1.1: Explaining what is meant by:
Literally means difference. When it is used as a contrast or addition to equality, it is about recognising individual as well as group differences, treating people as individuals while placing positive value on diversity in the community and in the workforce.
The differences between individuals and groups in society relate to gender, ethnic, originals, social, culture, religion background, sexual orientation, family structure, disability, sexuality and appearance.
By recognising and understanding our individual differences and embracing those with simple tolerance create a productive environment in which everybody feels valued.
Equalities are about ensuring that everybody in society is treated equally and fairly. Each individual child will have the same opportunity, giving the same choices ant,level of respect. This point considers the needs of the child while giving each one a fair change.
A setting should always take into account and value differences, recognising the impact of discrimination, helping children reach their individual potential, recognising the importance of what is learned in childhood, challenging negative labels and bad attitudes.
Is a process of identifying, understanding and breaking down barriers to participations and belonging. Inclusion is the process of making things happen. Working towards inclusion and striving to remove barriers to children and their families should include activities such as:
- Being able to take full advantage of what a setting has to offer (participate). - Feeling that they are truly welcomed and valued in the setting. (Diversity). - Individual planning and support.
Why is equality and diversity important?
Equality and diversity are becoming more important in all aspects of our lives and work for a number of reasons:
- We live in an increasingly diverse society and need to be able to respond appropriately and sensitively to this diversity. Both children and adults a in a setting will reflect this diversity around gender, race and ethnicity, disability, religion, sexuality, class and age. -Your organisation believes that successful implementation of equality and diversity in all aspects of work ensures that colleagues, staff and children are valued, motivated and treated fairly. -There is an equality and human rights legal framework covering setting practices and we need to ensure we work within this in order to avoid discrimination.
Treating Someone less or more favourably than other people, because they or their family are seen as belonging to a particular group in society.
Even very young children can experience discrimination as the result of: - The colour of their skin and other aspects of their ethnicity (such as their facial features or hair) - The traditions and way of life of their family, arising from cultures and religion. - Their disability.
- Their gender.
- Their social background- the class or socio-economic group of their family. - The structure or composition of their family such as: single parent or same-gender parents.
Discrimination hampers children's opportunities by denying them advantages that others children have; they and their families will feel excluded from certain setting and roles in life and this may prevent progress and experience success in their lives.
1.2: Deliberate and inadvertent discrimination:
Occurs when policies and practices, which appears neutral or fair because they are applied to everyone, affecting disadvantage people and particular groups within society. For instance, celebrating only Christmas because the majority of the children would be classified as Christians while other faiths and celebrations are not represented. This hypothetical case is a good example of how an small group could be subjected of institutional discrimination.
Positive or direct Discrimination:
Is when someone receives preferential treatment of member of a minority group over a majority group, either by sex, race, age, marital status or sex orientation.
If a practitioners has particular views concerning race or even religion, these views could be used in the setting unintentionally to have a negative or positive influence in a situation or particular child.
This is another way where a setting might unintentionally discriminate against some families by creating a visual environment that could suggest the setting is intended for only a limited range of people. For example, if a Chinese child comes to your setting and sees only pictures of black people, they might get the message that Chinese children and their families are not welcome.
A practitioner may intentionally or unintentionally categorise children in a particular way. So for example boys play with blue things and girls play with pink. These types of discrimination may not be deliberate. You should monitor your own and others behaviour in order to minimise discrimination in your workplace. Examples:
- Boys are always boisterous and physical in their play but girls are quieter and settle down and concentrate. - African-American children are good at sports and music, but don't succeed at academic subjects. - Muslim and Orthodox Jewish parents do not want their girls to mix with boys.
Could be take place because of people's prejudices or because they feel it is acceptable to tease people or tell racist jokes. It creates an unpleasant environment where an individual feels degraded.
Could take place if someone is treated less favourably because they have done something that another person or people do not approve of, for example, they may have made a complaint about a service and they are being treated unfavourably because of this.
Effects of discrimination:
The barriers of inclusion are Discrimination and Prejudice, the differences between people can become a source of suspicious and antagonism which may lead to divisions and conflicts in society and may give rise to prejudice.
Prejudice can result in assumptions such as:
Some people (as defined by skin colour, gender, impairment, sexuality or appearance) are of less value or are inferior to, or of less worth or significance than others. One culture, religion or social group is superior to another, embodying the 'right' way to live. If a family is not a two parent nuclear family, with parents of different genders and the same ethnicity, it is not 'normal'
When children experience prejudiced attitudes this can have a great impact in their self-image, self-steem and self-confidence. It is important not to forget that prejudice could lead to discrimination and could have a great impact in people's personality.
There are different types of discrimination experiences for instance: due to the colour of skin and other aspects of their ethnicity, the traditions and way of life of their family e.g. religion, culture, their disability, their gender, their social background e.g. socio- economic group and structure of their family.
In conclusion to this point and as practitioners is very important to not stereotype, label, make assumptions to anyone, and treat everyone as equal, use appropriate language in order to have a positive and effective practice.
1.3: Support for equality and inclusion
Be able to promote diversity, equality and inclusion:
When you work with children and families is very important to promote equality of opportunity and positive attitudes towards diversity.
What can we do to support equality and inclusion and reduces discrimination?
- We could offer all children the opportunity to learn and develop by treating all children as individuals and meeting their individual needs. - Having positive pictures in order to prevent any stereotype e.g. boys only play with cards and girls with dolls. - It is essential to include everyone, every child and families in the setting. - Include Equality and Inclusion policies in every setting and make sure that they are being promoted. - Policies should follow the legislation procedures.
- Encourage people and children to participate.
- Promoting rights e.g. equality, diversity, inclusion and dignity. - Setting should remove all applicable barriers in order to feel welcome everyone, e.g. physical access and communication.
2.1: Legislation and codes of practice
There is a good number of laws and code of practice in place in order to protect individuals from issues relating to equality, diversity, discrimination and basic rights.
Policies in settings:
- Equality Act 2010
Came into place of previous legislation (such as the Race Relations Act 1976 and the Disability Discrimination Act 1995) and ensures consistency in what workplaces need to do to in order to comply with the law and ensures fair working environments.
The main purposes of the Equality Act are:
- Establish the Commission for Equality and Human Rights.
- Make discrimination unlawful.
- Create a duty on public authorities to promote equality of opportunity between men and women and the prevention of sex discrimination.
This new Act aims to protect disabled people, prevent disability discrimination and also strengthen particular aspects of equality law.
It provides legal rights for disabled people in the areas of:
- Access to goods, services and facilities including larger private clubs and land based transport services
-Buying and renting land or property.
- Functions of public bodies, for example the issuing of licences.
-The Disability Discrimination Act 2005
This Act is about removing discrimination that disabled people experience. It gives them rights in:
- Access to goods, facilities and services
- Buying or renting land or property
- Function of public bodies
-The Race Relations Act 1976 and amendments 2000, 2003
This Act gives public authorities a statutory duty to promote race equality. The aim is to promote race equality central to the way public authorities work and says they must:
- Eliminate unlawful racial discrimination.
- Promote equality of opportunity and good relations between people of different racial groups.
- Human Rights Act 1998
The Human Rights Act 1998 (also known as the Act or the HRA) came into force in the United Kingdom in October 2000. It is composed of a series of sections that have the effect of codifying the protections in the European Convention on Human Rights into UK law.
The Act sets out the fundamental rights and freedoms that individuals in the UK have access to. They include:
- Right to life
- Freedom from torture and inhuman or degrading treatment
- Right to liberty and security
- Freedom from slavery and forced labour
- Right to a fair trial
- No punishment without law
- Respect for your private and family life, home and correspondence - Freedom of thought, belief and religion
- Freedom of expression
- Freedom of assembly and association
- Right to marry and start a family
- Protection from discrimination in respect of these rights and freedoms - Right to peaceful enjoyment of your property
- Right to education
- Right to participate in free elections
-The Special Educational Needs and Disability Act 2001 (SENDA)
Introduces the right for disabled students not to be discriminated against in education, training and any services provided exclusively or mainly for students, and for those enrolled on courses provided by 'responsible bodies', including further and higher education institutions and sixth form colleges. Student services covered by the Act can include a range of educational and non-educational services, such as field trips, examinations and assessments, short courses, arrangements for work placements and libraries and learning resources.
If a disabled person is at a 'substantial disadvantage', responsible bodies are required to take reasonable steps to prevent that disadvantage. This might include:
- Changes to policies and practices
- Changes to course requirements or work placements
- Changes to the physical features of a building
- The provision of interpreters or other support workers
- The delivery of courses in alternative ways
- The provision of material in other formats
-Disability and the Equality and Human Rights Commission:
The Equality and Human Rights Commission opened on 1 October 2007. The aim of the commission is to end discrimination and harassment of people because of their disability, age, religion/belief, race, gender, or sexual orientation.
The new commission brings together the work of three former equality commissions: - Disability Rights Commission
- Commission for Racial Equality
- Equal Opportunities Commission
2.3: Challenging discrimination
As an Early Year practitioner is crucial to challenge discrimination, beliefs and attitudes in a positive way and promote inclusion. If discrimination is challenged effectively, future incidents of discrimination can be prevented, as well as empowering individuals to understand their rights. Practitioners should:
-Always act fairly and try to see things from the other person's point of view. -Consider that there could be different pressures, needs and cultures. -Always use positive language and never use words or phrases that could be disrespectful towards another person. -Do not allow prejudices and stereotyping to influence you and do not accept any type of discriminatory behaviour. - Staff training may help to prevent incident.
In cases of witnessing a discriminatory incident is a main duty as a practitioner to report and record the incident, by doing this it is more likely to be dealt with the appropriate manner and will help to educate others in their opinion and actions and hopefully will prevent any discriminatory incident in the future.
3.1: Range of sources of information and advice
There is a range of sources available about equality, diversity and inclusion, these include:
-The Equality and Human Rights Commission was created to challenge discrimination and promote equality and human rights, www.equalityhumanrights.com - Directgov provides information and guides about public services, www.direct.gov.uk - By attending diversity and equality training In your workplace. - Media sources such as: Watching tv, radio, Internet.
- Books, Journals and magazines
- Third party organisations e.g. socialcaretv/diversity.
- Council (CWDC) and Skills Council.
-EYFS and other frameworks.
3.2: Accessing information and advice:
-If you believe someone is a victim of discrimination, you should report this straight away to your manager or supervisor.
-If you feel you are personally a victim of discrimination, you should again report this straight away to your manager or supervisor.
-Alternatively, you can contact a more senior or different manager, particularly if you feel your manager or supervisor may be involved.
-If your organisation has a human resources person or team, they are usually qualified to give advice and support.