Shillington and Stondon Federation - Equalities Statement
Date: March 2022
Review Date: March 2024
“Value everyone, Value every chance, Value every day”
The Shillington and Stondon Federation is committed to ensuring equality of opportunity for all pupils, staff, parents and carers irrespective of race, gender, disability, belief, sexual orientation, age or socio-economic background. We aim to develop a culture of inclusion and diversity in which all those connected to the school feel proud of their identity and ability to participate fully in school life. We are outward facing schools drawing from the valuable knowledge, experience and life skills from our stakeholders, local community and from our environment. The principle of equal opportunities for all is rooted in our strong school Values.
We tackle discrimination through the positive promotion of equality, by challenging bullying and stereotypes and by creating an environment which champions respect for all.
At the Shillington and Stondon Federation we believe diversity is a strength and should be respected and celebrated by all those who learn, teach and visit us. We are welcoming without exception, we take pride in similarities and differences, whatever they are. Equal opportunities and mutual respect permeate every aspect of our school life.
Equality of Teaching and Learning
We empower our children to be curious, adventurous, innovative, independent learners who are ambitious for themselves and each other. We want them to maximise every opportunity, overcome challenges and fulfil their potential as responsible citizens. We do this by:
- Ensuring equality of access for all pupils and preparing them for life in a diverse society
- Using materials that reflect the diversity of the school and local community without stereotyping
- Promoting attitudes and values that challenge any discriminatory behaviour or prejudice
- Providing opportunities for pupils to appreciate their own culture and celebrate the diversity of other cultures
- Seek to involve all parents in supporting their child’s education
- Utilising teaching approaches appropriate for the whole school population which are inclusive and reflective of our pupils.
Equality in Admissions and Exclusions
Our admission arrangements are fair and transparent and do not discriminate on the grounds of race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, belief, disability, or socio-economic background.
Equal Opportunities for Staff
All staff appointments and promotions are made on the basis of merit and ability and in compliance with the law. We are keen to ensure that the staffing of the school reflects the diversity of our community. The federation has a full and separate Equality Policy which includes our Equality Objectives. Please consult this for further details.
Principle 1. All learners are of equal value: We see all learners and potential learners, and their parents and carers as of equal value. We ensure that learners have access to reasonable adjustments so that they can achieve their potential. This can be achieved through differentiated resources or additional support. Specific examples include access to Chromebooks to learners who are challenged with their writing, enabling them to demonstrate their full capabilities. Devices were provided to those without them to enable access to remote learning through Covid lock-downs.
Each school’s approach and results are monitored and discussed regularly by the Governing Board, including specific performance data on pupils with different characteristics.
Principle 2. We recognise and respect difference: Treating people equally does not necessarily involve treating them all the same. Shillington and Stondon Lower are Values school. Values underpin everything we do at our school and they create a solid foundation for our children to live in society. We follow a ‘Values Based Education’ programme where the children reflect and act on a different key value every month. This means we have a published set of values, including the British values, that we work on throughout the year. Each month, a different value takes a central focus and all classes have lessons, assemblies and awards based around these values. A weekly assembly led by the Head of each School is focused on values. Recent topics from early 2022 have included democracy and the rule of law, individual liberty, and growth mindset.
We make a deliberate and active choice in our use of the Literacy Tree Scheme, used in the teaching of English, to promote texts from other cultures, geographies, and faiths.
Principle 3. We foster positive attitudes and relationships, and a shared sense of cohesion and belonging. We strive to develop an understanding that although we are all unique and individual, we all have some commonality. Both schools promote a values-based education. It underpins our ethos, vision, policies and practice. Adults consistently model excellent values towards each other and towards the children, and relationships between the children, and between children and staff, demonstrate complete tolerance.
Any bullying or racist incidents, and how they are managed, are regularly reviewed by the Governing Board.
Principle 4. We observe good equalities practice in staff recruitment, retention and development. We follow Safer Recruitment practice which conforms to HR standards and guidelines, in compliance with Central Bedfordshire’s approach. We have a robust and effective appraisal process.
Principle 5. We aim to reduce and remove inequalities and barriers that already exist. We work with a wide range of outside agencies to ensure that our families are able to access equality of provision. These agencies include: The Hearing Advisory Service, and Special Educational Needs and Disability provision from advisory teachers and physiotherapists.
Principle 6. We consult and involve widely. We have close relationships with all parents, the village churches, other local schools, particularly within the Shefford and Stotfold cluster, and our neighbours. We work with local clubs and providers, enabling sharing of facilities and promote their cause within our schools’ communities.
Principle 7. Society as a whole should benefit. As a federation based on values, we encourage a wide range of charitable activities and causes including Chums (Bedfordshire mental health) and the Need project (local foodbanks). We support national and international charities, hold special assemblies (as appropriate) encouraging our pupils to develop an understanding of others’ needs and challenges, and offering opportunities for members of our federation community to “give” to others.
This is an annual statement made on behalf of the Governing Board by the Headteacher.