Some interesting events and courses

We want to keep our EQualities readers up to date with the latest events and courses that address key equality related issues. Please find some information below:

Friends, Families and Travellers launched an online learning programme in April 2017, designed to address key themes and questions that arise in service providers. The course is designed for members of the statutory, voluntary or private sector who want to engage or work more effectively with Gypsies and Travellers – as well as develop knowledge of culture, traditions and history.
The course contains four modules:
• Gypsy and Traveller History and Culture;
• Challenges faced by Gypsies and Travellers;
• Positive Strategy – Accessing Services; and,
• Positive Strategy – Participation
View the online demonstration or purchase the cultural competency training course. Email for more information.

Stonewall: Education for All Conference 2017

Date: 28 June 2017, 9am – 5pm
Location: University of Birmingham, B15 2TT
Cost: from £99 – £229 (excl VAT) depending on role and date of booking
Stonewall’s annual Education for All conference, is Britain’s leading event on preventing and tackling homophobic, biphobic and transphobic bullying among young people. The event brings together hundreds of education professionals through a series of panel discussions and interactive workshop as well as a dedicated youth stream for 150 young people.
Register for this event.

What do EQualities schools think?

We are determined to make sure that the EQualities Award process is as useful and effective as it can possibly be for every school, academy and children’s centre that signs up.  We regularly collect feedback and want to share some of the comments we have had:

The best award I have worked on and I have done a few!! The rapid response to queries was amazing. The feedback was timely, supportive and clear.
Although it was a long process I felt that it was thorough, but not designed to ‘catch me out. (Canons High School)

The award allowed us to reflect on what we do well but also challenged us to consider areas of equality we were not so robust on. It helped raise the profile of equality issues across the whole school. The feedback was really useful and gave us confidence that we were on the right tracks with the audit. It was also lovely to receive the award from Chris in person. I know the staff and students really appreciated that. (The Regis School)

The most positive aspect was identifying and consolidating all areas of our provision and practice which reflect the award. To have all of this evidence in an e-portfolio is a fantastic tool which promotes our ethos and culture. I really enjoyed the audit journey from beginning to end. Through sourcing the evidence required I learnt a great deal. Thank you! (St Louis RC Primary)

We were given rapid feedback and advice throughout the process and this helped us to gather all the informtion we needed. It was a really useful process for us as it recognised our commitment & our principles and values. It also reminded us of statutory duties we needed to get right!  (George Greens School)

The EQualities Award is something we are very proud of and, as a school, feel that it is a really positive award which recognises all the good work we do and reflects our schools aims completely. Despite what seemed to be quite a formidable form initially, the process has been excellent to centralise all of this information and the final portfolio is a fantastic collection of evidence for Ofsted which covers a multitude of areas. The EQualities team have also been excellent to work with; immediate responses to queries, a professional yet friendly approach to the assessment, a high quality evidence portfolio and a much appreciated presentation to both staff and students. We are extremely proud to to achieve the EQualities Award. (Swakeleys School for Girls)

We were able to assess accurately what we had already achieved and what we will need to develop for the future. It is so important to us that our school is reflective of a place that offers equal opportunity to all that work and learn here. Keep doing what you are doing so well, your support and advice made the process so much easier, in this time of pressure and stress when we poor over worked staff find it hard to complete things you made it possible, thank you!  (The Grove Special School)

The award programme allowed the academy to revisit equality and ensure that it still is at the centre of everything we do. It also gave us the opportunity to showcase our good practice and provided a very useful mechanism to organise our evidence on equality for Ofsted.  (Maiden Erlegh Academy).

All members of the Senior Leadership Team took a lead on specific equality indicators and the Equalities Award was a regular item on the agenda of weekly meetings of the team. The application process ensured that each member of the team had a better understanding of our existing provision and areas that needed to be worked on during the course of the year. It was a very positive experience. (Groby Community College)

The most positive aspect for me was actually seeing our good practice being pulled together in a visual way as we knew we were doing lots of good work on many aspects of equality but this has really showcased it and identified the areas we could improve on. Whilst actually compiling the evidence we worked on the areas for improvement and this really consolidated what we already had.
(St Mary’s Primary)

Pulling together all the work from across the whole school highlighted the wealth of good practice in place at all levels, enabling us to share and celebrate best practice, so raising standards even higher.  (St Gregory’s Catholic College)

The opportunity to really reflect on what we do was invaluable. The service was excellent and everyone at the Equalities award was so helpful. (Northlands Park).

Undertaking the EQualities Award has been a very rewarding experience. As a school, we already had a lot of good practice in place, and a considerable number of positive events going on. However, I really did not fully see the extent of what we do until I needed to collate information for the audit. To see it all pulled together into one smart folder was very helpful to us – and certainly will be of considerable use when Ofsted come again! (Norbury Manor).

Equality Matters

We are delighted to have been featured in the recent Education Executive publication with a focus on equality. Please have a look at the online version of the magazine below.

Education is fundamental to equality of opportunity. By raising awareness of diversity in schools, and working to eliminate discrimination, all students are given the opportunity to thrive – to reach their full potential. The EQualities Award was conceived to coincide with the Equality Act of 2010 and seeks to support and recognise schools as they embed equality
in the DNA of their school.

Our Director Dr Christine Derrington explains more:



The EQualities audit in Scotland

“Excellent schools understand that self-evaluation should be an ongoing process. They continually reflect and evaluate their work and use the evidence from these activities to plan future improvement. Thus, the direction for future improvement comes from the school and its partners. This is the definition of self-improvement.”  Education Scotland

With more and more schools and academies in Scotland registering for the EQualities Award, we thought it would be a good time to clarify and illustrate the close match between the EQualities Award audit and the HGIOS criteria.

For several years now, hundreds of education providers across the UK have been using the EQualities audit as a robust tool to identify and review the many ways in which they engender equality of opportunity and raise outcomes for all learners regardless of gender, disability, faith and ethnicity, sexual identity and socio-economic disadvantage. The promotion of pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development is a core feature of the audit, which also focuses on safeguarding, bullying and the promotion of positive relationships.

These same principles are prioritised and reflected very clearly within the HGIOS 4 framework and we hope to show you in this document below how the EQualities Award can enable you to generate and accumulate that all-important evidence together in one place.

Click here to view the mapping document. hgios-mapping-tool


Sexual harrassment in Schools

A Government inquiry has uncovered the scale and impact of sexual harassment and sexual violence in schools across England. The evidence paints a concerning picture: the sexual harassment and abuse of girls being accepted as part of daily life; children of primary school age learning about sex and relationships through exposure to hard-core pornography; teachers accepting sexual harassment as being “just banter”; and parents struggling to know how they can best support their children. To read the full report click here:

Gypsy, Roma and Traveller Children in the Welsh School System

The EQualities Award would like to draw your attention to brand new practical toolkit for teachers and practitioners entitled: Gypsy, Roma and Traveller Children in the Welsh School System: Promoting Equality and Tackling Racism (February 2016).

This excellent resource was developed by Show Racism the Red Card with funding from the Welsh Government and offers a wealth of practical advice and training activities for schools.

The pack is available to download here free of charge with versions in both English and Welsh.

Transgender equality

A new report on Transgender equality has been published following an inquiry by the House of Commons Women and Equalities Committee.

The report suggests that gender-variant young people and their families face particular challenges at school. According to witnesses, schools often do not know how to deal with matters such as:

  • recording a change of name and gender;
  • bullying;
  • inclusion in sport; and
  • access to toilets.

Furthermore, EHRC research indicates that 91% of trans boys and 66% of trans girls experience harassment or bullying at school, leading to depression, isolation and a desire to leave education as early as possible. This is a higher rate of discrimination than that faced by young lesbian and gay students. This has a knock-on effect on their mental health, attendance and ability to learn. Many gender-variant children report hiding their identity, to the detriment of their self-esteem, and leaving school as soon as possible to escape the bullying and harassment that they faced.

The report concludes that more needs to be done to ensure that gender-variant young people and their families get sufficient support at school. Schools must understand their responsibilities under the Equality Act. They must abide by their legal responsibility to ensure that all staff receive sufficient training to ensure they are compliant across all protected characteristics, including that which relates to trans people, especially gender-variant young people. Trans issues (and gender issues generally) should also be taught as part of Personal, Social and Health Education, according to the committee.

The full report can be accessed here;