Equal Opportunities and Dignity at School Policy
Statement of intent
Romerike International School understands that it has a duty to:
- Eliminate unlawful discrimination, harassment and victimisation;
- Advance equality between different groups;
- Foster good relations between different groups; and
- Promote mental health and wellbeing.
Our school’s overall values are underpinned by our statutory duties under the Equality and Anti-Disrimination Act 2018. We are dedicated to ensuring that every member of our community has the best chance at fulfilling their potential, and to promoting mental
wellbeing. We have developed this policy to provide a clear framework for how we will achieve our school’s aims.
To achieve our aims, we will adopt the following methods:
- Embedding equality within teaching and resources
- Using key data indicators to understand the needs and characteristics of our school
- Promoting community cohesion
- Promoting parental engagement
- Investing in regular staff training
- Using key data, such as measures of wellbeing, to monitor the progress of pupils with protected characteristics
- Regularly reviewing our equality policy to ensure it reflects current trends and issues
Romerike International School is committed to promoting equality of opportunity for all. We aim to create an environment in which all individuals are able to make best use of their skills, free from discrimination or harassment, and in which all decisions are based on merit. We do not discriminate against anyone in our community on the basis of age, disability, gender reassignment, marital or civil partner status, pregnancy or maternity, race, colour, nationality, ethnic or national origin, religion or belief, sex or sexual orientation.
1. Roles and responsibilities
1.1. The board will:
- Be responsible for ensuring the school complies with the appropriate equality legislation and regulations.
- Take all reasonable steps to ensure those in our community will not be discriminated against, harassed or victimised in relation to:
– The way the school provides education and training
– How those in our community are provided with access to benefits, facilities and services.
1.2. The Principal will:
- Implement this policy, ensuring that all staff and pupils apply its guidelines fairly in all situations.
- Conduct training sessions to ensure all members of staff are aware of their responsibilities, as well as to develop their skills and knowledge.
- Review and amend this policy, taking into account new legislation and government guidance, and previously reported incidents, in order to improve procedures.
- Ensure that appropriate counselling is made available
1.3. The community will:
- Be alert to the possible harassment, both inside and outside of the school, and to deal with incidents of harassment/discrimination as the highest priority.
- Carry out their statutory duties relating to equal opportunities, inclusivity and pertaining to their specific roles.
2. Protected characteristics
2.1. We will not discriminate against, harass or victimise, because of their:
- Disability, which includes mental health, encompassing prejudiced assumptions, attitudes or behaviours related to mental health
- Religion or belief
- Sexual orientation
- Gender reassignment
- Pregnancy or maternity
3.1. For the purpose of this policy, sex refers to their biological assignment at birth depending on their reproductive organs. We understand some in our community may wish to identify with another gender, and we will support them through their transitioning phases.
3.2. We will ensure that any in our community of one sex are not singled out for different or less favourable treatment
3.3. There may be occasions where we deem it necessary to teach some subjects in single-sex classes, such as Sex Education.
3.4. RIS will only separate pupils by sex where there is reasonable justification or if one of the following applies:
- Girls or boys will suffer a disadvantage connected to their sex
- Girls or boys have needs that are different from the needs of the other sex
- Participation in an activity by girls or boys is disproportionately low
3.5. Where a subject is taught in a single-sex class, pupils undergoing gender reassignment will be allowed to attend the single-sex class that corresponds with the gender they identify with.
3.6. Both sexes will have equal opportunities to participate in comparable sporting activities; where segregation is deemed necessary, the single-sex sports teams will receive the same quality and amount of resources.
4. Race and ethnicity
4.1. We will ensure that those in our community of all races and ethnicities are not singled out for different and less favourable treatment.
5.1. We will ensure that those in our community with disabilities are not singled out or treated less favourably than other others.
5.2. We will make any reasonable adjustments, and provide any auxiliary aids, necessary to ensure the full inclusion for those in our community with Inclusion issues.
6. Religion and belief
6.1. We will ensure that those in our community are not singled out or treated less favourably because of their religion or belief.
6.2. The RIS will liaise with local religious leaders of all faiths to inform the amount of leave pupils will be granted in relation to religious observance.
6.3. The school has no role to play in Religious Instruction and will deliver Religious Education using the KRLE curriculum as defined by the Norwegian State
6.4. Teachers at the school will teach religion cognisant of their own beliefs and mindful of their potential bias.
7. Sexual orientation
7.1. We will ensure that all gay, lesbian and bi-sexual members of our community, or the children of gay, lesbian or bi-sexual parents, are not singled out for different or less favourable treatment
7.2. We will ensure that pupils are taught about the nature of marriage, including same-sex marriage by presenting the facts of Norwegian law – teachers will not offer personal opinions when discussing marriage.
7.3. We will ensure that any religious beliefs with regards to sexual orientation are taught to pupils in an educational context, in a manner that is not prejudicial or discriminatory.
7.4. We will ensure that there is a designated safe space within our school where pupils can discuss issues of sexual orientation without fear of discrimination.
8. Gender reassignment
8.1. We will ensure that those in our community are not singled out or treated less favourably because they have undergone, or are proposing to undergo, gender reassignment, or have trans parents.
8.2. We will ensure that there are suitable toilet and changing facilities for pupils to use, including:
- Unisex toilets and changing facilities
- Private changing facilities
8.3. The facilities will be made available to all pupils and pupils can use the facility they feel most comfortable in e.g. a trans pupil using a private changing room.
8.4. We will ensure that there is a designated safe space within our school where trans pupils can discuss issues of gender without fear of discrimination.
9. Pregnancy and maternity
9.1. We will ensure that those in our community are not singled out or treated less favourably because they become pregnant, or have recently given birth, or because they are breastfeeding.
9.2. We will make reasonable adjustments to accommodate absence requests for the treatment and support of pupils who are pregnant or have just given birth.
9.3. Ensure all school-age parents and pregnant pupils are properly supported and the school can fulfil its duty of care.
10. The curriculum
10.1. We believe that pupils should be exposed to thoughts and ideas of all kinds, however challenging or controversial, and will not make any unjustified changes to our curriculum content on the grounds of any protected characteristics that a pupil may have.
10.2. We will ensure, however, that the curriculum is as balanced as possible, and delivered in such a way that prevents discrimination, and the promotion of prejudicial stereotypes.
10.3. We do not see the practice of martial arts, mindfulness, yoga or meditation having any religious connection and will not accept these practices as being used as a platform for religious instruction on the school premises.
11. Promoting inclusion
11.1. We will promote inclusion and equality at RIS through:
- Ensuring that those in our community are called by their preferred names, taking into account the correct spelling, structure and pronunciation.
- Ensuring, as far as possible, that our governing board and staff reflect the full diversity of our local community.
- Providing an environment where prejudiced assumptions, attitudes and behaviours are continually challenged.
- Instilling in pupils an awareness of prejudice, giving them confidence that it can, and must, be eradicated.
- Providing a variety of educational and residential visits that expose pupils to a wide range of cultural experiences.
- Taking care in the use of language and the choice of resources, so that teaching and non-teaching staff avoid reinforcing stereotypical views of society.
- Valuing the cultural experiences and contributions of all those in our community, regardless of any protected characteristic that they may have.
- Communicating our policy to the community to gain their
understanding, agreement and support for its provisions.
12. Pupils that have left school
12.1. Our responsibility not to discriminate, harass or victimise does not end when a pupil has left school. It will continue to apply with regards to subsequent actions related to our previous relationship with the pupil, such as the provision of references.
13. Staff training
13.1. New staff will receive relevant training on the provisions of this policy during their induction.
14. Monitoring and review
14.1. This policy will be reviewed by the Principal and governing board and updated where appropriate – any amendments will be duly communicated to staff members.