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The Equality Policy
Highworth Grammar School believes that all individuals should be treated equally and seeks to eliminate discrimination and advance equality of opportunity. A range of education programmes are provided by the school to encourage everyone to participate in learning. The equality implications of policies, procedures and practices, such as recruitment, marketing and procurement, are reviewed regularly to meet equality and diversity best practice. Community cohesion is forged by fostering positive attitudes and good relations between people of differing characteristics, backgrounds, circumstances, religious beliefs and practices. It is important that every member of the school feels represented and has a sense of belonging to this community.
This is the introduction to the full policy which can be found in the policy section of the website.
The following objectives are part of the Highworth School Development Plan for 2021-23:
Equality and Diversity
- To continue to review school structures to ensure aspects of equality are considered and opportunities to celebrate diversity are embedded in subject curricula.
- To relaunch the Equality Team who work with relevant SLT members to review matters of Equality.
- To develop and strengthen international links to celebrate Highworth’s position in a global community.
- To ensure a high-quality educational experience for all students and maintain a focus on vulnerable groups.
- To continue the evaluation of the Pupil Premium strategy and deployment of Pupil Premium funds.
- To ensure that all eligible Sixth Formers are in receipt of a bursary payment.
- To continue the development of strategies to support students with English as an additional language (EAL).
Highworth Annual Equality Information
- There is an Equality page on the school website. The Annual Equality Information and Equality Objectives are posted.
- The Head of RE is the SMSC (spiritual, moral, social and cultural development) Lead and advises on different faiths, perspectives and cultures.
- There is a Student Equality Team which comprises groups of students who focus on specific equality issues.
- Highworth is a designated physical disability school and offers selective places to girls with a range of physical disabilities, including wheelchair users.
- An Equality Review of the curriculum has been completed by all departments to identify best practice and seek areas for development.
- Key pastoral staff have completed Show Racism the Red Card training on Promoting Equality and Tackling Racism in Schools.
- The pastoral team have delivered whole staff training on Equality Awareness.
- The following Culture Days were held in 2020-2021: European Day of Languages (25 Sep); Black History Month (October); South Asian Culture Day (4 Dec); Chinese Culture Day (12 Feb); Japanese Culture Day (26 March); World Day for Cultural Diversity (21 May); and Afro-Caribbean Culture Day (9 July).
- The Director of International Programmes has achieved the Global Teacher Award and Global School Award and is working towards the International School Award.
- The Director of International Programmes has completed a review of all connections between Highworth students and the global community. A map is planned to celebrate these connections which will be displayed prominently in the school.
- The school has a British Council link with the Gorkha Secondary School in Dang, Nepal.
- A Sixth Form TEFL Team supports those students with English as an additional language (EAL).
Student Equality Teams
The Student Equality Teams are run by students and supported by staff members. The following groups have been set up by students:
Afro-Caribbean Society, ACS - A group to celebrate and promote education of Afro-Caribbean culture
The Afro-Caribbean society is a student equality group with the aim to encourage all students to learn about, engage in and celebrate the joys of African and Caribbean culture. For Black History Month, we produced an educational programme to celebrate prominent African and Caribbean individuals in our society. During lunchtimes, we provide a relaxed environment for anyone to come along and watch films, have snacks and engage in provoking discussion. We have developed a partnership with a school in Northern Nigeria and, in the future, we hope to visit cultural exhibitions and strengthen relations between ACS students, alumni and the wider community.
All Abilities Group - A neurodiversity and disability advocacy group
The All Abilities Group is an inclusive disability and neurodivergence advocacy group. Our aim is to change perceptions of disability and neurodivergence, whilst educating people about discrimination and prejudice that neurologically diverse people and those with disabilities face. Neurodiversity, in simple terms, means that someone’s brain works in a different way. A physical disability means that someone has a physical limitation which changes how they go about their day to day life. A learning disability means that someone may struggle to learn new concepts quickly and may need help carrying out day to day activities. These differences are not always visible and are often referred to as “hidden.” The All Abilities Group is a space for students to talk about their experiences with neurodiversity and disability (either their own or among their family and friends), whilst helping educate people. Our aim is to celebrate our differences, because the world would be so boring if we were all the same.
Asian Society - A group to celebrate and promote education of Asian culture
The Highworth Asian Society was set up in June 2020 with the dual aim of both raising awareness and celebrating Asian culture and heritage in all its forms. We opened the Asian Society to represent the Central Asian, East Asian, South Asian, South-East Asian and Middle Eastern cultures/connections of our students. Over the last year and a half, the student team has produced videos, informative Powerpoints and assemblies and even established a partnership with a school in Dang, Nepal! We organise events throughout the calendar to celebrate Ramadhan, Diwali, Eid, the Chinese New Year, South Asian Heritage Month, Nepali Culture Day and host competitions such as the Henna Design Competition or Chinese Lantern Design Competition. We want to get students involved in sharing and understanding different cultures. Our ever-growing society is a real testament to the creativity, drive and spirit of the student team, and we are always excited to see what our next project will be!
Feminist Society - A feminist issues advocacy group
The Feminist Society is a Student Equality Group that was set up to discuss and raise awareness of challenges faced by individuals in society due to gender inequality. The Society meets weekly and provides an open and safe forum for students to share their experiences, thoughts and opinions, and work together to raise awareness of gender inequality. Some topics we have covered in our meetings so far include representation of women in TV and film, perceptions of periods and period advertising, career inequality and street harassment. For the next two terms, the Feminist Society are taking on a project to develop period education resources to be used within the school’s pastoral offering. The group will also be working with the Senior Leadership Team to ensure that the school’s period support is meeting the needs of all students.
High Pride - An LGBT+ advocacy group
High Pride is an inclusive LGBT+ advocacy group with the aim to help all areas of our community feel they belong without discrimination or prejudice. We are focused on understanding how we all fit within society and promoting equality through the school. We work to: develop opportunities for safe, constructive conversation and debate; build positive peer support; learn more about the history of the LGBT+ community; understand issues of today; and build a positive all-inclusive future.
Any student with an idea for a new Student Equality Team, can speak to Mrs McCarthy about their suggestion.
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