The Development of an Equal Opportunities Policy

The creation of an equal opportunities policy needs to be as democratic as possible, allowing all the various shades of opinion to be actively listened to and taken seriously. Individuals can only take ownership of the policy if this occurs. The reviewing of the policy should be an ongoing process that allows for rethinking and rewriting as appropriate. Such policies and practices should be dynamic and respond to the changing needs and circumstances of the school and the community. For this policy and practice to be successful it is vital that training be provided for all staff and governors and the curriculum support pupils in their understanding and implementation of the policy. Resources need to be made available for effective training, monitoring and evaluation.

All schools must now have an anti bullying policy which needs to be designed in line with the equal opportunity policy. There is a model Anti Bullying Policy on the School’s Out! website.

School’s Out!
DfES – Don’t Suffer in Silence.
The Metropolitan Police – Identifying and Combating Hate Crime.
Walworth School
Wanstead High School Redbridge the Equal opportunities group led by Kim Donavan-Maddix

Model Policy Review Guide (Word Doc)


This school belongs to its students, their families, staff and the whole community. We aim to make this school a place of which all its members and the community it serves can be proud and a place where everyone is valued.

The school community consists of pupils, parents/guardians/carers, governors and all staff.

Every member of the school community has the right to feel comfortable, safe, secure, equally valued and respected.

Every member of the school community has the right to grow and change, free from prejudice, stereotyping, harassment/bullying and negative discrimination.

Every pupil in the school community has the right to equal access to a curriculum that meets their needs.

Learning is the entitlement and responsibility of every member of the school community.

Every member of the school community has the right to object to and/or reject language or behaviour, which is offensive and/or intimidating.

Every member of the school community has the responsibility to treat others with respect.

Every member of the school community has the responsibility to report any incidents of disrespect within the school community.

The UK is a diverse and multicultural community made up of women and men, black and white; people of African, American (North and South) Asian, Australasian, British, Caribbean, Irish and European background; who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered and heterosexual; from a range of different socio-economic groups; different families; differently abled and able bodied; with a wide variety of languages, beliefs, religion, political and social ideals.

This school is very proud of this diversity which enhances our lives and the education process.
Therefore the school commits itself fully to equal opportunities for all and seeks to address and challenge all forms of prejudice, stereotyping, harassment/bullying and negative discrimination.

This commitment will inform all aspects of the school life.
Such a commitment is an essential part of the provision of high quality education for all members of the school community and empowers all those within it.
We are aware that some groups or individuals may suffer negative discrimination both within the school and outside. We have therefore developed this policy in order to minimise such oppression and negative discrimination, so far as is possible, and to teach effective strategies for survival and build an inclusive environment.

This policy requires the full commitment of each member of the school community and the acceptance of a code of conduct which:

a. encourages respect for both the individual and diverse communities and groups;

b. encourages collective action to challenge prejudice, stereotyping, harassment/bullying and negative discrimination and the structures which perpetuate them;

c. recognises and challenges stereotyped images, and, in their place promotes positive images;

d. declares as unacceptable any language, action or belief that is prejudiced or which encourages prejudice in others;

e. recognises and challenges institutional and organisational structures which have prejudicial or discriminatory effects.

It is the responsibility of all members of the school community to uphold this policy even where it may be in conflict with their own beliefs.

This policy underpins all aspects of school life and needs to be embedded in all other policies, procedures and practices.
To ensure the effectiveness of an equal opportunities policy you will need to explore the following areas regularly. It is worth noting that this list is neither comprehensive nor entirely applicable to every school.

1. the aims and ethos of the school
2. admissions
3. the content and presentation of the curriculum, both overt and covert
4. achievements of students
5. the valuing and promoting of community languages
6. assessment, records, reports and profiling
7. displays around the school
8. assemblies
9. subject choice, career guidance and work experience placements
10. referrals and disciplinary procedures
11. bullying (see bullying policy)
12. acknowledgment of religious, cultural and personal beliefs
13. induction of new students and staff
14. work with parents/carers /guardians and the community
15. school publications and press coverage
16. governors
17. recruitment, appointments and promotions
18. extra-curricular activities
19. mentoring
20. work with outside agencies
21. training and INSET

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