At Brandlehow we strive to provide an environment in which we focus on the well-being and progress of every child, where all members of the community are of equal worth and which demonstrates the importance of wholeness and quality of life. We are dedicated in our promotion of the equality of opportunity in management and organisation of the school, including employment and when seeking admission to the school, in provision of education and when accessing any facility or service provided by the school.
The Equality Act 2010 provides a framework to support our commitment to valuing diversity, tackling discrimination, promoting equality and fostering good relationships between people. It further endorses our continual drive to tackle any issues of disadvantage and underachievement of different groups within the school environment. The staff and governors consistently seek to avoid direct or indirect discrimination on grounds of specific characteristics (referred to in the Equality Act 2010 as protected characteristics): sex (gender), race, disability, religion or belief, gender reassignment, sexual orientation or pregnancy or maternity.
The protected characteristics of age and marriage and civil partnership apply to the school as an employer, but are not part of the school provisions related to pupils.
Brandlehow’s Community and Diversity are its strengths…Our community is full of wonderful children, families, staff and other interested stakeholders
Our pupils come from a great range of backgrounds: we have 34% of children for whom English is a second (or even third!) language; 33 languages spoken and a wide variety of faiths and heritage is represented and celebrated at the school. We like to challenge stereotypes and ensure that every child is given the support and opportunities that will enable them to succeed to the best of their ability; we also insist that they put as much effort into this journey as they can and that they’re active and positive learners who make the most of every opportunity they’re given. We don’t allow glass ceilings based on circumstances of children and we don’t believe in fixed ability. Mixed confidence groups are used in classrooms.
‘EQUALITY’, not ‘INCLUSION’
Inclusion is a positive word, frequently used in relation to Special Needs, but because it subtly and innocently implies a hierarchy, where some include others, we prefer the word equality, where every child is equally important, special and valued. We recognised that we all have barriers and strengths in relation to our learning, which change over time. At Brandlehow, there are currently just over 13% children who have identified special needs, with 15 children with EHCPs and 2 pending.
Lots of children at any one given time – every child in the course of their time at Brandlehow - will receive support or personalised input to either help get over a barrier or to work on a strength. This will be provided either in a small group or on a one-to-one basis. This support takes place before and after school, during assemblies, or during school hours on a rotational basis so that the same learning is not missed repeatedly. We’re lucky enough to have lots of specially trained staff with passion and areas of expertise such as Occupational Therapy, Speech and Language Therapy, Maths and Social skills.
The Headteacher and governing body will seek to provide equal employment opportunities for all staff, to ensure that all staff are valued and receive proper recognition for their work and contribution to school life. All pay decisions, including annual reviews, will be undertaken in the context of the school’s policies for managing the performance of its staff. At all times the governing body will adhere to the relevant legislation, including the Equal Pay Act and the Equality Act 2010. All vacant posts, including temporary and acting posts will be advertised both internally and externally (unless to do so would jeopordise a substantive post).
One of the five priorities set out in DfE’s Diversity and Inclusion Plan in 2018 is the strand of work to ensure that all DfE staff are able to achieve their full potential. Developing an action plan to reduce the department’s pay gap is a key part of this. At Brandlehow we fully support this methodology and act in line with current legislation and keep abreast of new developments to ensure equality in pay and opportunity for our staff.
From the 2021 report to governors on Pay and Conditions:
11 of 15 female teachers were eligible for pay progression, 91% of whom were awarded pay progression (one colleague was offered and declined)
None of the 4 male teachers were eligible for pay progression
Contracts of employment
Contracts and letters of appointment are provided to all staff by the Headteacher and or the governing body. The written statement of particulars will state the grade and salary of the post.
The Headteacher and governing body will be prepared to consider individuals wishing to vary their contract and hours of work. This needs to be put in writing to the Headteacher and governors who will consider the matter and write back with reasons for their decision.
Staff may have access to their personnel record at any time as long as the school’s Headteacher or Chair of governors as appropriate is given at least 24 hours written notice.
For further information, please click the relevant links below:
Equalities Objectives and Accessibility Scheme 2021-2024
At Brandlehow, we are constantly reflecting on our own practises and curriculum, ensuring it meets the needs of our community and keeping up-to-date and relevant with what is going on around us.
To improve our own knowledge of the current situations, our staff have undergone training into how we can better the curriculum, especially with the Black Lives Matter movement. Below is one of many presentations on the cause. We hope it helps shed some light on the current situation for you.