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Equal Opportunites & Diversity Policy

1    Purpose

We are committed to promoting equality of opportunity in all aspects, as an employer and as a service provider. We recognise that individuals and groups can be unfairly discriminated against and acknowledge our responsibilities to eliminate discrimination, and any particular form of discrimination that is unlawful. Releasing Potential operates within a framework of fairness, openness, integrity and accountability. We believe that by enabling access to marginalised members of society, we contribute to protecting and safeguarding their rights to be safe, healthy, enjoying and achieving, financially secure and  making a positive contribution.

  • All Releasing Potential’s policies and practices reflect a positive valuing of human difference and diversity.(See Releasing Potential Curriculum Policy)

  • Our curriculum, environment and staff development systems are set up to promote the positive valuing of human difference and diversity.

  • Releasing Potential was developed out of a Christian ethos and value system. We strive to respect the ethnic, religious, cultural and linguistic background of those who work at or are educated at Releasing Potential.

  • Releasing Potential is committed to providing equality of opportunity for the pupils and families with whom we work. We value and respect their diversity.

  • All staff and applicants for employment are entitled to equal opportunities in recruitment, training and promotion, irrespective of their racial or ethnic origins, gender, disability, sexuality and religious beliefs.

  • Releasing Potential ensures that all employees are aware of their responsibilities under this policy.

2  Objectives/Aims

  • To ensure that all staff, young people and associates are aware of the existence of the Policy, its Aims and Objectives, and their role in the implementation
  • To provide the necessary encouragement and guidance, advice and education, to all pupils and interested parties of Releasing Potential.To satisfy existing and future validating bodies’ requirements with regard   to equal opportunity and diversity issues
  • Any instances of discriminatory behaviour are dealt with promptly and firmly
  • The views and opinions of any young person are ascertained and taken into account in respect of all issues and decisions likely to affect their daily life and in the future
  • The staff at Releasing Potential give a high priority to meeting the educational needs of each young person, and ensure that they are encouraged to attain their full potential
  • All young people are helped to develop the skills and knowledge and  competence for successful transition to adult life.

3  Legal framework

This Policy is underpinned by legislation, which places individual responsibilities on staff/service users/visitors as well as Releasing Potential, this includes:

  • Human Rights Act 1998
  • The Civil Partnership Act 2004
  • The Gender Recognition Act 2004
  • The Equality Act 2006
  • Equality Act 2010

The above list is not exhaustive and will be reviewed regularly.      

Under the above Equality legislation it is unlawful to:

  • Discriminate directly against anyone and treat him/her less favorably than others because of a protected characteristic they have or are thought to have (perception discrimination), or because they associate with someone who has a protected characteristic (discrimination by association)
  • Discriminate indirectly against anyone by applying a criterion, provision or practice which particularly disadvantages people who share a protected characteristic
  • Subject someone to harassment related to a relevant protected characteristic (pregnancy and maternity and marriage and civil partnership are excluded)
  • Victimize someone because s/he has made, or intends to make, a complaint or allegation or has given or intends to give evidence in relation to a complaint of discrimination
  • Discriminate against someone in certain circumstances because of a protected characteristic after the working relationship has ended.

The protected characteristics are:

  • Age
  • Disability
  • Gender
  • Gender reassignment
  • Marriage and civil partnership
  • Pregnancy and maternity
  • Race
  • Religion or belief
  • Sexual orientation

4  Equality through service delivery for pupils:

Releasing Potential ensures that everyone is treated fairly. All children are given equal access to the service and its curriculum and all at Releasing Potential are considered equal in the learning partnership. When young people have special needs we make arrangements to inform parents and design specific programmes.

Releasing Potential is committed to providing a quality service for young people, which values diversity and promote equality. We take action to ensure that our services are equally accessible and appropriate. In order to achieve this we observe the following objectives/aims in service delivery.

Accessibility

Releasing Potential welcomes referrals for students with additional physical needs. See Accessibility Plan Appendix.

5  Equal Opportunities – a responsibility for us all

All staff and young people have a personal responsibility to:

  • Value and respect others
  • Ensure no one is harassed, victimised or bullied in the learning environment
  • Promote a teaching and learning environment where everyone feels confident to report
  • Incidents that are unfair and personally offensive
  • Treat equally and promote equality.

6  Equal Opportunities are about:

  • Treating everyone fairly without bias
  • Creating an environment free from harassment, victimisation and bullying
  • Encouraging, supporting and developing our own and others’ abilities to maximize  our contribution to the organisation
  • Each of us understanding what is expected of us in terms of work performance, standards and behaviour.

7  Equal Opportunities is Not About:

  • Ignoring or devaluing diversity by pretending that everyone is the same
  • Giving certain groups an unfair advantage.

Accreditations