Promoting equality and community cohesion at Oakleigh School

Oakleigh School and the community in which we are situated are diverse, multilingual and cohesive. As a diverse school, we value and celebrate the richness of culture, backgrounds and traditions we share. The richness that our diversity brings helps to make Oakleigh an excellent place to learn and work. Our school is responsive to the spiritual, moral, social and cultural needs of its users and the community.

At Oakleigh School and the Early Years Centre we have a strong commitment to fairness and equality in everything that we do.

  • We try to ensure that everyone is treated fairly and with respect.
  • We work hard to make sure that the school is a safe and secure environment for everyone.
  • We recognise that people have different needs, and we understand that treating people equally does not always involve treating them all exactly the same.
  • We recognise that for some pupils extra support is needed to help them to achieve and be successful.
  • We try to make sure that people from different groups are consulted and involved in our decisions, for example through talking to parents and carers, and listening to our pupils in whichever way they communicate to us.
  • We aim to make sure that no-one experiences harassment, less favourable treatment or discrimination because of their age; any disability they may have; their ethnicity, colour or national origin; their gender; their gender identity or reassignment; their marital or civil partnership status; being pregnant or having recently had a baby; their religion or beliefs; their sexual identity and orientation.

We welcome our general duty under the Equality Act 2010 to have due regard to the need to eliminate discrimination; to advance equality of opportunity; and to foster good relations.

We also welcome our specific duties to publish information about our school population; to explain how we have due regard for equality; and to publish equality objectives which show how we plan to tackle any particular inequalities or disadvantages found.

Meeting our duties to promote community cohesion, and the spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of pupils, supports how we meet the needs of different groups of pupils and how we foster good relations.

We welcome the emphasis in the Ofsted inspection framework on the importance of narrowing gaps in achievement which can affect groups such as those outlined below, however, our cohorts of children are exceptionally small, and we support children’s learning on such an individual basis which helps them to achieve as much as they possibly can.

The groups can include:

  • pupils from certain ethnic and cultural backgrounds
  • pupils who are supported by the pupil premium
  • pupils who have disabilities
  • pupils who have special educational needs
  • boys in certain subjects, and girls in certain other subjects.

For more information about our work on equalities at Oakleigh School please contact:

  • Nick O'Riordan
    (Member of staff with responsibility for equality issues)
    Tel: 020 8368 5336
    Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • Rose Charles
    (Member of governing body with responsibility for equality issues)
    Tel: 020 8368 5336
    Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Part 1: Information about the pupil population for Academic Year 2016-2017

Number of pupils on roll at the school: 82

Information on pupils by protected characteristics

The Equality Act protects people from discrimination on the basis of ‘protected characteristics’. Every person has several of the protected characteristics, so the Act protects everyone against unfair treatment.

The protected characteristics are disability, gender reassignment, pregnancy and maternity, race (ethnicity), religion and belief, sex (gender) and sexual orientation.

Oakleigh School caters for primary aged boys and girls who have a range of disabilities including:

  • Severe and Complex Learning Difficulties, with some having the following additional needs:
    • Autism Spectrum Conditions
    • Profound and Multiple Learning Difficulties
    • Life Limiting Conditions
  • Oakleigh’s pupil population is 70% boys and 30% girls
  • Oakleigh School is a multi-ethnic school. Information received from families regarding ethnicity:
    • White British 24%
    • Black African 16%
    • South Asian 16%
    • White Eastern European 15%
    • Dual Heritage 9%
    • Afghani 8%
    • White Other 4%
    • Other ethnic groups 8%, including:
      • Chinese
      • Kurdish
      • Greek Cypriot
      • Black Other
      • Iranian
  • Oakleigh School is a multi-faith school. Information received from families regarding faith:
    • Christian 37%
    • Muslim 28%
    • No Religion 18%
    • Jewish 11%
    • Hindu 5%
    • Other Religion 1%

The following provides information on how we have due regard to the need to advance equality of opportunity and foster good relations.This includes steps we are taking to tackle and meet the needs of particular individuals and groups of pupils with protected characteristics.

Disability

How we advance equality of opportunity:

  • We support children and their families by meeting their individual needs.
  • We work in close collaboration with families and agencies that serve them – for example community nursing teams, community occupational therapy, housing, social care.
  • We take steps to ensure that pupils have access to experiences and opportunities similar to those of their mainstream peers.
  • We involve children, their families and staff in the changes and improvements we make and consult them on issues affecting them.
  • We are fully accessible we keep this under review to ensure that we are informed of new innovations that our pupils can access.
  • We plan, implement and evaluate inclusive projects with local mainstream schools so that children have the opportunity to learn from and with each other.
  • We provide outreach and support to local mainstream schools to help them support their children who have special educational needs.
  • Our family support workers provide in home support for parents/carers/siblings, as well as parent/carer groups and holiday opportunities.
  • We promote our inclusive attitudes and ethos by opening our school to visitors such as trainee teachers, parties visiting from abroad, community faith leaders etc.
  • We work closely with borough transport to ensure that children travel to school safely and happily.
  • We are visible in our local community and have strong community links with the local café and shops, the allotments and local schools.
  • We support our children during hospital visits and provide outreach and support to hospital staff as appropriate.

How we foster good relations and promote spiritual, moral, social and cultural (SMSC) development:

  • We open the school to the wider community through events such as the Summer Fair and other fundraising events, promoting a positive view of disability within our community.
  • We provide Religious Education for pupils and invite families and members of the community to participate in these sessions.
  • We model inclusive practices by providing inclusive learning opportunities to which we invite children from local schools.
  • Where appropriate children participate in inclusive activities with children who share their faith.
  • We have links with local places of worship and children participate in visits to these places, as well as welcoming special people to our school.
  • Our respect and value of difference and diversity is reflected in our curriculum, which provides children with a broad experience of the world.
  • We take part in events such as Sign to Sing, World Book Day and inclusive sporting events.
  • We ensure that the curriculum has positive images of people who have disabilities.
  • We talk to children in local schools about our pupils with disabilities and how they learn. We provide opportunities for these children to visit and learn more about our school.
  • We also have strong links in the wider community, for example links with the British Museum, Tottenham Hotspur coaching, the Hollies School in Wales and Choongo Basic School in Zambia.

Ethnicity and race (including EAL learners)

How we advance equality of opportunity:
  • We support children and their families by meeting their individual needs.
  • We work closely with parents/carers and families to improve outcomes for particular groups.
  • Our family support workers work in close collaboration with families, encouraging participation in school life.
  • We link with groups, organisations and projects in the local community.
  • We celebrate the ethnic and cultural backgrounds of children and families and encourage families to share this with us.
  • We plan and deliver exciting learning opportunities which reflect and celebrate the diversity of our school.
  • Our assemblies reflect the diversity of our school and provide the opportunity to celebrate festivals that are special to children in the school.
  • We have a diverse staff group who speak a range of languages. We encourage staff to talk to children and families in their home languages when possible.
  • We celebrate the diversity of our community through activities such as ‘Community Languages Week’ and ‘Black History Month’.

How we foster good relations and promote spiritual, moral, social and cultural (SMSC) development:

  • The school’s diversity is part of the fabric of the school, enhancing learning opportunities and enriching the curriculum.
  • We provide children with opportunities to learn about the experiences and achievements of different communities and cultures.
  • We aim to educate staff so that they are confident in working with families from a range of diverse ethnic backgrounds.
  • The curriculum is supported by resources that provide positive images that reflect the diverse communities of the local, national and international communities.
  • We promote positive relationships between families in school through events such as Parent Workshops, Sibling Groups and Family Therapy.
  • We organise special events and celebrations such as Black History Month and Community Languages week, and invite children from local schools to visit to maximise the impact of these activities.
  • We have a strong partnership with Choongo Basic School in Zambia and celebrate the richness that this partnership brings to our learning.
  • We take part in award and accreditation schemes such as the International School Award and Investors in People.

Gender

How we advance equality of opportunity:
  • We support children and their families by meeting their individual needs.
  • We identify and address barriers to participation of boys and girls and activities.
  • We ensure that gender stereotypes are avoided.
  • We encourage male and female parents, carers and siblings to be involved in school life and contribute to their children’s learning and progress.
  • We provide opportunities for children to learn from male and female role models.
  • Children have opportunities to interact with girls and boys of their own age group, and older children through inclusive activities with local primary and secondary schools.

How we foster good relations and promote spiritual, moral, social and cultural (SMSC) development:

  • We ensure that children experience positive, non stereotypical images of women and men, girls and boys across the curriculum.
  • We encourage male and female parents, carers and siblings to take part in events such as Community Languages Week, History Day, Black History month etc.
  • We provide opportunities for children to take part in a broad range of leisure activities, as appropriate to their likes, age and development rather than their gender.
  • We encourage participation of male parents/carers through events such as Father’s Story Week and parent workshops.

Religion and belief

How we advance equality of opportunity:

  • The school’s religious/spiritual diversity is part of the fabric of the school, enhancing learning opportunities and enriching the curriculum.
  • We work alongside local places of worship so that children can experience being in these places, and learning from people in these places.
  • We encourage children to develop their sense of being special, being part of something special, identity and self worth.
  • We have links with local faith schools and some children attend faith schools as part of their inclusion programmes.
  • The religious needs of children and families are upheld and respected in school – for example, children’s dietary needs in relation to religion are met, where possible children use alternate and augmentative communication to say prayers at appropriate times of day and children are taught to tolerate articles of clothing that are important to wear.

How we foster good relations and promote spiritual, moral, social and cultural (SMSC) development:

  • We provide Religious Education, in which we celebrate the different religions of children in the school, as well as those that have no religion.
  • We have good relationships with families and use their knowledge of their own religions to ensure that their children’s religious needs are met.
  • Children take part in collective worship, assemblies and visits to local places of worship. Assembly topics reflect the diversity of the school.
  • We communicate respectfully, challenging misconceptions and being mindful of ‘over generalisation’ about religious needs.
  • Social, Moral, Spiritual and Cultural development is a part of the curriculum and is communicated to parents in the Programme of Study.
  • We have been recognised by the Accord Coalition for Inclusive Education for the outstanding way in which we embed an ethos of inclusion and mutual respect.

Equality objectives

Equality Objective 1 (2015-16):
By the end of the summer term, 2016, all children will have engaged and responded positively to learning about Islam and the lives of Muslims.

Progress towards achieving this objective:

  • We made a link with a local Mosque in North Finchley, The Islamic Association of North London (IANL)
  • A member of staff visited to meet them and to carry out a risk assessment
  • One class has made a visit to the Mosque, taking Oakleigh resources with them which really helped to make it a multi-sensory experience
  • We aim for more classes to visit the Mosque during the 2016-17 school year

Equality Objective 2 (2015-16):
To provide opportunism for girls to play with other girls.

Progress towards achieving this objective:

  • We established a very successful Girls Lunchtime Club
  • We set up inclusion links where Oakleigh girls went to mainstream schools together to join their peers
  • We had 2 coffee mornings for parents/carers of girls in school, and have put parents/carers in touch with each other to see if they would like to set up playdates at weekends/in the holidays

Our targets for 2016-17 are:

  1. Sharing and understanding good practice around the school - class staff swapping roles across departments so that we can experience what it is like working with different groups of children and in different teams.
  2. To develop closer links between families and class teams through a curriculum focus each term and rolling out Tapestry.

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