Aims and Objectives

As noted in the Equality Policy, the School is committed to ensuring equality of education and opportunity for all students, staff, parents and carers receiving services from the School, irrespective of race, gender, disability, faith or religion, socio-economic background or any other equality grouping.

The school aims to meet its obligations under the Public Sector Equality Duty (PSED) by having due regard to the need to:

  • Eliminate discrimination and other conduct that is prohibited by the Equality Act 2010
  • Advance equality of opportunity between people who share a protected characteristic and people who do not share it
  • Foster good relations across all characteristics – between people who share a protected characteristic and people who do not share it

Our school aims to promote respect for difference and diversity in accordance with our values as set out in our Aims, Values and Ethos.

This report sets out some of the steps taken by the School over the past year in support of the Equality Act 2010 and provides information regarding the fulfilment of the School’s own equality objectives, as approved by the Governing Body in April 2024.

For a full understanding of the School’s approach to equality this report should be read in conjunction with the developmental priorities established in the School Development Plan. It should also be read in conjunction with the School’s policies (all of which can be found on the School website), particularly the Accessibility Plan, Admissions Policy, Anti-Bullying Policy, Behaviour Policy, Code of Conduct for Staff, Curriculum Policy, Educational Visits Policy, External Exams policies, Financial Assistance Policy, Gender Identity Policy, Grievance Policy, PSHCE Policy, Relationships and Sex Education Policy, Safeguarding (Child Protection) Policy, Safer Recruitment Policy, Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Report, Social, Moral, Spiritual and Cultural Policy.  The School’s procedures in relation to admissions, performance management, recruitment and disciplinary matters are also relevant to its approach to equality issues.


Steps taken by the School to meet its aims and objectives and support work on equality issues

Action taken by the School to meet these aims and obligations include the following:

(i) Eliminate discrimination

The school aims to eliminate discrimination by, for example:

  • Establishing clear principles regarding the importance of equality and sanctions in relation to discriminatory behaviour, through its policies and procedures
  • Providing training to staff in relation to the principles of the Equality Act
  • Educating students in relation to their rights and responsibilities under the Equality Act through the PSHCE programme


(ii) Advancing equality of opportunity:

The school aims to advance equality of opportunity by, for example:

  • Removing or minimising disadvantages suffered by students or staff with disabilities by, for example, making reasonable adjustments to teaching and learning resources and methods, adapting the physical environment
  • Providing training to staff, for example on strategies to support students with special educational needs, racial literacy, the particular vulnerability of students who are LGBTQ to bullying
  • Providing suitable opportunities for religious observance in school for students and staff
  • Encouraging all students to be involved in the range of school societies


(iii) Fostering good relations

The school aims to foster good relations between those who share a protected characteristic and those who do not share it. Some examples of how the school does this include:

  • Promoting tolerance, friendship and understanding of a range of religions and cultures through different aspects of our curriculum. This includes teaching in RS and PSHCE, as well as activities in other curriculum areas. For example, as part of teaching and learning in English/reading, students are introduced to literature from a range of cultures
  • Exploring these issues through our tutorial and assembly programme; students are encouraged to take a lead in such assemblies and the School also invites external speakers to contribute.
  • Celebrating and exploring identity through other events in the calendar such as our annual Celebrating Diversity week, which is led by staff and run by a team of sixth form Diversity Prefects and the annual student-led dance and spoken word event, Embrace, which celebrates in particular black culture and history
  • Working with our local community which includes inviting relevant speakers to speak at assemblies, and organising school trips and volunteering activities with local partnership organisations
  • Encouraging and implementing initiatives to deal with tensions between different groups of students within the school. For example, our school council has representatives from different year groups and is formed of students from a range of backgrounds and the School’s House system helps foster a sense of shared identity and belonging. All students are encouraged to participate in the school’s broad range of extra-curricular activities. We also work with parents to promote knowledge and understanding of different cultures.
  • Developing links with people and groups who have specialist knowledge about particular characteristics, which helps inform and develop our approach
  • Providing students with access to a broad and balanced curriculum, which avoids stereotypes and provides good role models for all students
  • Providing additional pastoral support through the tutorial system, peer and staff mentoring and counselling services so that all students can feel supported to fulfil their potential


(iv) Equality considerations in decision-making

The school ensures it has due regard to equality considerations whenever significant decisions are made by, for example:

  • When scheduling events, considering the impact on particular groups of students by taking into account the timing of religious holidays
  • When planning activities and trips, considering the need for particular facilities, for example for students with disabilities
  • In staff recruitment, taking steps to ensure that decisions are based on merit and against objective criteria that avoid discrimination.
  • When making decisions or planning curriculum content, subject leaders take into account the importance of avoiding stereotypes and of representation from a diverse group of people when selecting examples, texts, authors etc.


(v) Staff Recruitment

  • Recruitment, promotion, and other selection exercises such as redundancy selection is conducted on the basis of merit, against objective criteria that avoid discrimination. Shortlisting is done by more than one person, where possible. The School’s recruitment procedures are reviewed to ensure that individuals are treated on the basis of their relevant merits and abilities.
  • Job applicants are not asked questions which might suggest an intention to discriminate on grounds of a “protected characteristic”. For example, applicants are not asked whether they are pregnant or planning to have children. Job applicants are not asked about health or disability before a job offer is made, and where necessary, job offers are made conditional on a satisfactory medical check.
  • Part-time and fixed-term staff are treated the same as comparable full-time or permanent staff and enjoy no less favourable terms and conditions (on a pro-rata basis where appropriate), unless different treatment is justified.


Attainment Data

The School analyses performance data at GCSE and A level broken down by groups of students who share particular protected characteristics.  At present, they do not demonstrate any statistically significant difference in attainment by students on the basis of race, religion or ethnicity but this will continue to be monitored.

This data is not published by the School as the relatively small number of students concerned means that such publication would risk identifying individual students.


Equality Objectives

As set out in its Equality Policy, the School has established specific Equality Objectives.  These are set out below together with the rationale for selecting them and progress made to date towards achieving them:

(i) Departments will develop subject-specific strategies to enhance the support available to students with special educational needs

Why we have chosen this objective: The number of students at School with special educational needs and disabilities has increased over recent years and such students need additional support and strategies to assist their learning.  This objective has been informed by discussions with the SENCO, within the Pastoral Team, the EDI group, SLT and Subject Leaders.

To achieve this objective we have provided staff training from our SENCO and allocated time for further discussion and research as a whole school and within departments during the INSET day in October 2024 and at other points in the next academic year.

(ii) The extent of financial assistance offered to financially disadvantaged students will be reviewed and evaluated; guidelines will be provided for staff to explain the support available and steps required

Why we have chosen this objective: There are examples of students not taking advantage of the assistance that is available and not taking up certain opportunities within school.  This objective has been informed by discussions with the Pastoral Team, the EDI group and SLT.

To achieve this objective we have evaluated the existing support offered and considered ways in which this could be extended and made easier for parents/students to access. We have produced more detailed guidelines for staff to clarify the process of providing support, in particular in relation to trips and extra-curricular activities.  There is already an increase in the amount of financial support that has been offered to our students.

(iii) The School will continue to collate and analyse attainment data on the basis of race and ethnicity and steps will be taken to reduce any significant attainment gap between different groups

Why we have chosen this objective: The student body is very diverse and attainment levels and aspirations are very high. We are keen to ensure that these outcomes are not influenced by protected characteristics, in particular race or ethnicity.

To achieve this objective we are undertaking a regular analysis of attainment data broken down by race and ethnicity to monitor any attainment gaps which are statistically significant. The first set of analysis has been done and, as noted above they do not demonstrate any statistically significant difference in attainment.

Please also find the School’s Equality Policy below.

Equality Policy and Objectives