What is the PSED?
The Equality Act 2010 introduced a single, general duty for public bodies, including schools, and which extends to all ‘protected characteristics’ – race, disability, sex, age, religion or belief, sexual orientation, pregnancy and maternity and gender reassignment.
There are three main elements within the act and in carrying out our functions, as a school, we must have regard for the need to:
It should be noted that age is a relevant characteristic for schools when considering their duties as an employer but not in relation to pupils. The PSED replaces the previous three sets of separate duties to promote disability, race and gender equality. All schools must have ‘due regard’ to the three elements. Therefore whenever significant decisions are being made, or policies being developed or reviewed, the school will consider carefully the equalities implications.
How does School comply with the PSED?
The school has a range of policies which make explicit the school’s long established commitment to actively promoting equality of opportunity for all. The main policies dealing with equality of opportunity are:
Behaviour and Anti-Bullying Policy
St Mary’s school is committed to inclusion for all. In a recent visit form the national Inclusion Quality Mark assessor we were found to be outstanding in every element covered by the assessment process. As a result the school was awarded National Centre of Excellence accreditation by the IQM, in July 2016
“The school’s mission statement ‘Love one another as I have loved you’ celebrating the uniqueness of every individual in the school is clearly at the heart of the school, where staff, governors, pupils and parents work in partnership to ensure maximum achievement for everyone involved in and this includes pupils, staff and often families. Individual difference is seen as a positive feature in this school, where everyone is encouraged to see the strengths in others and encouraged to be an individual.
“The school continues to celebrate difference and diversity through a variety of awards and activities such as the Dyslexia Friendly School Award and are looking to achieve the Dyslexia Aware Quality Mark. Personalised curriculum for individual pupils, Philosophy 4 Children, Caritas (Catholic schools counselling service) run by a social worker, play therapy and a number of opportunities to celebrate cultural diversity.”
However, the school is far from complacent and remains focused upon ensuring that its response to the PSED is significant and effective in each of the three main elements.
St Mary’s R.C. Primary School is a larger than average sized primary school with a nursery in Levenshulme, Manchester that is continuing to grow both in numbers and provision. There are currently 372 children on roll, including 45 in the nursery class, with 77% of the pupils baptised Catholics. Pupils are arranged in a mixture of single age and mixed age classes with just over half from a white British background with almost 40% from a minority ethnic background and 15% who do not have English as their first language. Mobility is higher than national average at 16%. Approximately 70% of children in the current Year 6 have been in school since Reception class. The total percentage of pupils identified with SEND is 15% which is above the national average and of these 6% have significant additional needs.
Close tracking of all pupil outcomes takes place in a structured, systematic way and the school intervenes where it reveals underachievement, low attainment or concerns about specific groups or individuals.
Monitoring and evaluation, and the analysis of data, takes place across the school and is used within the improvement cycle at each Key Stage. Assessment data leads to judgments for key areas of improvement and development.
The school is committed to advancing equality of opportunity between people who share a protected characteristic and people who do not share it, and has put a range of approaches in place to ensure that this happens.
The school monitors and evaluates, frequently and regularly, the attainment and progress of all pupils and looks at the performance of particular groups who share a protected characteristic to compare their performance with those who do not share it. Interventions are then planned and implemented in order to close any disparities in performance.
Examples of practice which advances equality of opportunity:
Where necessary, we use the services of outside agencies to support families and individual pupils. We have our own school based pastoral lead who oversees commissioned and in school support for our most vulnerable pupils and families. Pupils with SEND, including those with medical needs, are fully supported by our Inclusion team and external specialist professionals.
We have case study evidence to demonstrate our support for vulnerable pupils.
We have excellent links with local providers , which ensures that transition into early Years and Year 7 runs smoothly. We use the resources of the Manchester Safeguarding board and Child Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) for pupils who need this type of expert support.
The governing body committees regularly review existing provision, they have created an Accessibility Plan and Equal Opportunities policy. Each committee monitors implementation reviews on a three year cycle.
Pupils needs are effectively identified and their learning is provided for, not only in routine differentiation but specifically according to individual need . We select individuals for courses, duties and involvement in appropriate activities that will use and extend their abilities, gifts and talents.
We were awarded Dyslexia Friendly school status in December 2015 and IQM Centre of Excellence status in July 2016.
The school adopts a wide range of approaches to foster good relations across all characteristics.
Some specific examples are as follows:
The school participates in fund raising for many charities supporting local, national and global issues, which are understood and supported by children.
The strong global dimension of our curriculum develops our pupils’ awareness of different countries and cultures.
At our last Ofsted section 5 inspection, our Diocesan RE inspection and in our IQM assessment, it was recognised that at this school we understand differences and value diverse experiences.
The impact of this is a school where every person feels valued, respected and safe.
All governors demonstrate a high level of engagement with the school in areas such as health and safety, Social, Moral, Spiritual and Cultural development, SEND and equality. They concern themselves with the inclusive nature of our school, the well-being of staff and pupils and with attendance and behaviour. We have a dedicated committee on the governing body who are focused on the needs of our most vulnerable pupils.
Our partnership with local schools is an integral part of our school provision. We work with the local Levenshulme cluster group, the Catholic partnership, the Manchester schools alliance and are a board member of the Manchester Teaching School. Through these partnerships our children have access to a range of activities and competitions that span the curriculum. They are able to interact with pupils from other schools, visit other schools and bring the impact of this, back into their own classrooms.
We are very proud of our extended services offered in the form of a wide variety of clubs which are inside (at lunchtimes) and outside of the school day and mainly free of charge. The impact of this is that children experience enrichments to the basic curriculum. These clubs are popular and very well attended.
At a global level we are proud of our proactive links with Brazil and Peru through our parish links and with Cafod.
Our Equality Objectives
Under the Public Sector Equality Duty (PSED) the school is required to set Equality Objectives. Our published information must be updated annually and objectives published at least once every four years.
Objective 1: To narrow the gap between the progress made by ‘all’ children and that made by ‘groups’ of children such as those eligible for the Pupil Premium.
Objective 2: To ensure that future reviews of all school policies include information about, and links to, PSED. In order to eliminate discrimination all school policies will be reviewed and revised to ensure that where relevant the importance of avoiding discrimination, victimisation or harassment is expressly noted.
Objective 3: To ensure that staff induction includes raising awareness of, and staff understanding their responsibilities under, the Equality Act.
Objective 4: To further develop our school community’s understanding of our learning powers.