Promote equality, diversity and inclusion in work with children and young people 1. 1 Identify the current legislation and codes of practice relevant to the promotion of equality and valuing of diversity. When working in a school it is important that staff is aware of the ever changing legislation, especially the aspects related to promoting equality and valuing diversity. We need to be able to identify their relevance in school and that we are aware of them when carrying out our roles.
Current legislation and Codes of Practice Every Child Matters 2003 – covers children and young adults up to the age of 19, or 24 for those with disabilities. Its main aims are for every child, whatever their background or circumstances, to have the support they need to: •Be healthy •Stay safe •Enjoy and achieve •Make a positive contribution •Achieve economic well-being Each of the above has a detailed framework. In order for success within these frameworks many different agencies work together.
The agencies in partnership may include, children’s centers, early years, schools, children’s social work services, primary and secondary health services, Playwork and Child and Adolescent Mental Health services. It is important that all these professionals work together and understand each other roles in order to provide the best possible service. The fundamental aim of Every Child Matters is to ensure every pupil is given the chance to be able to work towards the goals referred to within it. Children Act 2004 – aims to ensure that the welfare of the child is paramount and works in partnership with parents to protect children from harm.
The Act is intended to strengthen the child’s legal position, to give him/her equal rights, feelings and wishes and ensures children are consulted and kept informed. The Race Relations Act 1976 (amended 2000) – makes it unlawful to treat a person less favourably than another on the grounds of race including, race, colour, nationality and national or ethnic origin. The Act outlawed discrimination whether it is direct, indirect or victimisation. It placed a general duty to promote race equality and good race relations. Positive discrimination (affirmative action) is illegal in the UK and The Race Relations Act does not allow it.
In other words a teacher cannot change the stability of the classroom by selecting a child mainly because she or he is from a particular racial group. This would be discrimination on racial grounds and against the law. The Disability Discrimination Act 1995 (amended 2005) – it is unlawful to discriminate against people in respect of their disabilities. All disabled people should be treated in a fair and equal way in relation to employment, the provision of services, education and transport. It has been unlawful for service providers to treat disabled people less favourably for a reason related to their disability.
They have had to make adjustments for disabled people, such as providing extra help or making changes to the way they provide their services. Also service providers may have to make other adaptations in relation to the physical features of a building in order to overcome physical barriers. Schools are now encouraged to include children with disabilities into mainstream school. Special Educational Needs and Disability Act 2001 – introduces the right for disabled pupils (primary age – higher education) not to be discriminated against in education, training and any services provided for pupils.
Student services covered by the Act can include a wide range of educational and non-educational services, such as field trips, examinations and assessments, short courses, arrangements for work placements and libraries and learning resources. It will be unlawful to treat a disabled person ‘less favourably’ than a non-disabled person for a reason that relates to the person’s disability. If a disabled person is at a significant disadvantage, you are required to take reasonable steps to prevent that disadvantage. This might include: •changes to policies and practices •changes to course requirements or work placements changes to the physical features of a building •the use of interpreters or other support workers •the delivery of courses in alternative ways •the use of material in other formats Human Rights Act 1998 – helps create a society where people’s rights and responsibilities are balanced. All humans have the same rights and are treated equally. Human rights are meant for everyone, no matter what their race, religion, ethnicity, nationality, age, sex, political beliefs, intelligence, disability, sexual orientation or gender identity. Our basic human rights are: •Right to privacy •Right to live •Right to have a family To own property •Free Speech •Safety from violence •Equality of both males and females •Fair trial •To be innocent until proven guilty •To be a citizen of a country •The right to express his or her sexual orientation •To vote •To think freely •To believe and practice the religion a person wants •Health care •Education •Not be forced into marriage •The right to love •The right to work •The right to express oneself (Source: wikipedia. org – Human Rights) Un Convention on the Right of the Child 1989 – it sets out in detail what every child (under the age of 18) needs to have for a safe, happy and fulfilled childhood.
It includes children’s civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights and promises to provide what a child needs to survive, grow, participate and fulfil their potential. This applies to every child, no matter who they are or where they are from. Equality Act 2010 – covers nine characteristics that are protected by this act. They cannot be used in any way to treat people unfairly. Everyone has one or more of the protected characteristics, so everyone is protected against unfair treatment. The protected characteristics are: •age •disability •gender reassignment marriage and civil partnership •pregnancy and maternity •race •religion or belief •sex •sexual orientation As far as schools are concerned this means that they cannot unlawfully discriminate against pupils because of their sex, race, disability, religion or belief and sexual orientation. This also includes pupils who are pregnant or undergoing gender reassignment. The Sex Discrimination Act 1975 – makes it unlawful to treat a woman or a man less favourably in employment, training, education and the provision of goods, facilities and services on the grounds of their gender or marriage.
It prohibits direct or indirect sex discrimination against individuals in employment. Types of direct sex discrimination include sexual harassment and treating a woman unfavourably because she is pregnant. Indirect sex discrimination is where a requirement is applied to both sexes, but negatively affects more of one gender than the other, e. g. a requirement to be under 5ft 10ins would discriminate against men, while a requirement to work full-time might discriminate against women. Equal Pay Act 1970 – prevents discrimination between male and female employees in the same job in relation to pay and terms and conditions.
The Gender Reassignment Regulations 1999 – extended the Sex Discrimination Act to make it unlawful to discriminate on grounds of gender reassignment. Civil Partnership Act 2004 – allows same-sex couples to make a legal commitment to each other by entering into a civil partnership. This means that gay and lesbian couples who register their relationship will have similar rights and responsibilities to married couples including, property rights, social security and pension benefits, parental responsibility, tenancy rights, full life insurance and next of kin rights in hospitals.
EU Employment Directive 2000 – prohibits employment discrimination on the grounds of religion or belief, disability, age or sexual orientation. It prohibits both direct and indirect discrimination and also includes harassment. Employment Equality (sexual orientation) Regulations 2003 – gives rights to lesbian, gay and bisexual workers. The regulations make it unlawful to discriminate on grounds of sexual orientation in employment and professional training, including university students. The regulations include protection against direct discrimination, indirect discrimination, victimisation and harassment.
Employment Equality (religion and belief) Regulations 2003 – make it unlawful to discriminate on grounds of religion or belief held (or not held) in employment and professional training, including university students. Again, the regulations include protection against direct discrimination, indirect discrimination, victimisation and harassment. Employment Equality (age) Regulations 2003 – make it unlawful to discriminate on the basis of age in all areas of employment, including training. The regulations do add in some situations where discrimination can be lawful if there is good reason but these are subject to strict guidelines.
Statutory Code of Practice on Racial Equality in Employment – helps prevent unlawful racial discrimination and is relevant to all employers. It will help: •understand the Race Relations Act and be aware of your duties, rights and responsibilities •treat all workers in the same way, no matter what race, colour, nationality or ethnic group they are •improve your equality practices The code will help you draw up an equal opportunities policy and put it into practice. It must apply to all workers, throughout all stages of employment and should include: •advertising and recruiting for a post offering equal terms and conditions to potential employees •providing access to training, promotion or other opportunities •dismissing someone from a post •preventing harassment on racial grounds in the workplace Some of the above legislation has merged together under the Equality Act. These include: The Race Relations Act 1976 (amended 2000), The Disability Discrimination Act 1995 (amended 2005), The Sex Discrimination Act 1975, Equal Pay Act 1970, Employment Equality (age) Regulations 2003, Employment Equality (religion and belief) Regulations 2003 and Employment Equality (sexual orientation) Regulations 2003
Every school has a number of policies that set out the guidelines and procedures for ensuring equality. These take account of the rights of all individuals in school. When considering the way policies work to ensure equality and inclusion, it is important that we take into consideration all aspects of school life i. e. teaching, learning, values and practice. All schools should have a commitment towards promoting inclusion and equality. This usually comes in the form of written policies, which reflect the rights and responsibilities of all people associated with the school environment.
Policies also provide guidance for staff and visitors on the ways the school ensures inclusive practice. A few examples of these policies are: •Health and Safety •SEN. •Behaviour •Equality and diversity •Attendance •Anti-bullying •Code of Conduct •Confidentiality •Inclusion •Safeguarding All of the above policies will include ways that schools work in relation to: •Race & cultural diversity •equality of opportunity & inclusive practice •safeguarding & bullying •gifted & talented pupils •special educational needs •disability & access. •
The different ways in which schools promote the rights and equality for children are included in the policies. Schools must monitor the strengths and weaknesses in a policy and amend them in response to the ever changing legislation. To make this all a little easier to understand it can be viewed as a cycle. The cycle of development of legislation, policies and practice (Source:Pearsonschoolandfecolleges. co. uk) 1. 2 Explain the importance of promoting the rights of all children and young people to participation and equality of access
Equality of Access is the idea that all pupils have equal rights of access to any aspect of school life. All pupils have the right to an expansive curriculum and schools have a duty to ensure that all pupils have equality of access no matter what their background, race, culture, gender, additional need or disability. Equality of access ensures that all discriminatory barriers are removed allowing for children’s individual needs to be met. An example of the importance of promoting equality of access, in my own experience, involves the child I worked with.
She had a hip operation and was wheel chair bound for three months. As the school had ramp access to the building her education wasn’t hindered in any way. Participation is as important as equality of access and includes everyone within the school. It involves finding opportunities to talk to children and their parents about all aspects of school life and the curriculum. They could be asked what works, what doesn’t work, what could work better and they could also be involved in decisions about how their education is delivered to them and the evaluation process.
Children want to be involved in the running of school and this process creates a sense of well being and worth. Children are more likely to interact and enjoy everything school has to offer. Participation also helps reduce bullying, improve school safety and supports a child’s emotional and social development. In my setting, participation is achieved formally and informally. We have a school council, made up of two children from classes 1-6. They meet on a regular basis and discuss school issues, set up play buddies, set up events to raise money for local charities and much more.
Basically giving children a voice. Informally, we often chat in class or have whole school assemblies to come up with ideas for the future. At the start of term the whole school put together the new school rules with the head teacher, which the children agreed to and then signed. 1. 3 Explain the importance and benefits of valuing and promoting cultural diversity in work with children and young people Culture can have many different meanings and it’s what gives groups of people in our society their identity.
Valuing and promoting cultural diversity of individuals and groups within the school will develop learning and encourage the knowledge and understanding of all pupils. Understanding and taking account of our pupil’s background and culture is essential for us to build effective relationships and provide appropriate support. Our school provides opportunities to ensure that children from all cultures feel welcome. We value and promote cultural diversity by: •making children feel valued and good about themselves •ensuring that children have equality of access to learning •creating an nvironment of mutual respect and tolerance •encouraging positive behaviour in children e. g. kindness and inclusion •exploring different faiths and cultural practices as part of the curriculum – RE and PHSE lessons •displaying signs around school in a variety of languages •taking part in awareness assemblies •using learning resources representing different cultures e. g. play sets, empathy dolls, books •taking part in celebration days/lessons – we recently had a cookery lesson led by a parent who is from Thailand and a lady from India spent a day with us teaching there way of dance.
Both were thoroughly enjoyed by all the children (and staff! ) It is important to help children feel settled and secure in their environment and this can be achieved by participating in all of these opportunities, in turn children know that their culture is respected. Valuing and promoting cultural diversity are beneficial in that they build children’s confidence, develop their understanding and awareness and give a sense of pride. In time this will create an environment that is socially accepting. 2. 1
Explain ways in which children and young people can experience prejudice and discrimination Discrimination is defined as the unjust treatment of different categories of people or things and prejudice is most often referred to as preconceived, usually unfavorable, judgments toward people or a person because of gender, social class, age, disability, religion, sexuality, race or other personal characteristics. There are many ways a child can experience prejudice and discrimination in school and unfortunately a lot of children are subject to it.
Children can experience these forms of discrimination in different ways: •Direct discrimination – This occurs when one person treats another person less favourably than they would another because of a protected characteristic. One person is specifically singled out e. g. a child who has attention deficit hyperactivity disorder is not permitted to take part in the school play because of fears about their behaviour. •Indirect discrimination – This occurs when a working condition or rule appears neutral, but its impact particularly disadvantages people with a protected characteristic.
Specifically excluding a person by being selective e. g. the school is fitted with lifts but the building has a set of six steps at the front entrance. Entry for those needing to use the lift is through the back entrance near the bins. Those using a wheelchair can’t get into the building from the front entrance. •Victimisation – This occurs by treating somebody less favourably than others because they tried to make a complaint about discrimination. It is an ongoing form of bullying where a person/group is pinpointed. e. g. a teacher shouts at a pupil because he thinks she intends to support another pupil’s harassment claim. 2. 2 Analyse the impact of prejudice and discrimination on children and young people In an experiment carried out by Jane Elliot, ‘Brown eyes, blue eyes’, Elliot saw co-operative, thoughtful children turn into nasty, vicious children within the space of 15 minutes. She found that children experiencing discrimination had very negative feelings. They felt inferior which resulted in low self esteem. The children didn’t even want to try and accomplish anything, they just gave up.
Learning was influenced by the attitude of their self and tasks took longer to complete. The basis of discrimination can be the smallest thing, as you can see from the previous diagram, but can have an immense negative impact on a child. Depending on the seriousness of the discrimination and how long it goes on for, prejudice and discrimination can create social and emotional tension and can lead to fear and anxiety. It can undermine the self-esteem and self-confidence of those being ridiculed and make them feel unaccepted and unworthy.
Children stop liking themselves and think that no one wants to know about them because they feel different from their peers and not worthy. A child will start to feel that they are not valued as a person. In turn, their school performance often suffers. A child who does not feel part of the class due to discrimination or prejudice will not be happy or feel safe in school and will not want to put their hand up to ask a question in class as it will draw attention to them. They may become depressed and socially withdrawn, becoming less able to join in with activities with their peers.
With a lack of confidence it’s also difficult to make friends and with fewer positive relationships being developed with peers or adults the impact on prejudice and discrimination can be very depressing and childhood can become a much less happy time. 2. 3 Evaluate how own attitudes, values and behaviour could impact on work with children and young people Our own values and attitudes have a critical impact on the way we make decisions and conduct ourselves. It is important to be clear about these personal values and beliefs so they don’t have a negative impact on the children we support.
We must be aware and make sure we are not judgemental in any way on the basis of race, gender, religion, ethnicity etc We have a duty to protect the rights of the children we work with. My personal background, upbringing and experiences can have an effect on attitudes towards individuals and groups, so it is important that I recognise these. I could overcome them by developing a greater understanding of groups in society e. g. finding out about the religious beliefs and cultures of the children I work with and learn about any special educational needs or disabilities.
It is important I don’t make assumptions about children and young people. Finding out about their backgrounds, interests, abilities and individual needs will help me to provide more effective, appropriate and personalised support. It is quite difficult to evaluate my own attitudes, values and behaviours because sometimes you don’t realize you hold this belief until faced with it. However, whilst at work it is important to put aside these beliefs and not impose my opinions on the young impressionable children I work with. I would like to say that I treat all the children the same at school and give each child equal opportunities.
However, I work with a child with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and it is so hard not to treat him a little differently. He is very demanding of my attention and certain measures need to be in place to enable him to function in the classroom. This immediately sets him apart from the others in the class. Nevertheless, I do ensure that he receives the same treatment as the rest of the class when it comes to discipline etc. When it comes to age, race, gender, religion or ethnicity I hold a very positive attitude.
There are only a handful of children from multi cultural backgrounds at my school but I respect and value them as much as any child. I live my life according to my own religious belief and I take a genuine interest in learning about other peoples religious beliefs and celebrations. The setting I work educates children from 3-11 and my colleagues age range from 22-50+. Every person, no matter what their age, is worthy and valued, and all of them make a positive contribution to the school. I feel that displaying these positive values and behaviour characterises me as a positive role model and has a positive impact on the children I work with. . 4 Explain how to promote anti-discriminatory practice in work with children and young people The promotion of anti-discriminatory practice should be at the forefront of any schools practice. As well as having the policies in place, it is paramount that anti-discriminatory practice is demonstrated in everything we do. As a member of the school team it is my shared responsibility to ensure that anti-discriminatory practice is promoted. To promote anti discriminatory practice it’s important that all staff act as good role models. Children are very impressionable and replicating this ehaviour will teach children to respect one another. It is important to include the children in as much as you can and listen to what they have to say. You may need to differentiate or adapt the work so that all the children are given equal opportunities to complete it. All barriers need to be removed so that children can have full access to the curriculum. Children need to be recognized as unique and they all need to be treated as individuals. Our school council has set up a play buddies system at playtimes. This ensures that all the children can play together; no body is left out for any reason.
This also gives the older children a sense of responsibility and they enjoy it. If I was to ever become aware of any victims of discrimination either in the class room or in the playground, I would make sure that it was dealt with promptly and efficiently. It is very serious and must not be ignored. This will hopefully prevent it from happening again and stop any discrimination from escalating and becoming a bigger problem. 2. 5 Explain how to challenge discrimination. Within my role as a Teaching Assistant there is a chance I will be required to challenge pupils over their behaviour because I feel it is potentially discriminatory.
This must be done as soon as it is witnessed. Discriminatory behaviour must never be ignored and it is often common practice to record any incidences. A lot of the time children are unaware of the implications of a comment they might make. They could be mimicking what they have heard elsewhere and not mean to be insensitive. How you choose to challenge inappropriate behaviour will depend on the situation it occurred in and the age of the child but it is important to challenge effectively so there is less chance of it happening again.
The following are useful to consider: •Talk to the child and make them aware of why, what they did or said was wrong •Depending on the age and ability of the child you could turn it into a game i. e. role play •Ensure you talk to the child at their level of understanding •Ask what actually happened, why it happened and how they would feel if it happened to them In an incident that occurred in my setting the named child I work with called another child ‘a nigger’. I didn’t witness the episode but it was reported straight to me.
He was immediately removed from the situation and sent to the head teachers’ office. The Head and I explained in a sensitive manner, the seriousness of his comment. It turned out the comment is something he had overheard at home and he didn’t realise the offence it would cause. The child apologised personally to the other child and a letter was sent home to parents so that they could reiterate what we had said in school. Challenging discriminatory behaviour is important to ensure we create a learning environment that is free of discrimination.
We need to show that we value differences. It also reinforces the policies and procedures that we have in place at school. In all instances it needs to be made clear that a child inappropriate behaviour or comments are not acceptable and that everyone in school deserves to be treated fairly and with respect. 3. 1 Explain what is meant by inclusion and inclusive practices Inclusion is about creating a secure, accepting, collaborating and stimulating school community in which everyone is valued and all the pupils can achieve their best.
Inclusion involves making sure all children are given the opportunity to access all areas of the curriculum including out of school activities e. g. school trips. Everyone in school has an important role in promoting and supporting an inclusive culture. Everything we do, on a daily basis, is inclusive practice and there are three main elements to its success: •Attitudes – staff should have high expectations of all their pupils. The work set should be adjustable so that all pupils can be included.
Diversity should be celebrated and valued, certainly not feared and all pupils should be encouraged to believe in the ‘I can’ attitude. •Skills – all staff should be equipped with the right skills, dependant on the child’s need, to enable them to provide an environment that welcomes all. •Resources – all pupils should have access to the same range of resources. Some of the resources will be specific to pupils particular needs e. g. hearing aid, sound systems, mobility aids and it is important we know how to use these so all children can gain access to all aspects of school life.
The child I work with has ADHD and doesn’t take kindly to any changes in his daily routine. If there is a sudden change he lashes out which means he needs to be removed from the classroom and therefore misses out on parts of his education. To overcome any potential problems we have now introduced a visual timetable on his desk so he can see exactly what he is doing and when. This minimizes any possible outbreaks and results in a smooth lesson. Other examples of inclusive practice in our school are things like introducing a physical aid for a pupil during PE.
A child I used to work with had Dyspraxia, therefore struggled using certain PE equipment. Once I adapted the resources she could take full part in the lesson. We use thicker pencils for children who have difficulty with fine motor skills. Our school is also equipped with ramp access to the building and a disabled toilet. 3. 2 Identify barriers to children and young people’s participation A barrier to participation is anything that can hold back a child from being involved in any experiences a school has to offer. These could possibly include: