Equality and Accessibility

Shillington and Stondon Federation - Equalities Statement

Date:  June 2023

Review Date:  Annually 

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 and are adopted as an everyday part of school life. Specific examples include appropriate placing of pupils with vision or hearing challenges in the classroom; use of weighted chairs, wobble cushions, desk slopes and movement breaks to facilitate learning for individual pupils.  Different coloured book pages are available to assist with dyslexia etc, and background colour on computers changed as required.  Sensory circuits (PE) are available at both schools to assist some pupils adopt the right frame of mind for.

Regular pupil progress meetings are held with the Head of School to track every pupil’s progress against targets, with additional check-ins for SEND and Pupil Premium children.  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 a member of staff is focused on values.  Recent topics for the 2022/23 school year have included tolerance, respect, democracy and the rule of law, and individual liberty.  During Pride month (June 2023) there has been an age-appropriate focus, using a number of different texts, on different family structures and relationships.

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. Year 4 have recently been reading “Cinnamon” (based in India and covering Sikhism) and were inspired by “Harvey Milk and the Story of the Pride Flag” (promoting diversity). There will be at least one text including strong diversity elements for all years from September 2023.  Further, racially diverse historical role models will form a new curriculum thread in History from September 2023.

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.  Children are reminded of behavioural expectations of our values, with parents asked to reinforce behaviours at home.  Our values underpin 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.  All leavers are offered the opportunity of an Exit interview with school governors.

Principle 5.  We aim to reduce and remove inequalities and barriers that already exist. We work with a wide range of outside agencies, often via “Early Help” or the CBC’s “Local Offer”, to ensure that our families are able to access equality of provision.  Pupil Premium and SEND money are directed, where appropriate for individual pupils, to access involvement in specialist projects or counselling.

All staff have access to “Care First”, an employee support service run by Beds Borough, and have previously undergone mental health awareness training during 2022.  Refresher training is currently being sought.

Principle 6.  We consult and involve widely. We have close relationships with all parents, the village churches (including assemblies led by a lay reader or parent vicar, when available), other local schools, particularly within the Shefford and Stotfold cluster, and our neighbours.  The Ofsted parental survey completed last summer was positive.  A further Parents/Carers survey will be completed in June 2023.  We work with local clubs and providers, enabling sharing of facilities and promote their cause within our schools’ communities. Pupils are encouraged to participate in local community activities; significant numbers of pupils have been using the “Street App” during the 2022/23 academic year.

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 (eg Poppy Appeal, McMillan coffee morning), 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.

Sarah Woodham
July 2023