In many schools, responding to a pressure to raise standards, staff concentrate their efforts on teaching their curriculum subject, with little or no time to address issues that are not expected to lead directly to higher exam results.
In other schools staff invest equivalent energy in attending to the learning environment: they embrace the challenge of working with diverse communities and harness the power of different identities and perspectives.
No matter how much, or how little, schools engage with equality issues, all schools have a legal obligation to comply with the Public Sector Equality Duty, introduced by the Equality Act 2010.
This is sometimes seen as an additional responsibility, and other times as an integral part of everything that happens in a school. In some schools, learning to respect one another is understood as a significant aspect of young people’s education.
Equality: Making It Happen – A guide to help schools ensure everyone is safe, included and learning is a new guide, recently published by the Centre for Studies in Inclusive Education (CSIE), which helps schools to address prejudice, reduce bullying and promote equality holistically.
Created with schools for schools, sponsored by teacher’s union NASUWT and winner of an Innovative Practice Award 2016 from the Zero Project (http://zeroproject.org, for a world with zero barriers), CSIE’s new guide is extremely user-friendly (it has been described as “seductively practical”) and is made up of succinct reference cards, which offer:
- equality monitoring questionnaires for pupils, parents, staff and governors;
- distilled information and advice on a range of equality issues;
- links to further sources of information and support;
- responses to frequently asked questions on equality in education;
- concise information on national and international law on equality in education;
- suggested activities for involving pupils in monitoring children’s rights in school;
- suggested activities for responding to signs of prejudice in school;
- succinct information on core values and on developing an equality policy.
The guide has been most warmly welcomed by the sector, with comments such as: “This should be part of every teacher’s toolkit” and “An absolutely amazing resource that is easy to use and extremely well designed.”
Equality: Making It Happen is available directly from CSIE for only £30 (RRP £75). For more information or to order your copy please see http://www.csie.org.uk/resources/current.shtml.
A FREE one-day conference to launch the new guide will be held on 29 June 2016 at Resource for London, 356 Holloway Rd, London N7 6PA. The conference will provide an opportunity to hear from inspirational speakers, explore a range of equality issues and consider what more can be done to reduce prejudice and promote equality in education. Confirmed speakers include: Patrick Roach, Deputy General Secretary at NASUWT; Professor Sheila Bennett, Brock University, Ontario; and Sharon Hodgson, MP, Shadow Education Minister.
This conference is free to attend but places are limited and must be booked in advance. For more information and to book your place please see http://csie-conf2016.eventbrite.co.uk.
If you would like to learn more about Equality: Making It Happen or the conference, or if you have any questions or queries at all, please feel free to call 0117 353 3150 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.