1.Be able to promote equality and diversity in work with young people.
1.1Identify the current legislation and code of practice relevant to the promotion of equality and valuing of diversity.
SEN code of practice 2001
This act was created to strengthen the rights of SEN children and their parents to a mainstream education. The act was designed to make a difference to the education of SEN children by allowing them to have access to the educational facilities available all children. This is done by offering support tailored to the needs of the individual and their families whilst taking the opinion and wishes of the child into account with regards to any decisions made. It focuses on the need for a partnership between the child, their parents, teachers, agencies involved in their care; with the need for regular reviews and progress reports.
Educational act 2002- 2006
The educational act is designed to set out the responsibilities of the heads of all school environments, local educational authorities and governors and to ensure that all children are provided a safe environment. The act is continuously update and in 2002 revisions were made with regards to the responsibilities placed on governors and staff. In 2006 further amendments were made to emphasise the duty of schools to promote community cohesion by working with other community organisations. A good example of this is “pop in”, set up by the school and the chapel in Marshchapel, where students and elderly members of the community meet up on a weekly basis to have lunch and share stories.
Data protection act 1998
This at was written with regards to the keeping and storing of records and data and it regulates the sharing of information. The act concerns both paper and electronic data. Any organisation which collects or stores information must be registered with the data protection commission and the information they collect must only be used for the purpose which it was intended. To protect the information given by individuals data must remain on site in a locked cabinet or a password protected computer and must only be share with the consent of the individual.
Freedom of information act 2000
This act of the UK parliament defines the ways in which members of the public may gain access to government held information. The act creates a right of access when requested by an individual to information held by public authorities, promoting openness and transparency whilst minimising the risk of harm to any individual entity.
Equality act 2010
The act is a consolidation of the numerous arrays of complicated anti-discrimination acts and regulations already present in the UK. The main bodies of legislation incorporated into the act include the Equal Pay Act 1970, the Sex Discrimination Act 1975, the Race Relations Act 1976, the Disability Discrimination Act 1995. It focuses on strengthening the rights of all individuals regardless of age, disability, gender (with special protections put in place for pregnant women), relationship status, race, sexual orientation, religion or belief. With additional specifications put in place for disability that state employers and service providers are responsible for making modifications to their workplaces to overcome barriers experienced by disabled people.
Children Act 1989 and 2004
The Children Act 1989 was designed to help keep children safe and well. It intends to help children to live with their family by providing services appropriate to the child’s needs. The act was updated in 2004 following the death of eight year old Victoria Climbie; its purpose was to make England a safer place for children and emphasised the importance of communication between agencies responsible for the welfare of children. It also included guidance specifically aimed towards the aid and welfare of disabled children.
Every child matters 2003
Following the death of Victoria Climbie the government produced a paper titled Every Child Matters with the aim that every child, regardless of their background or circumstances should have access to the support they need. Below is the mission statement from that report.
Every Child Matters, 2003
Be healthyEnjoying good physical and mental health and living a healthy lifestyle Stay safeBeing protected from harm and neglect
Enjoy and achieveGetting the most out of life and developing the skills for adulthood Make a positive contributionBeing involved with the community and society and not engaging in anti-social or offending behaviour
Achieve economic well-beingNot being prevented by economic disadvantage from achieving their full potential
Race relations act 1976 and 2000
This act makes it illegal for school to discriminate, directly or indirectly. They are expected to provide the same opportunities to all children and to improve academic developments across the board. Schools are required to have their own race equality policy which is linked into an action plan and must promote equal opportunities and improved relationships between racial groups
1.2Explain the importance of promoting the rights of all children and young people to participation and equality of access. It is essential that all children have full access to all areas of education to allow them to fully develop in every way possible. There is much legislation in practice to aid this including every child matters, the SEN code of practice and the disability discrimination act. Schools are required to allow every child to follow an individual learning plan catered specifically to their personal needs. In addition to this all children have the right to an equal education in a mainstream school with the opportunities to play and learn together.
There must be no discrimination for any reason towards any members of staff, parents or pupils. This attitude towards inclusivity not only promotes better development both academically and socially but is also a more efficient use of resources. Each school must have a code of practice in place containing information relating to equal opportunities and a policy concerning the schools practices surrounding special educational needs to protect and benefit all students and staff. Schools should focus on the individual needs of all students and allow opportunities for them to become integrated with not only their peers but the local community.
There are certain groups that may be more vulnerable to exclusion or segregation. These groups include families who hold English as a second language, students who are gifted and talented or are new to the school. In addition to these, families who are of a cultural or ethnic minority, parents whose views and values differ from that of the school or looked after children may also be susceptible to various forms of exclusion. It is important that we are mindful to treat all individuals the same regardless of their beliefs, capabilities or background.
Children, staff and parents with special educational needs can often be exposed to exclusion and unintentional segregation. It is vital that resources are put in place to enable all individuals to be fully included in every aspect of life and that all opportunities are available to them. 1.3Explain the importance and benefits of valuing and promoting cultural diversity in work with children and young people.
Promoting cultural diversity at an early age and exposing children to a vast array of beliefs will benefit them greatly as this knowledge will prevent them from becoming single minded. Educating children about cultural differences will enable them develop a mutual respect for all beliefs and will show them that all cultures including their own are valued. Knowing this will allow children to feel settled and secure within their environment.
Schools are encouraged to implement a number of strategies to ensure that families from all cultural backgrounds feel welcome, regardless of their beliefs or background. These include:
Without these methods of exploring and celebrating a diverse range of cultures and beliefs children may become closed off to the views of others. Children and families who are in the minority may feel segregated or excluded. Children who feel this way may then develop feelings of anxiousness and unease, which in turn will have an adverse effect on their ability to socialise and their academic development.
1.4Interact with children and young people in a way that values diversity and respects cultural, religious and ethnic differences.
Observed in Setting
1.5Demonstrate ways of applying the principles of equality, diversity and anti-discriminatory practice in your own work with children and young people. In my working environment I come into contact with children from a variety of different social and cultural backgrounds. There are many families with differing and varied beliefs, which are celebrated and respected by staff, children and their families alike. All children have the right to attend school and must be given the opportunity to be included in every aspect of school life. In cases where children have additional needs lessons and activities must be modified to give them the same opportunities as their peers.
This may include the use of additional resources or equipment specific to the learners needs. Sometimes it may be necessary to seek addition training to aid and enrich the learning opportunities of a child, for example learning makaton, how to use braille or PECS (picture exchange communication system) which can be useful to communicate with children who have a wide range of communication differences including autism. Sometimes additional support may be all a child requires, or simply the time to learn and complete tasks at their own pace.
A child using PECS to request a desired item
Simply put, anti-discriminatory practice is creating an environment where nobody experiences discrimination regardless of factors such as their race, gander, ability, culture or ethnicity. It is the ability to give fair treatment and equal learning opportunities to all individuals. To practice this in my school and classroom I must ensure I treat those around me with trust and respect. Children who witness this positive attitude and the relationships it creates will mimic my behaviour and in turn will be able to create their own open and positive relationships. It is vital that I celebrate the differences and similarities between all people in our diverse society and actively practice this in my daily life and the way I treat others. If I become aware of discriminatory comments or actions made by others I must challenge this and where necessary report it to the appropriate person.