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Equality, Diversity and Inclusion in Work with Children Essay

Equality, diversity and inclusion in work with children and young people. In this essay i will be discussing equality amongst children, inclusion, inclusiveness and diversity and how to put these things mentioned into practise when working with children and young people.

1, Understand the importance of promoting equality and diversity in work with children and young people.

1.1 Identify the current legislation and codes of practise relevant to the promotion of equality and valuing of diversity.

Current Legislations

Children Act 1989 – Protecting children’s welfare and to provide services according to the specific needs of children. Human rights act 1998 – specifies and enforces the rights of individuals and if these rights are affected actions can be taken to rectify the situation. Race Relations (amendment) Act 2000 – put in place as an organisation to promote healthy relationships between people from different races. Special educational needs and disability act 2001 – This act was created to stop discrimination by educators towards people with a disability or special educational needs. Disability discrimination act 2005 – get schools to make individual disability equality scheme and access plan. These are made to ensure all parts of a student’s education are accessible and to encourage participation and discourage harassment and discrimination.

Disability Discrimination Act 1995 – To protect the rights of people with disabilities and to make sure they have fair and equal access and opportunities to services. Children’s Act 2004 – Sets a clear duty to provide and maintain effective and accessible services for children & young people and works on and around the basis of Every Child Matters. Education Act 1996 – invokes clear guidelines of a schools responsibility to children with special educational needs, stating that schools must supply additional resources to meet the individual needs of the child or young person. Equality Act 2012 – Clearly states the legal requirements and responsibilities of public bodies such as schools, to provide equality of opportunity for all citizens. This bonds all nine legal laws.

Codes of Practise

The Special Educational Needs Code of Practice 2001 – This code of practice gives the framework for policy, procedures and responsibilities towards children with special educational needs. It also indicates the level of support vs. what should be provided to the individual to give a clear indication of the steps to take towards accommodating an individual with support needs. Code of Practice on the duty to promote race equality (2002) – This is a statutory code to make sure all public authorities (including schools) enforce and meet their duty set out in the Race Relations (amendment) Act. This requires all schools to produce a written equality policy with practical ways to promote, enforce and demonstrate that they are working towards to following outcomes; * Reduce the margin of educational achievement between different ethnic groups. * Build and improve relationships between different racial groups. * Improve behaviour of pupils.

* Promote and encourage greater involvement of parents and the community. * To make sure staff within school reflects cultural diversity of society. * An admission policy that does not discriminate any racial group. * A strategic monitoring method to keep track of how and what affect the policy is having within the school. Removing barriers to achievement: the government’s strategy for SEN (2004) Putting this into place provides a framework to build upon helping to remove barriers and boost the achievement of children with special educational needs (SEN) or disabilities. Guidelines within the document explain the vision of the government for the education of children with SEN or disabilities outlining the principle of: * Early intervention.

* The removal of barriers.
* Raising achievements.
* The delivery of improvements through partnerships across services. Disability Equality Scheme and Access Plan.

All schools are required to produce a Disability Equality Scheme (DES) that sets out ways to promote equality opportunity, positive attitudes towards
pupils, staff and others with disabilities. Along with the above there must be an action plan in place to outline methods of removing discriminatory barriers for example: * Improvement to physical environments such as lifts, ramps, room layout, higher desks, and wider doors and so on. * Providing information and work in different formats such as larger fonts, auditory work, pictorial.

School policies

All schools must have policies that are designed to reflect the rights and responsibilities of those within the school. These policies should provide guidance to staff and visitors who attend the school on ways to ensure inclusive practise is used.

These policies are as follows:

* Race/cultural diversity
* Equality of opportunity/inclusive practice
* Safeguarding/bullying
* Gifted and talented pupils
* Special educational needs
* Disability access

These policies have been made in response to legislations that have been passed. Schools are obligated to monitor the affect of these policies to see what changes they bring forth and to make sure they are for the better, by doing this they can sort out the week points of the policies and adapt them to work for the better.

1.2 Describe the importance of supporting the rights of all children and young people to participation and equality of access. It is important to support participation & equality of access. In my placement this does ensure that every child and young person receives the same opportunities no matter what their culture, background or beliefs are. In order to achieve this my placement came up with the idea and thought it would be good practice to involve the children in the process of finding out what kind of activities and policies work well in my placement and what ones don’t, this would give a sense of the children being valued and boost their confidence. With participation and equality in mind I believe that the Equality act 2010 has a big role to play in improving the surroundings of children that are stereotyped and categorised by others. The Equality Act 2010 states that there are seven different types of discrimination, they are: * Direct discrimination: discrimination because of a protected characteristic.

* Associative discrimination: direct discrimination against someone because they are associated with another person with a protected characteristic. (This includes carers of disabled people and elderly relatives, who can claim they were treated unfairly because of duties that had to carry out at home relating to their care work. It also covers discrimination against someone because, for example, his or her partner is from another country. * Indirect discrimination: when you have a rule or policy that applies to everyone but disadvantages a person with a protected characteristic. * Harassment: behaviour deemed offensive by the recipient. Employees can claim they find something offensive even when it’s not directed at them.

* Harassment by a third party: employers are potentially liable for the harassment of staff or customers by people they don’t directly employ, such as a contractor. * Victimisation: discrimination against someone because they made or supported a complaint under Equality Act legislation. * Discrimination by perception: direct discrimination against someone because others think they have a protected characteristic (even if they don’t) If these seven types of discrimination are not monitored and other policies, procedures and practices are not kept in check and reviewed regularly it may have a drastic affect on the way a school is run and children are treated in regards to equality and participation.

1.3 Describe the importance and benefits of valuing and promoting cultural diversity in work with children and young people. I believe in this day and age their still exists a great majority of racism, misunderstandings and misconceptions about people from different countries, backgrounds and beliefs as was there in Little Rock, Arkansas 1957. I will admit not as bad as the little rock protests due to their being laws against racism and so on that were not in place in the 50’s.

The point of what I have written above is schools now are teaching their students of all ages about different cultures, ways of living, beliefs, family diversities and so on leading to a better understanding of the cultural diversity and how a Childs fellow pupil ,Only because they are different that they are not all that different and to embrace them as a human being. If this kind of understanding was taught years ago such a divers section of communities might not be living in segregation as they are today. The ways schools teach children and young people about different cultures are: * Celebrate the customs of pupils from different religions and cultures such as Chinese New Year and Harvest festival. * Learn how to say key words in a different language.

* Research different historic events in different countries. * Research different fruits and where they come from. Experiencing the ways that the above has been explained and taught in my placement promotes diversity and uniqueness within individuals and enables children and young people to understand and embrace each other. If some of these measures are taken to understand different people from different backgrounds it will stamp out tokenism and stereotyping and lead to a better understanding of each other and in the future eradicate racism and bring together coheaded communities. 2.Understand the impact of prejudice and discrimination on children and young people.

2.1 Describe ways in which children & young people can experience prejudice and discrimination. Children and young people can experience prejudice and discrimination in the following ways; * If a child or young person is seen to have a disability they can be instantly labelled as the “thick” or “slow” person. * If a child or young person is of a different race may have racial slurs used against them. * Boys are typically stereotyped to be loud and aggressive unlike girls who are stereotyped to be quiet and more intelligent. * If a young person is unsure about their sexual orientation. * A person that has Gender Dysphoria.

There are two types of discrimination;
Direct discrimination
An example is a school might not accept this pupil due to being disabled or because of their race.

Indirect discrimination
Schools need to be aware of this as schools could to this totally intentional for example, a school trip could be made where they are going to an old corn mill where there are no elevators just steps and a pupil is in a wheel chair.

Discrimination can be:
* Institutional: this occurs when a establishments policies and procedures allow them to discriminate both directly and indirectly. * This could occur from individuals or groups within the establishment. Individuals could be staff, visitors or other children & young people. In my placement whilst I was being observed by my assessor I noticed a child had a case of head lice. I reported it to my line manager but because the child was stereotyped as “scruffy and low class” the case was never dealt with and a week later the parents were issued with a letter home about head lice. I feel this child was discriminated against by the members of staff because he looked different from the other children.

2.2 Describe the impact of prejudice and discrimination on children & young people. When children & young people are discriminated against it can only lead to negative effects. As well as effecting their academic education it can and will affect their health and well-being. The effects of discrimination or prejudice can manifest their self’s in the following ways:

* Low self –esteem
* Disempowerment
* Confusion
* Anger
* Lack of motivation
* Depression.

2.3 Assess how own attitudes, values and behaviour could impact on work with children and young people. As a teaching assistant or a teacher working with children & young people you must make sure to promote equal opportunities, inclusion and to be anti discriminatory. Doing things like: * Not speaking or teaching things about multi cultural events.

* Different languages.
* Being dismissive to a pupil that is different in the way of culture or ability. * Being ignorant to a child or young person’s individual needs. All the above could lead to children & young people picking up, taking in and projecting your views onto other children, young people, adults or visitors. Overcoming stigmas attached to disabilities, races and religions is a must before working in schools, to gain understanding of these things will empower you with the knowledge to teach more efficiently and understand in a more diverse manner.

I observed in my placement a child that had moved from Pakistan who could barely speak any English was segregated by the children and surprisingly the teacher. When he would try and speak she would raise her hand as a sign to be quiet and he would struggle to contribute to the class till she would verbally say “Child A be quiet”. This led to the child becoming very aggravated and unsettled for a number of weeks until he started to learn English to the point where he could interact without much thought as to what he was going to say before he said it.

2.4 Describe the importance of promoting anti-discriminatory practise in work with children and young people. The promotion of anti-discrimination should be a focal point for the majority of things that happen in and around schools. It is no good to have policies and procedures and just tokenise them, they need to be enforced so children and young people will follow the lead of the school. The best ways to do this are:

* Be a good role model.
* Appreciate & promote diversity and the uniqueness of children and young people’s abilities.
* Listen to and involve the children and young people.
* Treat each child and young person as an individual.
* Have a realistic but high expectation of all children and young people.
* Support the schools ethos.
* Give the children and young people the tool set and skills to be able to challenge prejudice and discrimination by others in a controlled and non-abusive manner.

2.5 Describe how to challenge discrimination.

Challenging discrimination is a must in any sort of situation. To do this you need to make sure you know your anti-discrimination policy within your school. The role as a teacher or teaching assistant is to protect children and young people from discrimination. If you was to overhear or receive a complaint from a parent or pupil about a discriminatory act that has taken place and you ignore it ,you are giving the person victimising the victim the impression it is ok to do, this can then quickly turn into a discrimination epidemic of sorts if left unchecked.

To be able to deal with discrimination efficiently you will have to first feel comfortable with your policies, procedures and codes of conduct on the matter. Then approach your line manager or alternately if it is them that is conducting the discrimination then go to your head teacher, explain what has been said to the person or group, state the impact it has had on him/her or them and then suggest a way to enforce your anti-discrimination policy.

3 Understand inclusion and inclusive practises in work with children and young people.

3.1 Describe what is meant by inclusion and inclusive practise. Inclusive: To identify, understand and quash any barriers to participation, education and the feeling of belonging. Inclusive steps taken within schools will ensure that all pupils feel valued, equal and safe in their environment. To do this making sure that you recognise, accept and celebrate a child or young person’s differences and similarities. Inclusion: to ensure all children and young people of and background, situation or ability level are able to participate fully in all aspects of their academic life. Inclusion is not about categorising of viewing everyone as a collective but more like assessing people as individuals and supplying them with the same opportunities as any other pupil.

3.2 Describe features of an inclusive setting for children and young people. * There are some barriers in schools that staff are aware may affect pupils development academically so they make it as accessible as possible. * Pupils are never segregated from their peers as this may make them appear to be inferior to others instead the pupil will receive support whiles working alongside their peers. * Children and young people are encouraged to use their voice to make heard their opinions and views weather this be in an informal manner or through the school council.

* Regular training is provided to keep staff up to date on inclusion, diversity and equal opportunity policies and procedures. * The schools work in partnership with the governors, parents, staff and the pupils. * Schools pro-actively work with other professions like speech and language therapists and educational psychologists to ensure children and young people receive the correct support for their individual needs.

3.3 Describe how inclusion works in own sector of the children’s workforce.

All sectors that work with or come into contact with children all share the common concept of inclusion and what it is. The way it is implemented may vary depending on the company/ organisation and it what way they work with children, but whatever the company / organisation they must always keep the child, children or young people at the centre of all practises. Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) and the National Curriculum all give clear outlines on how the curriculum should be delivered, how to make it inclusive and to the learning and assessment of the material being taught. The National Curriculum Inclusion statement states that schools must: * Provide a curriculum that is accessible and achievable to all pupils.

* Recognise that “All pupils are entitle to a high standard or education”. * Meet the interests of both individual and all pupils as a whole. * To Assess, recognise and remove any barriers that may be stopping learning and assessment. In my placement there is a child with severe hearing difficulties , we assessed her hearing level with an outside agency that works with the local hospital to find she could hear nothing when being spoke to in school. We spoke to the specialist who supplied us with a tower speaker and a microphone that clips on your top so, when you speak the sound of your voice is amplified on the wave length of the Childs hearing aid allowing her to hear clearly in turn providing a solid education.

Personalised learning

To raise standards in schools and to help people with special educational needs to achieve personal learning was developed. Personal learning is catered to a child or young person’s specific needs to ensure they receive a healthy and fulfilling education regardless of their background, culture, special educational needs or disability they will receive the support to make progress. The key elements to making personalised learning so successful are:

* Receiving a challenging curriculum at their level.
* Staff who have high but reasonable expectations.
* Setting personal targets.
* Highly focused assessments.
* Early identification and interception when targets are not being achieved.


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