs, sports activities and school trips, as well as school facilities such as libraries and IT facilities.
As stated above a school has a duty to make reasonable adjustments for disabled people. Extending the reasonable adjustment duty to require schools to provide auxiliary aids and services to disabled pupils following the recent consultation on implementation and approach, this duty was introduced in September 2012.
Who the Act protects-
Anyone who has one or more of the following ‘protected characteristics’ – Age, Disability, Gender Reassignment, Marriage and Civil Partnership, Pregnancy and Maternity, Race (including ethnic or national origin, colour or nationality) religion or belief (including lack of belief, sex and sexual orientation).
Protected Characteristics in Schools –
The Act extends protection against discrimination related to gender reassignment and pregnancy and maternity to pupils in school. However, the Act makes an exception that discrimination on the grounds of age and marriage and civil partnership are not protected in schools. This is because children must be put into age ranging year groups in school and every child and young person is seen and treated as an individual therefor are not entitled to be treated as a married ‘couple’.
Every Child Matters – How does this framework support equality, diversity and inclusion?
Inclusion – Schools are structured so that all students can learn together. Inclusion is about ensuring that children and young people, whatever their background or situation, are able to participate fully in all aspects of the school. Inclusive practises will ensure that everyone feels valued and has a sense of belonging.
Equality – The state of being equal, in rights and opportunities. Equal opportunity does not mean treating pupils the same, but ensuring the curriculum meets the individual needs of all pupils. This involves understanding the barrier which exists. Intervention strategies, such as additional support, can then be put into place at an early stage before children fall too far behind. High expectations of all children are fundamental to raising achievement
Diversity – The state of being diverse variety.
Diversity means understanding that each individual is unique and recognising our individual differences.
Be Healthy –
By schools offering free and/or low cost healthy snacks for children e.g. fruit and vegetables, their ‘tuc shop’ only offering healthy foods and drinks, by serving healthy and well balanced school meals at lunch time and by offering...
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