Sturminster Marshall First School

Grow, Achieve, Inspire, Nurture. SMFS where learning is an adventure.


Adopted: 12/11/2019     

Staff Lead: Mr A Joyce     Governor Committee: Curriculum & School Improvement Committee (CSI)

This policy reflects the Equality Act 2010 which harmonises and replaces previous legislation including the Race relations Act 1976, Disability Discrimination Act 1995, Gender Recognition Act 2004 and Sex Discrimination Act 1975. The policy therefore supersedes all previous school policies on Disability, Ethnicity (Race) and Gender. Through this policy Sturminster Marshall First School will fulfil its public duty to have due regard to the need to eliminate unlawful discrimination, advance equality of opportunity, and foster good relations in connection with disability, ethnicity, gender, religion, sexual identity and where appropriate age (applicable to employees only). The guiding principles in this policy refer to all individuals and therefore are equally applicable to pupils, staff and governors in addition to visitors to Sturminster Marshall First School.

Legal framework

Duties as identified in the Equality Act 2010 and its schedules. There are nine equality strands known as protected characteristics:

  • Disability
  • Ethnicity including gypsy and traveller groups
  • Gender
  • Gender identity and transgender
  • Faith, religion and belief
  • Marriage and Civil partnership
  • Sexual orientation
  • Pregnancy and maternity
  • Age

Each relates to direct discrimination, discrimination by association, discrimination by perception, indirect discrimination, harassment and victimisation. Sturminster Marshall First School will seek to achieve positive action in respect of the Act.

It is noted that all schools have a duty to comply with the Equality Act 2010 and its public-sector duties, and failure to do so could result in legal action against the schools Governing body. Employees of the school acting on behalf of the Governing body are also liable for their own discriminatory actions.

Sturminster Marshall First School is mindful of the Public-Sector Equality Duty which came into force on 5 April 2011, and will publish relevant information on the school’s website. Sturminster Marshall First School will publish its Equality Objectives from 6 April 2012 and monitor and report upon these annually.

Good Practice

  1. We strive to achieve a cohesive community and expect children to respect each other and behave with respect towards each other, and that parents feel they are engaged with the school. Sturminster Marshall First School is proud to be a Level 1 Rights Respecting School.
  2. We aim to enhance a wider community locally, as well as in the context of the UK and as global citizens
  3. We support the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and the UN Convention on the Rights of People with disabilities and the Human Rights Act 1998. Through our policies and actions, we undertake to ensure that every child and young person is healthy, is safe, is able to enjoy and achieve in their learning experiences, and is able to contribute to the wider community.
  4. We consider it sensible to maintain the practise of logging racist incidents and reporting them to the Local Authority. We monitor and log incidents that discriminate against children and young people or adults in Sturminster Marshall First School with protected characteristics. We monitor and log bullying incidents directed towards those with special educational needs.

Guiding principles

In fulfilling the legal obligations and establishing our school ethos, we are guided by nine principles.

Principle 1: All learners are of equal value

We see all learners and potential learners, and their parents and carers, as of equal value:

  • Whether or not they are disabled
  • Whatever their ethnicity, culture, religious affiliation, national origin or national status
  • Whatever their gender or gender identity
  • Whatever their sexual identity

Principle 2: We recognise and respect difference

Treating people equally (Principle 1 above) does not necessarily involve treating them all the same. Policies, procedures and activities must not discriminate but never the less take account of differences of life experience, outlook and background, and in the kinds of barrier and disadvantage which people may face, in relation to:

  • Disability so that reasonable adjustments are made
  • Ethnicity, so that different cultural backgrounds and experiences of prejudice are recognised
  • Gender, so that the different needs and experiences of girls and boys, women and men are recognised
  • Sexual identity

Principle 3: We foster positive attitudes and relationships and a shared sense of cohesion and belonging

Policies, procedure and activities promote:

  • Positive attitudes and actions towards disabled people, good relationships between disabled and non-disabled people, and an absence of harassment of disabled people
  • Positive interaction, good relations and dialogue between groups and communities different from each other in terms of ethnicity, culture, religious affiliation, national origin or national status, and an absence of prejudice related bullying
  • Mutual respect and good relationships between girls and boys, women and men and an absence of sexual and homophobic harassment

Principle 4: We observe good equalities practice in staff recruitment, retention and development

Policies, procedures benefit all employees and potential employees, for example in recruitment and promotion and in continuing professional development.

  • Whether or not they are disabled
  • Whatever their ethnicity, culture, religious affiliation, national origin or national status
  • Whatever their gender and sexual identity and with full respect for legal rights relating to pregnancy and maternity

Principle 5 : We aim to reduce and remove inequalities and barriers that exist

In addition to avoiding or minimising possible negative impacts of our policies, we take opportunities to maximise positive impacts by reducing and removing inequalities and barriers that may already exist between:

  • Disabled and non-disabled
  • People of different ethnic, cultural and religious backgrounds
  • Girls and boys, women and men
  • Gay people as well as heterosexual

Principle 6 : We consult and involve widely (As appropriate judged by the Head Teacher and Equality and Diversity Governor with due consideration of the circumstances of the individual

People affected by a policy or activity should be consulted and involved in the design of new policies and in review of existing ones. Consultation involves:

  • Disabled and non-disabled
  • People of different ethnic, cultural and religious backgrounds
  • Girls and boys, women and men
  • Gay people as well as heterosexual

Principle 7: We address prejudice and prejudice related bullying

We oppose all forms of prejudice which stand in the way of fulfilling the legal duties listed above:

  • Prejudice around disability and special educational needs
  • Prejudices around racism and xenophobia, including those that are directed against religious groups and communities, for example anti-Semitism and Islam phobia, and those that are directed against travellers, migrants, refugees and people seeking asylum
  • Prejudice reflecting sexism or homophobia

Principle 8: Society as a whole should benefit

Policies and activities should benefit society as a whole, both locally and nationally, by fostering greater social cohesion and greater participation in public life of:

  • Disabled and non-disabled
  • People of different ethnic, cultural and religious backgrounds
  • Girls and boys, women and men
  • Gay people as well as heterosexual

Principle 9 Objectives

Each year we formulate and publish specific and measureable equality objectives, based on the evidence we have collected and published, in relation to:

  • Disability
  • Ethnicity, religion and culture
  • Gender 

Arrangements, Roles and Responsibilities

  1. The Equality Objectives for Sturminster Marshall First School will be set formally and are referenced in the School Development Plan. They will be reviewed annually, and refreshed on a four-year cycle.
  2. The equality employment information will be monitored and reported to the Governing body on an annual basis.
  3. Sturminster Marshall First School will undertake Equality Impact Assessment (Equality Analysis) exercises when renewing or reviewing policy or practice to ensure full compliance with the Equality Act 2011.


  1. Curriculum information will also be evaluated by looking specifically at equality groups in addition to the standard analysis conducted at Sturminster Marshall First School and adjustments as appropriate to ensure that equality groups are supported positively.
  2. All other data relating to whole school monitoring will encompass scrutiny of equality information so that groups are supported positively
  3. When it is reviewed, each curriculum subject or area will ensure that teaching and learning will reflect our Guiding Principles as set out above.

Staff and Governors

  1. The Governing body is responsible for ensuring that the school complies with legislation, and that this policy and related procedures and action plans are implemented.
  2. A member of the Governing body has responsibility for monitoring and implementing this policy.
  3. The Headteacher is responsible for implementing the policy: for ensuring all staff are aware of their responsibilities and are given appropriate training and support and for taking appropriate action in cases of unlawful discrimination.

All staff are expected to:

  1. Adhere to this policy
  2. Promote equality and inclusion in their classrooms, amongst colleagues and with visitors to the school
  3. Deal with prejudice related incidents that occur
  4. Plan and deliver lessons that reflect this guidance
  5. Provide and analyse quantitative and qualitative data that supports better understanding of equality groups and any issues that may arise
  6. Undertake and support Equality Impact Assessment processes
  7. Attend appropriate training that allows Sturminster Marshall First School to keep up to date with equality issues
  8. All staff and Governors have access to training and a selection of resources which discuss and explain the concepts of equality, diversity and community cohesion. We value the opportunity to take a holistic approach to discharging our Equality duties.
  9. All staff and Governors will exercise their safeguarding responsibilities in relation to equality matters and ensure that any bullying or challenging of human rights is addressed immediately.
  10. Sturminster Marshall First School is opposed to all forms of prejudice that could act as a barrier to achieving our legal duties and a cohesive community. These include:
  • Disability
  • Special educational needs
  • Racism and xenophobia
  • Gender and transgender
  • Religious groups and communities
  • Travellers, migrants, refugees and people seeking asylum
  • Sexism and homophobia

Senior leader responsible for policy: Mr A  Joyce Headteacher

Governor responsible for policy: Mr D Watt