Public Sector Equality Duty
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 our 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 Cuthbert’s school is committed to inclusion for all. “The school’s mission statement ‘We Love, We learn, We grow’ celebrates the uniqueness of every individual in the school and is clearly at the heart of what we do. This is a school where we 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 celebrates difference and diversity through a variety of activities such as personalising the curriculum for individual pupils with additional needs, therapeutic approaches to inclusive practice such as Play Therapy. An emphasis on mental health and wellbeing through our My Happy Mind Curriculum and planning opportunities to celebrate cultural diversity.
Below are our key areas of focus that reflect the PSED
St Cuthbert’s. Primary School is a slightly larger than average sized primary school with a nursery in Withington, Manchester. There are currently 301 children on roll, including 30 in the nursery class, with 70% of the pupils baptised Catholics. Pupils are arranged in a mixture of single age and mixed age classes.
The school is in the top 20% of all schools for the proportion of FSM nationally. Approximately 80% of pupils live in the top 20% most deprived areas in the UK with just over half from a white British background with almost 40% from a minority ethnic background. This school has 12 out of 17 possible ethnic groups (the average number of groups for this phase of education is 9) and around 15% of pupils do not have English as their first language, Mobility is higher than national average %. 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 over 30% have additional needs related to mental health and wellbeing (double the national average),30% have additional needs related to speech, language and communication and 10% have an autistic spectrum condition.
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.
2. Advance equality of opportunity
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 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.
3. Foster good relations across all characteristics
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 Diocesan RE inspection, 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.
Our partnership with local schools is an integral part of our school provision. We work with the local schools cluster group, the Catholic partnership, the Manchester schools alliance and the Manchester Teaching School. Through these partnerships our children have access to a range of activities and competitions that span the curriculum.
Our extended services are offered in the form of a wide variety of clubs outside of the school day. 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 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 pupils as resilient and happy citizens through our ‘My Happy Mind’ health and wellbeing curriculum