At St. Mary's we fulfil our legal duties set out in the Equality Act 2010 and non-statutory guidance set out by the government. The Equality Act 2010 introduced a single Public Sector Equality Duty (PSED), also referred to as the “general duty” that applies to public bodies, including maintained schools and academies, and which extends to all protected characteristics – ethnicity, disability, gender (including pregnancy and maternity, age, religion or belief, sexual orientation, marriage and civil partnership, sexual identity and transgender). The PSED came into effect in April 2011 and all public bodies are required to have due regard to the need to:
- Eliminate discrimination and other conduct that is prohibited by the Act
- Advance equality of opportunity between people who share a protected characteristic and people who do not share it
- Foster good relations across all characteristics – between people who share a protected characteristic and people who do not share it
Due regard is defined as giving relevant and proportionate consideration to the duty, which in school means that:
- Decision makers must be aware of the duty to have “due regard” when making decisions or taking an action, and must assess whether it may have implications for people with particular protected characteristics.
- We must consider equality implications before, and at the time of, developing policy and taking decisions, not as an afterthought. These must be kept under review on a continuing basis.
- The Public Sector Equality Duty must be integrated into the carrying out of the school’s functions and the analysis necessary to comply with the duty has to be carried out seriously, rigorously and with an open mind.
- Schools can not delegate responsibility to any other agency for carrying out this duty.
The Equality Act also places two specific duties on public bodies. The two specific duties require schools to:
- Publish information to demonstrate how they are complying with the PSED
- Prepare, publish and review equality objectives annually
Our Policy, Statement, Objectives and Annual Provision provide information on how we aim to eliminate discrimination and improve equality of opportunity for people with protected characteristics.
At St. Mary's we have an Equality Policy which can be viewed in our Policies section of the website.
We also have an Equality Statement which is also prominently displayed in our School entrance hall:
At St. Mary's we prepare annual Equality Objectives. These either feature in our School Development Plan, or are part of our annual provision for children:
St. Mary's 2020-2021 Equality Objectives:
- To continue to develop our provision for supporting pupils' personal development and wellbeing, particularly as a result of the impact of Covid.19
- To continue to enhance positive relationships between all stakeholders
- To continue to diminish any attainment and progress differences related to gender, ethnicity or disability
- To continue to complete actions identified from the Health and Wellbeing Review 2019
- To continue to complete actions identified from the Central Bedfordshire Toolkit for promoting Emotional Health, Wellbeing and Resilience 2019
Progress towards the above objectives will be monitored on a termly basis by Governors.
St. Mary's Annual Provision:
- To annually refresh pupil knowledge and understanding of our Growth Mindset Learning Superhero Powers
This is monitored throughout the year by Class Teachers and reinforced through our weekly Commendations assembly.
- A robust and relevant Personal, Social, Health and Economic Education (PSHE) which teaches and reinforces equality for all
This is monitored throughout the year by the PSHE co-ordinator.
- Recognise and celebrate key annual dates e.g. International Women's Day; LGBT+ History Month; Women's History Month; Pride Month; Gypsy, Roma and Traveller History Month - sharing this also with parents via our Website and Facebook account
This is monitored and organised throughout the year by the Headteacher working alongside the relevant Subject Co-ordinator.
- Our Values Education, which is embedded in everything we do as a school. We teach 22 Values over a two year cycle through daily Worship (Assembly) time, reinforced through our Behaviour Expectations (see our Relationships and Behaviour Expectations Policy here) and ethos in school.
This is montiored and organised throughout the year by the Headteacher.