This information sets out our school’s approach to promoting equality, as defined within the Equality Act (2010) which covers sex, race, disability, religion or belief, sexual orientation, pupils and staff members who are pregnant and those undergoing gender reassignment.
The School Context
Brooklands is a primary special school based in Reigate and catering for children aged 2 -11 who have severe or profound and multiple learning difficulties including autism. Our catchment area covers a wide area of South East Surrey. Our pupils come from a wide range of socio-economic backgrounds with just over 15% of pupils eligible for free school meals. The attainments of all our children will be in the bottom 1% of the national population due to their severe learning difficulties. Their achievements are measured using the P Levels of the national Curriculum along with other assessment systems appropriate to their individual needs.
The majority of pupils are male, 66% as of summer 2017 and the majority of families are of White British background, 72%, and have English as a first language with 8% White European, 3% Indian, 3% White and Black Caribbean with the remaining pupils a mixture of other mixed background.
Equality – Aims and Values
Brooklands School aims to provide equality and excellence for all and promote the highest possible standards of achievement, enjoyment and fulfilment. These aims are promoted through our school Values, specifically:
Our children are here to learn, enjoy and achieve and have a right to a challenging, inclusive, relevant and fun education
We aim to prepare them for life in a diverse society where they are able to be involved in and celebrate all aspects of that society and are welcomed as part of it.
Our Approach to Promoting Equality
This policy provides a framework in which we can pursue our duties to eliminate unlawful discrimination and harassment, promote equality of opportunity and promote good relations and positive attitudes between people of diverse backgrounds.
We will ensure that no pupils, staff, parents, carers or any other person through their contact with the school receives less favourable treatment on any grounds. This includes the protected characteristics identified within the Equality Act 2010 i.e. sex, race, disability, religion or belief, sexual orientation, pregnancy, those undergoing or those who have undergone gender reassignment and age (not pupils). We also choose to include ethnic or national origin, language, marital or civil partnership status, responsibility for children or other dependants, trade union or political activities, social class, where the person lives and spent convictions that are not related to safeguarding.
The principles of this policy apply to all members of the extended school community, pupils, staff, governors, parents and community members.
A Cohesive Community
We will ensure that our pupils are part of their local community, using local resources and being known and accepted within that community. We also aim to include our various local communities in the life of the school (e.g. businesses, faith groups, ethnic or language groups, voluntary groups, wider family and friends).
In order to help achieve a cohesive community our school aims to:
- Promote understanding and engagement between communities
- Encourage all children and families to feel part of the wider community
- Tackle discrimination
- Increase life opportunities for all
- Ensure that learning, teaching and the curriculum explores and addresses issues of diversity
- Ensure that the school is an inclusive environment for all
Roles and Responsibilities
School governors are responsible for:
- Making sure that the school complies with current equality legislation
- Making sure that this policy and its procedures are followed
The Headteacher is responsible for:
- Making sure that the policy is readily available and that the governors, staff and parents and carers know about it
- Making sure that its procedures are followed
- Producing regular information for staff and governors about the policy and how it is working
- Providing training for them on the policy if necessary
- Making sure that all staff know their responsibilities and receive training and support in carrying these out
- Taking appropriate action in cases of harassment and discrimination
All school staff members are responsible for:
- Modelling good practice, dealing with discriminatory incidents and being able to recognise and tackle bias and stereotyping
- Passing any concerns to the Headteacher, Leadership team or Governing Body as per the Whistleblowing Policy
- Promoting equality and avoiding discrimination against anyone
- Keeping up to date with the law on discrimination and taking training and learning opportunities
Pupils are responsible for:
- Learning to treat other community members kindly and respectfully
Parents and carers are responsible for:
- Supporting the school in the implementation of this policy
Visitors and Contractors are responsible for:
- Behaving appropriately in our school in support of the promotion of Equality
Responsibility for overseeing equality practices in the school lies with the Headteacher and the member of the Governing Body linked to equality. These responsibilities include:
- Coordinating and monitoring work on equality issues
- Dealing with and monitoring reports of harassment (including racist and homophobic incidents)
- Monitoring exclusions
We have two specific targets in the School Development Plan (SDP) for the current 2016-17 academic year which specifically promote equality within our school community:
- Write and incorporate into the primary curriculum new programmes for teaching and assessment of PSHE, including Relationship and Sex Education (RSE) and life skills, appropriate for the full range of pupil need
- Develop integration links with mainstream schools ensuring that they provide meaningful opportunities for individual pupils to achieve identified outcomes
Monitoring, Reviewing and Assessing Impact
The Equality page on the website will be regularly monitored and updated by the Headteacher as necessary and information about the school's compliance with the Equality Duty will be included in the summer report to the Children and Learning Committee.
Our Equality Objectives for 2019-2020
1. Faith and Diversity – To implement a curriculum that promotes an understanding of the diversity within our local community. This includes visits from local faith representatives, visits to places of worship and a range of experiences linked to key festival celebrations and different cultures.
2. To improve attendance of children with medical needs – to develop a protocol with class and nursing teams to reduce regularity of children being sent home during the day e.g. to support pupils back to school following illness through phased programme and home visits where appropriate.
3. To improve knowledge, skills and abilities to enable pupils to appreciate and value difference and diversity – this objective reaches past Brooklands pupils to pupils who attend mainstream schools within our local community and will focus on understanding and valuing difference both within the school and through increased integration opportunities. This will be incorporated into the curriculum of each of our three curriculum streams.
4. Improving parental and community partnership and engagement – to support the development of the Friends of Brooklands Parents’ association. To create more training and shared events for the families of Brooklands’ pupils, with a particular focus on siblings and to continue to raise our profile within the local community through participation in community events.
5. To ensure a cohesive cross site community – to ensure the vision and values of the school, and the curriculum focus of celebrating difference remain consistent as Brooklands expands to a new site.