Politics Of Our Country A Factor Education Essay

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States Parties recognize the right of the child to education. Encourage the development of ... secondary education ... make them available and accessible to every child (article 28 1b- UN Convention on the Rights of the Child 1989). As a country that is a member of the United Nations we are obligated to provide an education for every child, whether they speak English or not. How we go about providing that education has become a source of great debate and media attention. I am interested to see how much politics and therefore money has a bearing on the quality of the education each child who has English as an Additional Language experiences. Are the politics of our country a factor in the integration and development of students with EAL in the UK?

To determine this, firstly I will be detailing the current statistics and funding for pupils with EAL and what policy changes affected this. I will then go on to discuss the overall experience a child with EAL may be presented with. I will start with what measures a school has in place to ensure the inclusion of this group through policy. I will then investigate the place pupils with EAL have within the National Curriculum and finally the relationship with their peers.

Politics

The definition of a pupil with EAL is one whose mother tongue is not English. However as I researched this broad and varied topic I soon came to realise that the term 'EAL' covers many identities from Bilingual to those who were educated abroad in English medium schools or international schools. Some deaf pupils who have never lived outside of the UK can also be classed as having EAL as sign language was their first language. All of which could lead to misinterpretations of statistics and data. However what cannot be misconceived is the fact that many families from countries in the EU are choosing to live in the UK. When you look at the data displayed graphically as shown on the NALDIC website (EAL pupils 1997-2012, NALDIC) you can see the percentages of pupils who are classified as EAL in secondary and primary schools steadily rising since 1997. In 1997, there were 7.8% of primary school pupils and 7.3% in secondary schools; these are now currently at 17.5% and 12.9% respectively. This is interesting as it shows that the children arriving in this country are getting younger.

The statistics seem to vary greatly from each district as detailed on the government website (Great Britain. Department for Education, 2012). It shows the percentage of students with EAL in Kent as 6.5% but the highest percentage as 69.3% in Tower Hamlets, London. These statistics are a little misleading as the Kent area covers over 100,000 pupils compared with Tower Hamlets which has 15,000 pupils. Kent is obviously a much larger area with the pupils more spread out. However it certainly shows that in some areas of London there are over two thirds of the children who have a different first language to English. This then raises the question, if the majority of students are classed as having EAL in one area, who then is really an ethnic minority?

In 1999, the government set up the ethnic minority achievement grant (EMAG) to replace an existing more simplistic language support fund. The EMAG targeted areas that needed the funding and support the most. This funding represents around £200 million but only then equates to around £500 per student. Nonetheless, it is funding which is set aside for the sole purpose of improving the educational needs of EAL students. In spite of this, the new government has decided to disperse the EMAG funding into the Dedicated Schools Grant; allowing the schools to have more power over where the money is spent. In my opinion, this is as good as cutting the funding. Emma Jones from the Guardian (Cuts bite in neediest areas of education, 14/10/11) is in agreement and goes on to add that after being an advocate for the EMAG, Islington council is now on the brink of making 26 out of the 32 specialist staff redundant. A survey was carried out by NUT & NALDIC to detail the impact these cuts might have by asking the people directly concerned. The findings echoed those of the reporter from the Guardian. They believed that redundancies are planned and that schools, Local Authorities and teachers are all concerned about the impact this policy change will have. The survey was done with an online survey software and so, responses varied between questions and there was no control as to how many people from each region answered questions. Considering there are vast differences in the figures of EAL pupils in different regions as detailed above, their opinions of the EMAG should in my opinion carry different weights. Therefore, I think a stratified sample based on EAL figures in the regions would have been a better representation of opinion. It has also been suggested that budget cuts in the past have led to adverse effects for pupils as well as teachers (Racism and antiracism in real schools, D Gillborn, cited by NUT / NALDIC National Ethnic Minority Achievement Grant Survey). We could therefore infer from this that even though public opinion appears to be expecting a fall in student performance amongst those with EAL, there is no solid evidence to show this. Florio-Ruane (2001, p102-111) described an interesting situation in Missouri, America in which a district raised their taxes to a record high at the time to increase funding for their schools and education. This was maintained for ten years but no academic improvements were noted. This then raises the question of whether or not money actually is the solution to integrating pupils with EAL into our schools.

Policy and Schools

A selective school in Kent that I have recently been observing has raised a few more interesting questions. Previously, the vast majority of students at this school with EAL are ones that have studied in English medium schools. These students, although classed as having EAL, have outstanding English skills and have not suffered academically as a result. In the more recent years however, many more pupils are entering the school on appeal having failed their eleven plus exam. The most recent statistics show that 6.5% of the school pupils have EAL. This is surprising as this is the same as the county average and being a selective school you would expect it to be lower.

Considering that the school has this percentage of EAL pupils I was shocked to find no policy or procedure in place on how to include and teach this group of pupils.

The inclusion policy

On first glance of the school's inclusion policy (see appendix A), it is clear it targets vulnerable groups of children, including 'minority ethnics and faith groups... asylum seekers and refugees.' The policy speaks of intervention and strategies on how to fully integrate these groups into school and how every member of the school is responsible for this.

On closer inspection however, the first paragraph of the policy reads so that the pupils appear to be at fault and consciously exclude themselves. Phrases such as 'demonstrating disaffection' and 'failing to participate fully in the school experience', are in the opening paragraph. It includes strategies listed in generic terms, such as training for staff; however no staff member to my knowledge has been trained internally or externally specifically in how to support the learning for pupils with EAL. It also mentions targets they aim to accomplish; one of which details that they have to 'ensure...disadvantaged groups are monitored'. I was surprised therefore to find that no member of staff has taken responsibility for pupils with EAL; in fact it was difficult to find any relevant information on this group of students at the school. I also discovered that the immediate language issues facing some of the teachers who teach pupils with EAL have been directed to the SEN department. After speaking to the school's SENCO I found there to be resentment and anger that the responsibility of a relatively large group of pupils in need of support has been placed on their shoulders. The SEN department do not believe that they have the time, resources or training to sufficiently help these students.

Equal Opportunities Policy

The focus point in the school's equal opportunities policy (see appendix B) appears to be race related; how to avoid racist incidents occurring and highlighting how seriously the school and governing body will address these incidents. Under the heading 'Staff Responsibilities' I saw the only mention of pupils with EAL in any official school policies, it read: 'support students in their class for whom English is an additional language.' I was pleased to see it written down as an expectation of the school however it failed to include the detail that I believe should be present in the policy.

The equal opportunities policy from another selective school in the same area (see appendix C) was also the only document detailing pupils with EAL; nonetheless their policy included a much broader section with important points to help teachers in supporting these students instead of a vague sentence. This included 'valuing bilingualism', 'ensuring that resources and displays will be used to reflect and develop languages and cultural backgrounds' and guidance on how to 'draw on the resources of parents and local communities in producing resources'.

Thus we can see that in a school with pupils with EAL, a specific policy is needed, even if it is within another policy. Guidance and support on how to seek resources as well as encouraging diversity within the classroom should be included as a minimum.

Schools are undoubtedly massively important in effecting the academic development of a pupil with EAL but also their friendships and inclusion in the school's community. I was interested to see if different schools' attitudes and efforts towards multiculturalism, and not solely funding issues, affected migrant students' long term development.

Grace Reynolds (The impacts and Experiences of Migrant Children in UK Secondary Schools, 2008) highlighted the experiences at different schools with high numbers of pupils with EAL. Upon reading her paper I noted immediately that her research was limited to two schools. Reynolds (pg26, 2008) noted herself the various factors which affected her results which were out of her control. These included the personalities of the teachers at the school, the personalities and attitudes of some of the students but mainly the history of the area. This was surprising considering that the main focus of the paper was the relationship between members of the school, i.e. peer groups and communication between teachers and pupils with EAL, and how the migrant students are able to keep their identity. This suggests that any findings from this paper cannot be reliable as they will always directly link to the factors that affect results detailed above. Reynolds (pg 3, 2008) also gives a very broad definition of a migrant child. She defines a migrant child as 'anyone under the age of 18 who was born outside the UK and is now residing in the UK'. This definition would include a percentage of the school population who even though could be classed as migrant under the United Nations Convention would not be deemed a student with EAL. This paper overlooks all migrant students whereas my focus is with migrant students with an additional language barrier; however it raises some interesting factors that could also be detrimental to their development.

The main findings from Reynolds (2008) showed that one school had a more successful inclusion result than the other. One of the schools hosted culture shows which appeared to be very popular due to the vast amount of different cultures and ethnicities. Reynolds (pg26, 2008) explained this result 'By displaying your own ethnic, cultural, or religious background ..., you are fitting in with the school as a part of its diverse identity.' Another successful technique outlined was official identification for the students but this was expensive and Reynolds (2008) believed that these funds and efforts were misplaced.

Some EAL teachers in school were also noted by Reynolds (pg26, 2008) as having a positive impact on the migrant students' experience. This was not just solely because they had been specifically trained but more importantly that they were an ethnic minority themselves and this helped the students in their own development.

The paper also raised the question regarding whether or not the migrant students were treated as an additional challenge for the school and teachers or as a recognised benefit for the class. Reynolds (2008) answered this by detailing the success of the school that treated the migrant students in their class as an asset. Reynolds (2008) noted that the attitude of the other school were the echoed feelings of the wider community.

The findings from this paper showed varied techniques attempted by the schools but more interestingly to see the differences in attitudes and mentalities from one school to another. The evidence gathered within the paper is in my opinion not solid. There are too many contradicting factors within a too small population. However, in spite of this, it does show how schools and communities must work alongside each other in these difficult areas to change and develop inter-ethnicity attitudes. It also shows that however important funding is, it will not exceed the importance of knowing how to channel the funds in the most successful and economical way.

English as an Additional Language within the National Curriculum

It is important to see how EAL is treated within the National Curriculum in order to understand why we use certain methods and practices in schools. Constant Leung phrased it well within "English as an Additional Language: Distinct Language Focus or Diffused Curriculum Concerns? (2001)" by stating that 'EAL has a very marginal and Cinderella-like status in the school system'. He went on to summarise the funding falls and rise, the lack of training within schools and at teacher training level.

The first important question raised by Leung (2001) is that is it wise to expect those pupils with EAL to follow the same National Curriculum as pupils who have English as their first language? Should pupils with EAL and those without EAL gain the same qualification upon completing a GCSE in English? Currently the answer to that question is yes. I believe however that this is simply a less complex ideology and that we are hiding behind a misplaced equal opportunity system to support this.

Leung raised the point that some ethnic minorities achieve better results than others and this is usually based on their social-economic status leading to differences in rates of achievements in schools.

Following from the Swann Report (DES, 1985) it was stated that in modern Britain we have a multi-cultural society that supports a fully integrated and inclusive education and therefore the then common practice of separating these pupils from mainstream school curriculum was stopped. From the classes with pupils with EALs that I have observed I found that inclusion in mainstream is beneficial for the students. This is also noted by Leung (2001, pg35): 'Children's second language skills develop well when . . . they have opportunities to model the second language used by peers in small group collaborative activities, where talk and interaction are central to the learning going on . . . (Hampshire County Council, 1996: 2)'

Leung (2001, pg36) goes on to list some of the teaching advice given by government to aid development pointing out that an assumption is made that if this is followed then pupils will achieve what is expected and that therefore no further language teaching is required.

Throughout this paper Leung continuously refers to the need of treating each pupil as an individual and that not all pupils can be grouped together and placed in one system. More research and development is needed in order to accomplish the ideal system which best benefits all pupils.

Leung (2001, pg38) details some other conceptualisations of EAL pedagogy, one from Australia and another from the United States demonstrating that a system running parallel with the National Curriculum whilst still being inclusive is possible.

Pupils with EAL and their peers

I was interested to know if there was a correlation between the academic achievement of non-EAL pupils and the increasing number of pupils with EAL in the classroom. We are led to believe through the media that due to the high numbers of pupils with EAL in some areas of UK that the rest of the pupils are being somewhat neglected by their teachers and support staff. Sir Andrew Green, chairman of MigrationWatch UK was quoted as saying in 2010 that due to the increase figures of immigrants now in our schools that 'English-speaking children are bound to suffer' (Green, 2010).

Geay, McNally and Telhaj (2012) disagree as outlined in their paper "Non-Native Speakers of English in the Classroom: What are the Effects on Pupil Performance?"

The paper describes an investigation into the percentage of non-native English speakers in a year group compared to the educational achievement level at the end of primary school.

McNally (et al) found there to be a negative result when looking at the raw Data obtained from National Pupil Database in previous years. However when she added controls, in this case sources of diversity such as low ability or socio-economic status, she found that the negative association disappeared and no effect was noted and in some cases a positive effect was apparent. McNally (et al) however only observed data from primary schools; it would have given us a more complete picture if they had included secondary schools as well in their investigation.

It can be noted though that a higher percentage of pupils with EAL are found in primary schools than secondary schools and it echoes my observations in school so we can summarise that this investigation gives a positive outlook on the role pupils with EAL play in the classroom.

It is also very important to understand the experience from the prospective of the pupil with EAL.

Many of these children have been thrust into the British educational system and found a world very different to one they have been used to.

The language difference is the obvious first hurdle but other communication problems also arise. From my own experience I found that subjects which should be universally understood such as Mathematics had differences in the written form. This became very demoralising as the ignorance of teachers led to work being incorrectly marked.

There are also cultural differences that I have seen in schools which some pupils struggle to adapt to. For example, many male Romany Gypsies are not accustomed to having discipline imposed on them by female teachers.

The Migrant students and their families also have to cope with being surrounded by media reports, many of which are negative. Headlines such as "Migrants 'must teach their children English', demands David Cameron" (Slack, 2011) adds pressure and strain on many migrant families who are still struggling with their own language difficulties. The Guardian also reignited the debate on whether or not schools are coping with the influx of pupils with EAL by stating that 'rising numbers of foreign pupils are putting some schools near breaking point' (Doward, 2007).

Many migrant students arriving in recent times have come from Poland and as described earlier many are choosing to settle in the London area. The research paper 'Polish Pupils in London Schools: opportunities and challenges', (Sales, R et Al. 2008) therefore seemed ideal in portraying a snapshot of life in these schools for the children and their families.

The paper (Sales, R et Al. 2008) focuses on primary schools as they, in general, are more populated by Polish pupils, however, opinions of the staff and amount of support and resources available is probably very different for secondary schools. Sales et Al (2008) would have got much more varied opinions if they had not focused solely on the experiences within four primary schools. It is interesting however to observe the varied support between different London Boroughs.

Sales et Al (pg3, 2008) noted the trauma that these children tend to face when first starting at schools: 'Many children face significant emotional as well as practical difficulties on arrival and some may need considerable support over an extended period to enable them to settle.'

Part of that problems stems from the differences in school systems. Sales et Al (pg10, 2008) describes how the starting age at school differs between Poland and the UK, as well as the starting age for secondary education; all of which adds confusion and complicates the difficult task for parents in enrolling their children.

Various interviews were carried out across these schools amongst teaching staff, Local Authority staff and parents of pupils with EAL (Sales, R et Al. 2008).

One of the recurring emotions described was that of Panic; Sales et Al (pg14, 2008) 'Some schools have a lot more than us and some schools in [the borough] have not had it before and have suddenly been hit. There is a lot of panic.' Another teacher echoed this sentiment: '...I always dread a new child arriving, it's like going right back to the beginning again.'

Interviews with parents raised interesting points that the parents have arrived in Britain unwillingly and that it was a 'pure economic decision' (Sales et Al, pg14, 2008), leading to difficulties of noncooperation with parents.

The quotes and responses detailed in the paper (Sales, R et Al. 2008) show different opinions however it fails to state why these opinions are the way they are. If comments were negative for example, has the Local Authority not supported the school? Does the school have access to the EMAG funding or an EMAG coordinator as detailed earlier?

Sales et Al (2008) described several apparently effective strategies such as European Day in schools and positive attitudes from teachers 'These children enrich the curriculum and the life of the school.' However what is clear from this paper is that communication between schools and parents is paramount in helping these students adapt and settle into the school environment. As well as a supportive Local Authority who can help in this transition with support staff and with resources in a range of languages.

Conclusion

Politics will always have an impact within education to a certain degree but it seems that in recent times where funding had to be cut, the government appeared to target a large group with a small voice. Nonetheless, when I started researching the area I believed funding would be the only answer to improving the experience and therefore academic success for students with EAL; however I was wrong.

A recurring theme through most of the papers I have read and reviewed above has been the attitudes towards migrant students by schools, teachers and the media. It will take time and effort but needs to be a whole school and community project to change an area's mentality. Some teachers need to re-evaluate their view of these students in order to see them as an asset in their classroom and not as a source of resentment and panic. Policies within schools should be detailed and encouraging; when there is very little mention of procedures on how to work with students with EAL this implies that they are of very little importance to the school.

Schools that have celebrated diversity and maintained each pupil's identity seem to be the more successful in terms of inclusion. There are also many resources freely available to all schools, already funded by the government, such as the Index for Inclusion.

The Index for Inclusion was developed as a tool to be used in schools in order to promote the inclusion for all. It was first funded by the charity Centre for Studies on Inclusive Education to test run the first version in a small selection of schools. It was then developed over several years through and the final version was then funded by the DfEE and sent to all schools and LEAs in England. The Index for Inclusion upholds values such as 'Equality, community and respect for diversity' (Booth and Ainscow, 2011) and highlights the positive message towards migrant students. 'The diversity of students is stressed as a rich resource for supporting teaching and learning'. (Booth and Ainscow, 2011)

The area within learning EAL that does however need funding is within specialist training such as supporting the EAL teachers. Constant funding should be encouraged and not put at risk each time a new government is installed. Whilst outlining the experience pupils with EAL go through, the need for constant support, even those shared amongst several schools was deemed crucial, especially in those areas with the highest percentage of pupils with EAL.

So, are the politics of our country a factor in the integration and development of students with EAL in the UK? My research has shown me that it isn't as big of a factor as I originally thought. Integration and development can be aided through the tools already in place amongst schools, and if successful can help enrich the whole school community.

Appendices

Appendix A:

The Folkestone School for Girls

Inclusion Policy

Aims

The aim of the inclusion policy is to raise educational attainment for those students who are demonstrating disaffection or failing to participate fully in the school experience through challenging behaviour or poor attendance. The policy may also be relevant to other vulnerable children, including:-

minority ethnic and faith groups;

travellers;

asylum seekers and refugees;

children in public care/looked after;

pregnant school girls and teenage mothers;

young carers;

children who abuse drugs and other substances;

homeless children;

children with mental health needs;

victims of abuse and domestic violence.

The school is committed to the following principles:-

we must seek to meet the needs of all our students, including those who may be missing out, difficult to engage or feeling in some way apart from what the school seeks to provide;

early intervention, especially the identification of students at risk of disaffection and proactive planning to meet their needs, is essential;

inclusion is best promoted when the teaching and learning within the school is of the highest possible standard, in order to enhance the educational experience for every child. Ensuring inclusion is the responsibility of every member of staff, teaching and non-teaching;

children and their parents are entitled to be treated fairly and with respect in regard to important educational decisions which affect their lives, especially concerning admission, attendance, exclusion and assessment for any special needs;

procedures will be applied in accordance with the department of education, ofsted and local authority guidance.

Admissions

The school operates its admission procedures in accordance with the policy laid down by the governors. This policy will not discriminate on grounds of race, religion or ethnic origin. The school will not automatically refuse entry to students on the grounds that they have special, social, educational or behavioural needs or because they have a history of disruption.

The school is willing to consider offering new opportunities to students who have experienced difficulties previously where it is reasonable to do so. Parents and students may be asked to make arrangements as to future conduct and attendance, but such an agreement will not be used as a condition of entry.

Attendance

Students are expected to attend the school full-time, on time, unless the reason for their absence is unavoidable. Parents are expected to work closely with school staff in resolving any difficulties at an early stage. The school will operate in accordance with the prescribed regulations covering the marking of registers, granting of leave, the removal of students from roll and the authorisation of absence. Maximising attendance at the school is a priority and the school will seek creative solutions to attendance problems wherever possible, recognising any particular needs of individuals or groups. This includes the use of curricular flexibility and educational alternatives at key stage 4, if appropriate.

Behaviour

The school sets high standards of behaviour for its students and is working towards being a community which values and respects each individual, both staff and students. Racism, sexism and other forms of discrimination are not acceptable.

The school aims to prepare students for living in a diverse and increasingly interdependent society. Where students infringe these standards, the school will seek to respond in a way which sees the behaviour as unacceptable, but still recognises the needs of the individual who carries it out.

Students having difficulty with their behaviour will be offered individual support, for example, through a revised timetable, a Pastoral Support Programme, or where appropriate, an Individual Education Plan designed to meet their needs. Sanctions will be applied fairly in accordance with guidance from the department of education and exclusion will only be used as a last resort when no other alternatives are available.

Strategies

The school is seeking to promote inclusion in the following specific ways:

by using the standards fund grants;

by support programmes and curricular developments;

with pastoral systems;

by training programmes for staff;

by the development of learning support units;

with first day absence contact schemes;

by home-school link workers;

by community developments;

by working with other agencies.

Targets

The school has set the following targets for measuring its effectiveness in promoting inclusion:-

raise attendance;

reduce exclusions;

raise attainment among key groups;

ensure looked after children or other disadvantaged groups are monitored.

Appendix B:

Equal Opportunities for Students' Policy

This policy forms part of The Folkestone School for Girls' Single Equalities Scheme and fully incorporates all six equality strands: ethnicity, gender, disability, sexuality, age and belief. The principle of levelling up is used at all times.

Introduction

The Folkestone School for Girls is committed to promoting equality of opportunity and good race relations for the benefit of everyone. The Governing Body and staff recognise their responsibilities in preparing young people for life in our culturally diverse society. They also recognise the opportunity to demonstrate that commitment both as a community resources provider and as a local employer.

Aims

The Governing Body aims to support the creation of an environment that will:

i) Promote equality of opportunity;

ii) Promote good relations between members of different racial, cultural and religious groups and communities;

iii) Challenge racial discrimination aiming to eliminate unlawful discrimination.

The governing body's commitment

The commitment to race equality must be evident in all areas of School life. However, that commitment is specifically made by the Governing Body in relation to:

Attainment and Progress

teaching and learning

Content of the curriculum

Personal development and pastoral care

Behaviour, discipline and exclusion

Admissions and attendance

Staff recruitment and professional development

Staff opportunities and treatment at work

Partnerships with parents

Community use of academy resources

The Governing Body and its committees will pay due regard to this commitment in determining the policies of the School and in the performance of their duties.

Guiding Principles

The Folkestone School for Girls is guided by three essential principles:

every student should have opportunities to achieve the highest possible standards and the best possible qualifications for the next stages of their life and education

every student should be helped to develop a sense of personal and cultural identity that is confident and open to change and that is receptive and respectful towards other identities

Every student should develop the knowledge, understanding and skills that they need in order to participate in our multi-ethnic society and in the wider context of an inter-dependent world.

Staff Responsibilities

The Governing Body expect all staff to:

deal with any racist incidents that might occur

know how to identify and challenge racial and cultural bias and stereotyping

support students in their class for whom English is an additional language

incorporate principles of equality and diversity in all aspects of their work

Behaviour or action against the spirit or the letter of the aims on which this policy is based will be considered a serious disciplinary matter and may lead to dismissal.

Monitoring, Evaluation and Review

The Governing Body will review this policy at least every two years and assess its implementation and effectiveness. The policy will be promoted and implemented throughout the School.

References

The School's Equal Opportunities Policies for Staff and for Students

Race Relations (Amendment) Act 2000

Code of Practice on the Duty to Promote Racial Equality, Commission for Racial

Equality (2001)

Preparing a Race Equality Policy for Schools, Commission for Racial Equality (2002)

The Future of Multi-Ethnic Britain (The Parekh Report), 2000

The Stephen Lawrence Inquiry (The Macpherson Report), 1999

Appendix C:

BARTON COURT GRAMMAR SCHOOL A FOUNDATION SCHOOL

Equal Opportunities Policy

Race Equality Policy

The Governors acknowledge their obligations under the Race Relations (Amendment) Act 2000 in relation to students and staff and will ensure the school complies with statutory requirements as recommended in Kent County Council guidelines.

Disability Equality Policy

In accordance with the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 as amended by the 2005 Act which inserted Section 49a in the 1995 Act, it is the Governors policy that the School have due regard to the need to eliminate unlawful discrimination, to eliminate harassment of disabled persons, to promote equality of opportunity and to take steps to account of the disabilities of disabled persons, the need to promote positive attitudes towards disabled persons and the need to encourage participation by disabled persons in public life.

Gender Equality Policy

It is the policy of the Governors that the School should implement the requirements and recommendations of the Commission for Equality and Human Rights and should comply with the requirements of the Sex Discrimination Act 1975 as amended by the Equality Act 2006 Section 76a in relation to carrying out all its functions.

This policy enables our school to meet our statutory obligations under the following:

The Race Relations Amendment Act (2000)

The Disability Equality Duty Framework (2006)

The Gender Equality Duty Framework (2007)

At Barton Court Grammar School we will continuously strive to ensure that everyone in our school is treated with respect and dignity. Each person in our school will be given fair and equal opportunities to develop their full potential with positive regard to race, gender, age, ethnicity, cultural and religious background, nationality, sexuality, marital status, disability or political affiliation. This school will actively promote equality and oppose prejudice in all its forms and foster positive attitudes and commitment to an education for equality.

Principles we aim to achieve this by

Treating all those within the school community (e.g. students, staff, governors, parents, applicants for employment or education and visitors) as individuals with their own particular abilities, beliefs, challenges, attitudes, background and experiences.

Creating awareness of possible problems and creating a school ethos that promotes race equality, develops understanding and challenges myths, stereotypes, misconceptions and prejudices.

Encouraging everyone in our school community to gain positive self-image and high self- esteem.

Having high expectations of behaviour for everyone involved with the school.

Promoting good practice in all areas of school activity by creating mutual respect, valuing each other's similarities and differences and facing equality issues openly.

Identifying and removing all practices, procedures and customs that are discriminatory and replacing them with practices which are fair to all.

Meeting the legal obligations required by the relevant legislation.

Preventing circumstances arising, which could result in claims of discrimination against an individual or the school as a whole.

Monitoring, evaluating and reviewing all of the above to secure continuous improvement in all that we do.

Roles and Responsibilities

The school will monitor all policies, procedures and practices to ensure equality of opportunity. All members of the school, together with all those involved in school activities are required to conduct themselves in accordance with the Equal Opportunities Policy. They are required to take personal responsibility in this area and work towards promoting respect for individuals. This will entail identifying and removing inappropriate behaviour, changing practices, which perpetuate inequality, and taking the necessary action to challenge unfair practices.

This equality policy outlines the roles and responsibilities of everyone involved and connected with the school, so that each individual know what is expected of them.

Governors

The governing body of the school has agreed this policy and will assess and monitor the impact of this policy by reviewing the action plan annually. Progress reports will be received from the Headteacher or other senior staff as part of the Head teacher's report to Governors. One member of the Governing Body will have responsibility for monitoring this policy and acting as the designated governor for race and other equality.

Headteacher

The Headteacher and SLT will demonstrate through their personal leadership the importance of this policy. (S)he will ensure that all staff are aware of the policy and understand their role and responsibility in relation to this policy.

The Headteacher and SLT will assess and monitor the impact of the policy. They will keep up to date with current thinking, be familiar with literature and resources and feed information back to other groups in the school

Middle Leaders

Middle Leaders will be responsible for reviewing and monitoring curriculum policies and planning in their subject areas to ensure that the equality of race and other issues are promoted.

Teachers

Teachers must familiarise themselves with the policy and know what their responsibilities are to ensure that the action plan is implemented. They must know the implications of the policy for their planning, teaching and learning strategies as well as for behavioural issues.

Administrative, Ancillary, Supervisory and Support Staff

All staff must familiarise themselves with this policy and know what their responsibilities are in ensuring that it is implemented.

Students

Students will be made aware of the race and equal opportunities policy and how it applies to them. They must learn to treat each other with respect and report incidents of discrimination to an adult.

Complaints Procedure

If anyone in the school feels that this policy is not being followed then they should raise the matter with the Headteacher who will take appropriate action, which may include an investigation and report on the issue. If there is a formal complaint then the school's complaints procedure will be used.

Implementing this Equality Policy

The school believes that the implementation of policies and practices that ensure equality of opportunity is an ongoing process, which requires regular review. The school will promote and support this policy (which underpins its commitment to equality of opportunity) through an action plan. This will identify key objectives that will be integrated into the School

Key Areas in Promoting Equality

The ethos of the school should reflect equality policies explicitly, deal with complaints and incidents and ensure that everyone in the school community is kept informed about these policies.

Ensuring that student attainment and progress in individual subjects is monitored (by ethnic group, gender, language and disability) and that strategies for tackling differences in attainment and progress are developed.

Ensuring that teachers are aware of current concerns regarding any underachievement of certain groups.

Ensuring that the school values the achievements and progress of all students from minority groups and that they have equal access to extra-curricular activities.

Ensuring that every student is offered the support and guidance they need.

Ensuring that staff challenge stereotyping and promote equality in education, employment, training and career choice.

Teaching and Learning

This school promotes an inclusive curriculum, which reflects the multi-faceted nature of our society, and that racism and all other forms of discrimination are challenged in all areas of the curriculum.

Equality of all kinds is promoted and all forms of discrimination challenged in all areas of the curriculum.

Curriculum planning takes account of the ethnicity, background and language of all students.

Middle Leaders provide guidance and examples of good practice for colleagues.

The school monitors and evaluates its effectiveness in providing an appropriate curriculum for all students and that students are allocated to teaching groups fairly and equitably.

Assessment outcomes are used to identify the specific needs of minority students, inform policies, planning, and the allocation of resources and appropriate teaching methods and styles.

Resources are available to meet the specific needs of students from minority ethnic groups including the appropriate use of dual language resources.

The school makes full use of the resources available within its local minority ethnic communities.

Guidelines On Working With Students Who Have English As An Additional Language (EAL)

Recognising and valuing bilingualism.

Ensuring that the language and learning needs of bilingual students are clearly identified and given appropriate support.

Ensuring that resources and displays will be used to reflect and develop languages and cultural backgrounds.

The school will draw on the resources of parents and local communities in producing resources.

Student Behaviour, Discipline, and Exclusion

The school's procedures for managing behaviour and disciplining students must be fair and applied equally to all.

The school seeks to adopt good practice strategies in order to reduce any differences in rates of exclusion between ethnic and minority groups.

The process of excluding a student is fair and equitable to all.

Strategies to reintegrate truants and excluded students address the needs of students from all minority groups.

The school must ensure that there is a clear policy and established procedures for dealing with incidents of harassment, which is understood by everyone in the school community.

The monitoring system used by the school enables the school to report the relevant details to KCC LA on request.

Staff Recruitment and Career Development

The school will ensure that recruitment and selection procedures are consistent with the statutory Race Relations Code of Practice in Employment and other Equality legislation. Everyone involved in recruitment and selection must adhere to this code.

Steps are taken to encourage people from minority groups and under-represented ethnic groups to apply for positions at all levels in the school and that selection avoids discrimination.

Professional development must be open to all. Staff and governors must undertake training programmes on racial equality and other minority's issues.

Parents, Governors and Community Partnership

Parents are welcomed and respected in school.

People from minority groups are encouraged to become school governors.

All parents are regularly informed about their child¡¦s progress in an accessible manner.

Proactive steps are taken to involve minority ethnic groups in the school.

The school's premises and facilities are equally available for use by all ethnic groups.

Reporting any abuse of minority groups within the School

This policy is of little use without including practical ways of dealing with abuse of minority rights. The school is anxious to ensure that any member of the school community is confident in reporting any abuse they encounter or witness.

It is hoped that members of the teaching and non-teaching staff would report such abuse to their line manager, who in turn would pass it on to the Headteacher for further action. Other appropriate persons or groups within the school can deal with less serious cases.

Students will be encouraged to report any abuse to their tutor or Head of Year.

Monitoring the Equality Action Plan

The school will monitor the impact of this policy and action plan on students, parents and staff and in particular monitor the impact of our policies on the attainment levels of our students. We will monitor our students, collect information and analyse trends to ensure that the attainment of minority groups is not adversely affected by the following: -

Exclusion

Harassment and bullying

Curriculum, teaching and learning

Punishment and reward

Parental involvement

Working with the community

Support, advice and guidance

Membership of the governing body

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