St.Francis works in accordance with all relevant legislation:
- The Equality Act 2006
- Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) 1995,2005
- Race Relations Act 1976
- Race Relations Amendment Act 2000
- Sex Discrimination Act 1976, 1986
- Children Act 1989, 2004
- Special Educational Needs and Disability Act 2001
Valuing Diversity and Promoting Equality
We at St.Francis ensure that our setting is fully inclusive in meeting the needs of all children, particularly those that arise from their ethnic heritage, social and economic background, gender, ability or disability. We are committed to anti discriminatory practice to promote equality of opportunity and valuing diversity for all children and families. We aim to:
- Provide a secure and accessible environment in which all children can flourish and in which all contributions are considered and valued.
- Include and value the contribution of all families to our understanding of equality and diversity.
- Provide positive non-stereotyping information about gender roles, diverse ethnic and cultural groups and disabled people.
- Improve our knowledge and understanding of issues of anti-discriminatory practice, promoting equality and valuing diversity.
- Make inclusion a thread that runs through all of the activities we provide.
It is our intention to make our pre-school accessible to children and families from all sections of the local community. In order to accomplish this:
- We advertise our service widely
- We reflect the diversity of our society in our publicity and promotional materials.
- We provide information in clear, concise language, whether in written or spoken form.
- We can provide information in as many languages as necessary.
- We base our admissions policy on a fair system.
- We ensure that all parents are made aware of our equal opportunities policy.
- We do not discriminate against a child or family, or prevent entry to our pre-school, on the basis of colour, ethnicity, religion or social background, such as being a member of a Travelling community or an asylum seeker.
- We do not discriminate against a child with a disability or refuse a child entry to our pre-school for reasons relating to disability.
- We develop an action plan to ensure that people with disabilities can participate successfully in the activities provided and in the curriculum offered.
- We take action against any discriminatory behaviour by staff or parents. Displaying of openly discriminatory and possibly offensive materials, name calling, or threatening behaviour is unacceptable on or around the premises. Our response will aim to help those overcome their prejudices and understand that such behaviour or remarks will not be tolerated.
- Posts are advertised and all applicants are judged against explicit and fair criteria.
- Applicants are welcome from all backgrounds and posts are open to all.
- We may use the exemption clauses in relevant legislation to enable the service to best meet the needs of the community.
- The applicant who best meets the criteria is offered the post, subject to references and checks by the Criminal Records Bureau. This ensures fairness in the selection process.
- All job descriptions include a commitment to promoting equality and recognising and respecting diversity as part of their job specifications.
- We monitor our job application process to ensure that it is fair and accessible.
- All staff have access to training opportunities to enable them to develop anti-discriminatory and inclusive practices.
- We ensure that staff are confident and fully trained in administering relevant medicines and performing invasive care procedures when these are required.
- We review our practices to ensure that we are fully implementing our policy for promoting equality, valuing diversity and inclusion.
The curriculum offered at St.Francis encourages children to develop positive attitudes about themselves as well as people who are different from themselves. It encourages children to empathise with others and to begin to develop the skills of critical thinking. Our environment is as accessible as possible for all visitors and users. If access to the setting is found to treat disabled children or adults less favourably then we make reasonable adjustments to accommodate their needs. We do this by:
- Making children feel valued and good about themselves.
- Ensuring that children have equality of access to all provision.
- Completing an access audit to establish if the pre-school is accessible to all children.
- Making adjustments to the environment and resources to accommodate a wide range of learning, physical and sensory impairments.
- Making appropriate provision within the curriculum to ensure each child receives the widest possible opportunity to develop their skills and abilities.
- Positively reflecting the widest possible range of communities in the choice of resources.
- Avoiding stereotypes or derogatory images in the selection of books or other visual materials.
- Celebrating a wide range of festivals.
- Creating an environment of mutual respect and tolerance.
- Differentiating the curriculum to meet children’s special educational needs.
- Helping children to understand that discriminatory behaviour and remarks are hurtful and unacceptable.
- Ensuring that the curriculum offered is inclusive of children with special educational needs and children with disabilities.
- Ensuring that children learning English as an additional language have full access to the curriculum and supported in their learning.
- Ensuring that children speaking languages other than English are supported in the maintenance and development of their home languages.
Valuing Diversity in Families
- We welcome the diversity of family lifestyles and work with all families.
- We encourage children to contribute stories of their everyday life to the setting.
- We encourage parents/carers to take part in the life of the pre-school.
- For families who speak languages in addition to English, we will develop means to ensure their full inclusion.
- We offer a flexible payment system for families of differing means and offer information regarding sources of financial support.
- We work in partnership with parents to ensure that the medical, cultural and dietary needs of children are met.
- We help children to learn about a range of food, and of cultural approaches to mealtimes and eating, and to respect the differences among them.
- Meetings are arranged to ensure that all families who wish to may be involved in the running of the pre-school.
- Information about meetings is communicated in a variety of ways- written, verbal and in translation, to ensure that all parents have information and access to the meetings.
Monitoring and Reviewing
- To ensure our policies and procedures remain effective we will monitor and review them annually to ensure our strategies meet the overall aims to promote equality, inclusion and valuing diversity. This is in line with the DFEE code of practice on special educational needs and the group's SEN policy & practice.
- We provide a complaints procedure in our parent prospectus and a complaints book is available for parents to use.