Didcot Girls' School specific policies are listed in the Document section of this page.
Ridgeway Education Policies
Links to Trust-wide policies can be found below:
Equality Information and Objectives
Didcot Girls’ School
- Our values
Didcot Girls' School is:
- A school where everyone is included, at the heart of the community.
- A school with high expectations which provide quality learning experiences for all.
- A happy school which creates a sense of pride and promotes respectful relationships for all.
At Didcot Girls’ School we are committed to ensuring equality of education and opportunity for all pupils, staff, parents and carers receiving services from the school, irrespective of age, race, gender, sexual orientation, marriage and civil partnership, gender reassignment, pregnancy and maternity, religion or belief or socio-economic background.
We aim to develop a culture of inclusion and diversity in which all those connected to the school feel proud of their identity and able to participate fully in school life. Our school values, which have been agreed by all members of the school community, reflect this commitment.
We are proud of our record of promoting the spiritual, moral, social and cultural (SMSC) development of our pupils. This policy contributes to our SMSC work by:
- promoting tolerance and harmony between different cultural traditions by enabling students to acquire an appreciation of and respect for their own and other cultures
- encouraging respect for other people.
This Equality Policy contributes to our aim of increasing the understanding and knowledge expected of pupils as a result of our promotion of fundamental British values. In particular we aim to provide:
- an appreciation that living under the rule of law protects individual citizens and is essential for their wellbeing and safety
- an understanding that the freedom to choose and hold other faiths and beliefs is protected in law
- an acceptance that other people having different faiths or beliefs to oneself (or having none) should be accepted and tolerated, and should not be the cause of prejudicial or discriminatory behaviour
- an understanding of the importance of identifying and combating discrimination.
The achievement of pupils will be monitored by race, gender and disability and we will use this data to support pupils, raise standards and ensure inclusive teaching. We will tackle discrimination by the positive promotion of equality, challenging bullying and stereotypes and creating an environment which promotes respectful relationships for all.
- Equality and the law
- We welcome our duties under the Equality Act 2010 to eliminate discrimination, advance equality of opportunity and foster good relations among all members of the school community and particularly with regard to protected characteristics.
- We welcome our duty under the Education and Inspections Act 2006 to promote community cohesion.
- We recognise that these duties are essential for achieving the five outcomes of the Every Child Matters framework and that they reflect international human rights as expressed in the UN convention on the rights of the child, the UN convention on the rights of people with disabilities and the Human Rights Act 1998.
- We recognise that the nine protected characteristics under law are:
- gender reassignment
- marriage and civil partnership
- pregnancy and maternity
- religion or belief
- sexual orientation
At Didcot Girls’ School we see all people as of equal value, whether or not they have a protected characteristic/s.
Definition of disability
The Equality Act 2010 defines a disabled person as someone who has ‘a physical or mental impairment which has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on that person’s ability to carry out normal day to day activities’. Some specified medical conditions, HIV, multiple sclerosis and cancer are all considered as disabilities regardless of their effect.
The disability provisions in the Equality Act are different from those of other protected characteristics. Rather than just treating a person with a disability equally with those who don’t, there are times when they should be treated more favourably in order for them to be able to benefit from what we offer to the same extent as a person without a disability.
We will make all reasonable adjustments to ensure that members of our community with a disability are fully included in our school.
Definitions of discrimination (adapted from the Equalities Act 2010)
Unlawful discrimination is when a person is treated less favourably than others in comparable circumstances, because of a special characteristic such as age, disability, gender or race.
Indirect discrimination occurs when a provision, criterion or practice is applied equally to all but has a different impact on members of one or more protected groups of which the complainant is one and is placed at a disadvantage as a result.
Victimisation is unlawful which is treating a person less favourably because they have taken action in respect of discrimination e.g. by bringing a complaint or giving evidence.
Harassment is also unlawful and is when there is unwanted conduct which violates a person’s dignity or creates an intimidating and hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment for them on the grounds of one of the relevant characteristics.
- The key aims of this policy are to:
- Ensure that all students have the opportunity to achieve their full potential and be motivated to succeed, secure in the knowledge of their own worth.
- Ensure that students and staff treat each other with complete respect and dignity at all times.
- Prepare students for life in a diverse society where they exercise respect and understanding for everyone.
- Explain the protection afforded to staff under the Equality Act 2010.
Additionally, this policy aims to meet our obligations to publish information to demonstrate how we are complying with the Public Sector Equality Duty and to publish equality objectives.
We make the following commitments:
- We will work towards eliminating discrimination and other conduct that is prohibited by the Equality Act 2010.
- We will advance equality of opportunity between people who share a protected characteristic and people who do not share it.
- We will foster good relations across all characteristics, and between people who share a protected characteristic and people who do not share it.
All staff are expected to deal with any discriminatory incidents that may occur. They are expected to know how to identify and challenge prejudice and stereotyping; and to support the full range of diverse needs according to a pupil’s individual circumstances.
Racist and homophobic incidents and other incidents of harassment or bullying are dealt with by the member of staff present and will be escalated using the school’s standard operating procedures where necessary. All incidents are reported to the head teacher and logged in SIMS and racist incidents are reported to the governing body and local authority on a termly basis.
Incidents between staff will be dealt with in accordance with our Dignity at Work policy.
What is a discriminatory incident?
Harassment on grounds of race, gender, disability, sexual orientation or other factors such as socio-economic status, can take many forms including verbal or physical abuse, name calling, exclusion from groups and games, unwanted looks or comments, jokes and graffiti. It may include use of technology such as mobile phones or email, instant messaging or social networking websites.
A racist incident is defined by the Stephen Lawrence Inquiry Report (1999) as: ‘any incident which is perceived to be racist by the victim or any other person’.
See Behaviour Policy and Anti-bullying Policy for details of how incidents are dealt with.
In addition to the specific actions set out in appendix A we will:
- Ensure that we comply with all relevant legislation.
- Communicate our commitment to equality and diversity to all members of the school community.
- Inform all staff, students and governors of their responsibility in promoting and maintaining equality.
- Monitor progress and achievement data by race, gender and disability.
- The curriculum will display a discriminatory-free approach to teaching and learning throughout the school.
- Departments will present opportunities for promoting cultural diversity within subjects.
- All reasonable measures will be taken not to discriminate against staff or students with protected characteristics.
- Staff will be informed at the beginning and throughout the year of the individual needs of particular students.
- We will ensure through the Accessibility Plan that the school is a welcoming and accessible environment for all.
- The school will endeavour to provide a range of activities to apply the interests of all students.
- The school will comply with the law regarding equal opportunities and employment
- We will not ask health-related questions of applicants before a job offer, unless the questions are specifically related to an intrinsic function of the work.
- New staff will be made aware of the policy and will be welcome to contribute to its development.
- Advertising will state that we are an equal opportunities employer and will appoint the best candidate for the job.
Consultation and review
It is a requirement that the development of this plan and the actions within it have been informed by the input of staff, pupils and parents and carers. We have achieved this by using the following to shape the plan:
- feedback, parents’ evening, parent forum meetings
- input from staff surveys or through staff meetings/INSET
- feedback from the Friends group, school council, PD lessons, pupil voice survey
- issues raised in annual reviews or reviews of progress on Pupil Profiles
- discussion at the Disability Equality group involving parents and staff
- feedback at Governing Body meetings.
The Plan has been agreed by our Governing Body. In line with legislative requirements, we will review progress against our Equality Objectives annually and review the entire policy on a three-year cycle.
We make regular assessments of pupils’ learning and use this information to track pupil progress. As part of this process, we regularly monitor achievement by ethnicity, gender and disability, to ensure that all groups of pupils are making the best possible progress, and take appropriate action to address any gaps.
In order to meet the statutory requirements to publish information to demonstrate how we are complying with PSED, we will:
- publish this policy and our equality objectives on the school website
- raise awareness of the objectives through the school newsletter, assemblies, staff meetings and other communications
- make sure hard copies are available.
Didcot Girls’ School Equalities Objectives (Dec 2021 - Dec 2023)
80% of students in 'challenge' work experience placements each year
100% of students participating in the DGS Leadership Ladder each year
Why we have chosen this objective:
We aim to build leadership qualities in our students and to address gender equality in the workforce. As our mission statement says: We are a vibrant school community which empowers students to become resilient and to fulfil their potential as future leaders. It is right that women are able to break free of stereotypical constraints and fulfil their potential in whatever field they choose. Unleashing the potential of women in the workplace is good for women and good for the economy. The Women and Work Commission found that unleashing women’s full potential could be worth £23 billion a year to the Exchequer. See more at:http://gender.bitc.org.uk/research-insight/WomenWorkFactsheet
As the only all girls’ comprehensive school in Oxfordshire we are proud of the superb opportunities we offer to all of our students to develop in an environment which fosters resilience, leadership skills and a commitment to the highest educational standards.
To achieve this objective, we plan to:
foster relations with local businesses to provide a source of quality challenge work experience placements
raise the aspirations of our students during Work Experience preparation lessons
target vulnerable students for quality placements
refine the DGS Leadership Ladder system and include a new Platinum level
continue to promote participation via tutors and teachers.
Continue to work with students and staff to ensure discrimination, harassment and prejudice are not tolerated, and effective actions are taken to prevent and address any issues.
Why we have chosen this objective:
Our school values mean we are an inclusive school where relationships are founded in respect. This is central to our ethos. We want to ensure our young people are equipped for life in modern Britain with an understanding of tolerance and the value of diversity.
To achieve this objective we plan to:
Encourage students to establish and lead school groups or events aimed at promoting cultural understanding and mutual respect between those with different religions and beliefs.
Ensure older students receive training to mentor and support younger students
Continue our work on supporting and empowering students to call out incidents of sexual harassment and violence in society, to know where to report them and how to seek support.
Demonstrate best practice in recruitment policy and actions, with regards ensuring and encouraging equality and diversity.
Why we have chosen this objective:
We believe diversity and equality of opportunity are central to our school ethos as it applies to both students and staff. These values not only ensure we meet our statutory duties but also help to go further in actively promoting and creating the inclusive and welcoming workplace culture we want to maintain.
To achieve this objective, we plan to:
Ensure gender neutral language is used in all advertisements and job descriptions
Make clear in advertisements that applicants will not be excluded on the grounds of sex, gender reassignment, pregnancy, maternity, race, marital status, disability, age, religion, belief or sexual orientation
Blind shortlist for roles with multiple applicants
Accept and consider applications for job shares and requests for flexible working at the point of application
Offer comprehensive and detailed feedback to both successful and unsuccessful applicants for all roles, on request
Ensure that any images used in advertising or recruitment materials represent the diversity that we want to encourage and develop in our school community.
Offer inclusive wider school opportunities to all our students and ensure such opportunities are widely known to all students to promote engagement
Why we have chosen this objective:
We know that the wider curriculum is a distinct strength of the school and that opportunities to engage in supra learning and extracurricular activities will disproportionately benefit some students including those who may be disadvantaged or have special educational needs. We want to ensure that all students are accessing this excellent offer and that we work to identify and overcome any barriers if participation is lower in some groups.
To achieve this objective we will:
Track and monitor extra and supra curricular engagement to ensure equality of participation and opportunity
Ensure we identify barriers to engagement and adopt different strategies to encourage students to attend
Ensure that finance is not a barrier to students accessing these opportunities
Use student voice to establish which activities may be popular and interesting for all.