Public bodies such as schools have a duty, under the 2010 Equality Act, to ensure they promote equality within their organisation and this statement sets out how we endeavour to achieve this at Willow Bank Junior School. Of course, we consider this to be not just a legal duty but a moral one as well. A belief in the right of every single person to be treated with equal dignity and compassion alongside equal legal protection is fundamental to the ethos which underpins everything we do in school.
The Equality Act makes explicit our responsibility to have due regard to the need to:
In this respect, a protected characteristic could be any one of a multitude of factors that are shared by particular groups of people, but will include characteristics such as race, disability, sex, age, religion or belief, sexual orientation, pregnancy and maternity and gender reassignment. Central to a commitment to fulfil this responsibility is a recognition that all groups with protected characteristics fall within the compass of the human race as a whole, and who by definition therefore have equal status and equal rights.
We also seek to recognise that the way in which we treat people is linked to the way we treat the environment in which we live, and the other species who share the planet with us. We do not see compassion and consideration as finite resources, and the equal treatment of people can and should serve as an exemplar of our commitment to, and responsibility for, the wider world. As a school, we are in the privileged position of supporting equality in our current practices, whilst also helping children to develop and embed the principles of equality and responsibility that will best promote this in the longer term.