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LEVEL 3 DIPLOMA – SUPPORTING TEACHING AND LEARNING IN SCHOOLS Unit 5 Promote equality, diversity and inclusion in work with children and young people

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LEVEL 3 DIPLOMA – SUPPORTING TEACHING AND LEARNING IN SCHOOLS Unit 5 Promote equality, diversity and inclusion in work with children and young people
Unit 5 Promote equality, diversity and inclusion in work with children and young people Outcome 1 Promote equality and diversity in work with children and young people

There are many Acts of parliament and codes of practice that detail the legal requirements and responsibilities of schools with regard to promoting equality, diversity and inclusion:-

The UN Convention on Rights of the Child 1989
The Convention on the Rights of the Child is the first legally binding document to include the full range of human rights – civil, cultural, economic, political and social rights.

The articles which directly concern schools are:-
• Article 2 – children have the right to be protected from any form of discrimination.
• Article 3 – the best interests of the child are the main concern.
• Article 12 – all children should be permitted to express their own views and these should be given due consideration in line with the child’s age and maturity.
• Article 13 - children have the right to be given and to impart information as long as this information will not harm others.
• Article 14 – children have a right to religious freedom and to be free to investigate their beliefs.
• Article 28 – all children have an identical right to education.
• Article 29 – children’s education should extend each child’s talents, personality and abilities to their full potential, whilst learning to live in peace and with respect for the environment and other people.
Education and Inspections Act 2006
This act was introduced as part of the Government’s aim to ensure that all children in all schools get the education they need to enable them to fulfil their full potential. A major part of this act related to Trust Schools. Schools work best when they develop their curriculum to meet their pupils’ needs and takes responsibility for their own school improvement, working closely with other schools and external partners. All schools will be able to become Trust Schools by forming links with external partners. Trust Schools will afford the schools the freedoms enjoyed by other Foundation Schools. There will be new safeguards around Trusts to make sure that they operate in the best interest of local children, contribute to raising standards at the school and promote community cohesion.

Every Child Matters 2003
Every Child Matters was introduced as a result of the Victoria Climbie case and proposed changes in four main areas :-
1. supporting parents and carers
2. early intervention and effective protection
3. accountability and integration - locally, regionally and nationally
4. workforce reform
The intention was to provide more support to families; to ensure that no children slipped through the net again; to make sure that children have the support they need so that they are healthy, stay safe, enjoy and achieve, make a positive contribution and achieve economic well-being; to make sure that all agencies and organisations shared information with each other about children and to ensure that the workforce working directly with children was reviewed in order to improve their skills and effectiveness.

Children Act 2004
This Act provides the framework on which the reform of the children’s services is based. Its’ aims are to integrate and improve children’s services, to promote early intervention, to provide strong leadership and to bring together professionals in multi-disciplinary teams to achieve positive outcomes for children, young people and their families. The success of these aims will be assessed by the achievement of the five Every Child Matters outcomes for children and young people:-
• Safety
• Health
• Economic wellbeing
• Enjoy and achieve
• Making a positive contribution
Childcare Act 2006
This was the first ever act specifically concerned with early years and childcare and early childhood services. The Act takes forward key commitments from the Ten Year Childcare Strategy published in December 2004. The main aims are to:-
• Reduce child poverty – to support parents to work and to focus on the provision of good quality childcare for working parents.
• Reduce inequalities between young children – to support children most at risk of poor outcomes because of disadvantage and deprivation and to promote social mobility.
• Improve wellbeing for young children – by focussing on the five Every Child Matters outcomes.
• To implement the Early Years Foundation Stage – early years providers must make sure that the early years provision meets the learning and development requirements and must comply with the welfare requirements.
• Duty to provide information, advice and assistance – parents and prospective parents must be provided with information about the provision of childcare in the area; other services; facilities and publications that may be of benefit to parents, prospective parents, children and young persons in the LA’s area.
• Duty to provide information, advice and training to childcare providers – the LA must ensure the provision of information, advice and training to any persons providing or intending to provide childcare in their area who are required to be registered and any person providing or intending to provide childcare at a maintained school, a non-maintained school, special school or an independent school.
• The maintenance of two childcare registers – the early years register and the general childcare register.
The Children Act 2004 and the Childcare Act 2006 together resulted in a more integrated approach to work between schools and outside agencies so that the child’s best interests are met.
Human Rights Act 1998
The Human Rights Act came into force on 2 October 2000. Under this Act, individuals have rights and freedoms but these must be balanced against the rights and freedoms of others. The Rights most relevant to schools are:-
• Article 2 of the First Protocol – Right to Education.
• Article 8 - Right to Respect for Private and Family Life.
• Article 10 – Right to Freedom of Expression.
• Article 14 – Prohibition of Discrimination
Special Educational Needs Code of Practice 2001
This Code of Practice applies to any setting or school that receives government funding. The Code states that children have a special educational need if they have “a learning difficulty that calls for special educational provision to be made for them”. The learning difficulty may be a disability that stops or makes it difficult for them to make use of educational facilities provided for their age range or it may be that they have significantly greater difficulty in learning than the majority of children of the same age. Many children experience additional barriers to learning but do not have special educational needs, such as children with English as an additional language. The Special Educational Needs Code of Practice details five principles that support inclusive education:-
• A child with special educational needs should have their needs met.
• The special educational needs of children will normally be met in mainstream schools or settings.
• Views of the children should be sought and taken into account.
• Parents/carers have a vital role to play in supporting their child’s education.
• Children with special educational needs should be offered full access to a broad, balanced and relevant education, this includes the Foundation Stage.
To enable the principles of this Code of Practice to work there needs to be early identification of the child’s special educational need; co-operation between all agencies; an inclusive approach ensuring all children’s needs are met and finally professionals and parents working as partners. Whilst some children with special educational needs will require additional help from outside agencies, a very small number of children will have special educational needs of a severity or complexity that it requires the local authority to arrange special educational provision for them.
As a result of this Code of Practice, more one-to-one learning support assistants are employed to support children with special educational needs in mainstream school. The diverse range of special educational needs which need to be supported has resulted in training requirements in order to ensure that these children can be fully integrated.
Disability Discrimination Act 1995 and 2005
These Acts made it illegal to discriminate against disabled people. The Acts say that a person has a disability it they have a physical or mental impairment which has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on their ability out carry out normal day to day activities. The aims of the 1995 Act was to end the discrimination many disabled people face and included the duty of service providers to make reasonable adjustments for disabled people so that they do not have difficulties with access to services. The duty to make adjustments included taking reasonable steps to alter practice, policy or procedure and to eliminate, change or supply means to avoid any physical structure which makes it impossible or unduly difficult for disabled people to use a service. The 2005 Act gave rights to disabled students to have better access to universities and further education campuses. Under the Act, the universities and colleges must make reasonable changes to their premises to make them more user-friendly for disabled students. Schools must have and Accessibility Plan which identifies ways in which the school will increase access to the curriculum, improve the school environment and give information in a variety of ways to meet the needs of people with a disability.

These Disability Discrimination Acts mean that all schools, built after they came into force, have to make provision for students with disabilities. Schools built before these Acts were first introduced do not need to do this unless they have alterations such as extensions.
Race Relations Act 1976 and 2000
Under the Race Relations Act 1976 there must be no discrimination against a child on grounds of race in:-
• Admission to the school
• Providing teaching or allocating him or her to particular types of class
• Applying standards of behaviour, dress and appearance
• Giving pupils careers guidance and work experience
• Conferring access to other benefits, facilities or services
The Race Relations Act 2000 which amended the 1976 Act requires schools, LA’s and other public bodies to:-
• Eliminate unlawful racial discrimination
• Promote equality of opportunity
• Promote good relations between persons of different racial groups
The statutory duties require schools to tackle racial discrimination and promote good race relations and equality of opportunity. Educational establishments must have a written policy on race equality which reflects the needs and ethnic population of its pupils. The Governing Body is required to make sure that the policy remains up-to-date and its’ principles are upheld in the school and shared with parents and carers. Education providers have a legal responsibility to make a written record of any racist incident which takes place on their premises and schools should also report all racist incidents to their LA.
Equality Act 2010
This Act came into force on 1st October 2010. This Act states that “you must not discriminate against, or victimise a pupil:-
• In the way you provide education for the pupil
• In the way you afford the pupil access to a benefit, facility or service
• By not providing education for the pupil
• By not affording the pupil access to a benefit, facility or service
• By subjecting the pupil to any other detriment
You must not harass a pupil.
This covers everything you provide for pupils and goes beyond the formal education. It covers all school activities, such as extra-curricular and leisure activities, after school club, homework clubs, sports activities and school trips as well as school facilities such as libraries and IT facilities.
This Act brings together lots of different equality laws and, by doing this, the Act makes equality law simpler and easier to understand. The main new provisions of the Act are:-
New disability discrimination provision:-
- direct disability discrimination
- indirect disability discrimination
- discrimination arising from disability

New protection characteristics:- - gender reassignment - pregnancy and maternity

New positive action provisions

The Act lists the protected characteristics for the school provision as:-
• Disability
• Gender reassignment
• Pregnancy and maternity
• Race
• Religion or belief
• Sex
• Sexual orientation
The categories of people covered by the provision are:-
• Prospective pupils
• Pupils at the school
• Former pupils
A well managed school will pay full regard to these pieces of legislation in terms of how they are run, how they plan future needs and how they ensure that all staff, pupils and parents are aware of the requirements of the various acts and codes of practice.
As a result of these pieces of legislation, the school has written the following polices to incorporate the requirements of the Acts:-
• Safeguarding Children Policy
• Accessibility Plan
• Additional Needs Policy
• Admissions Policy
• Equal Opportunities Policy
• Policy on Self-esteem
• Special Educational Needs Policy
• Access for the Disabled
Implementing the requirements of these various Acts will mean that all pupils should be able to fully access the curriculum. This means that reasonable adjustments should be made to physically allow all pupils to participate and the curriculum should be differentiated to allow all pupils to learn side by side and to access the curriculum in order to develop to their full potential. Those pupils who have additional/different needs should be considered:-
• Children with special educational needs
• Children with English as an additional language
• Children who are gifted and talented
Also some children may be more vulnerable than others and their needs should be taken into account. These include:-
• Children who are new to a school
• Children who have a different culture/ethical background to the majority of the school
• Children in care
Children should be able to learn and to play together as this will have a positive impact on their achievement both academically and socially. Pupils and staff alike should feel included and not discriminated against for any reason.
Children from different backgrounds need to know that their culture/ethnicity is respected and valued as this will help them to feel safe and secure and this will in turn contribute to them thriving socially, emotionally and academically. There are many ways to make pupils from other cultures feel welcome and valued in school such as:-
• Celebrating and discussing festivals from all religions/cultures, especially those represented in the school
• The use of resources which represent different cultures in a positive way such as books , toys and posters
• Books and posters printed in different languages, in particular “Welcome” signs
• Parents involved in assemblies or classroom activities and asked to talk about their culture/religion, maybe bring in clothes and items of interest to show the children.
• The use of other languages in lessons, if only a few key words, in particular to help children with English as an additional language
All of these things will have a positive impact on the children as they will be in an environment which appreciates cultural diversity and encourages children to explore, discuss and respect different cultures and beliefs. This will mean that children will learn from an early age that we all come from different backgrounds and believe in different things but that we are all equally valued and respected within the school environment and it will help them to develop these same qualities. By ensuring that all children feel equally valued they will be able to learn, children that feel isolated and unappreciated are likely to have difficulty settling in and learning.
Adults should be aware that their own personal beliefs will have developed over time and will have been influenced by their own background, upbringing and experiences. They will be different from some of the adults and children that they work with and they should ensure that they show equal respect towards all the pupils/adults and show that they value the diversity of others’ beliefs. Children quickly pick up on feelings and would realise if they were not being treated fairly or respected.
In school there should be an environment where there is no discrimination towards others on the basis of gender, culture, race, ethnicity, family make-up, sexual orientation or ability. In order to endure that there is inclusion for all and equal opportunities for all, adaptations may need to be made such as:-
• Modifying the school environment to allow access for all
• Modifying the learning resources or using specific/additional resources so that they can fully access the curriculum
• Giving pupils more adult support to ensure they fully access the curriculum
• Giving pupils extra time to complete tasks if necessary
• Involving outside agencies
• Working on individual intervention programmes with pupils
• Giving staff specific training to allow them to effectively support the pupils
As well as practical solutions to eliminate discrimination in school, it is also vital that adults form positive relationships with others and act as positive role models for non-discriminatory practice. Equally, adults must challenge any form of discriminatory behaviour or comments.

Outcome 2 Understand the impact of prejudice and discrimination on children and young people

Children can experience prejudice and discrimination for many reasons:-
• children may only play/interact with others from the same race/ethnic background and deliberately exclude children from different cultures
• children may exclude others on the basis of gender
• children can deliberately exclude other children whom they perceive to be “different” e.g. children with special educational needs, English as additional language etc.
• children may exclude others from their friendship groups/games etc on the basis of appearance, behaviour etc
Prejudice and discrimination can show itself in different ways from deliberately ignoring children; being unkind and not allowing them to join in; verbal teasing/bullying or physical bullying due to their appearance, gender, behaviour, ability, race, beliefs. Most schools have very strict rules regarding uniform, hairstyles, jewellery etc which helps to eliminate some issues which could develop regarding appearance and helps to establish standards of conduct and discipline. Staff must however be vigilant to ensure that children are not bullied, discriminated against or isolated and must be pro-active in encouraging positive relationships and harmony between all. Similarly they must act accordingly if they witness any form or prejudice or discrimination. Adults must always intervene if they come across prejudice or discrimination and in more serious cases they must report it to senior members of staff for further action. For minor instances, particularly with younger children, it may be sufficient for you to talk to the children concerned and find out why they acted in the way they did i.e. were they copying unacceptable behaviour that they had observed without understanding what they were saying/doing; were they displaying behaviour learnt from home; were they retaliating to other comments that you may not have heard etc. It is essential to listen to them and then explain to them why their comments/behaviour is unacceptable and explain to them the expected standards of behaviour in school.
If prejudice and discrimination is allowed to happen, it will have a very negative effect on the children concerned. They will develop low self-esteem and lose self-confidence. They may also become withdrawn as they will not want to join in and socialise. This feeling of low self-esteem will also impact upon their learning in the classroom as the child will not feel happy and settled in school and will not find it easy to focus/ concentrate on their work.

Outcome 3 Support inclusion and inclusive practices in work with children and young people

All children have the right to access the curriculum fully. This means that any barriers to learning must be identified and either removed or modified. This includes physical barriers; barriers to education and learning; barriers to access to the full range of resources/activities/extra-curricular activities on offer.

Schools should support inclusion and inclusive practices by:-
• endeavouring to ensure that there is physical access to the buildings for all. All schools built from 2001 must have physical access to the building for all pupils. Schools built before that time must make reasonable adjustments to allow inclusion for all e.g. they may be able to install ramps to allow access, convert toilets to cater for wheelchair users, relocating classes to the ground floor and so on.
• ensuring that the equipment and resources are appropriate and adapted as necessary. This may include purchasing specific equipment for children with special educational needs or making simple adaptations to existing equipment such as using pencil grips, using large print worksheets, differentiating work etc
• ensure that the management of the school promotes an inclusive attitude and has policies which ensure inclusion for all. The management team must make sure that they support their staff by providing adequate training, working with outside agencies to provide additional support when necessary and by providing the necessary resources to allow the staff to carry out their roles in an inclusive manner
• The staff must embrace diversity and encourage and celebrate diversity within the school curriculum and within the school community as a whole; including staff, pupils and parents. The school management team must be vigilant and ensure that members of the school community are not displaying attitudes which are not consistent with the school’s policies and ethos. Any conflicts of attitude must be addressed immediately to make sure that they do not cause any problems.

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