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Promoting inclusion, equality and valuing diversity policy

Alongside associated procedures in 05.1 Promoting inclusion, equality and diversity, this policy was adopted by Coten End Pre-school CIO on 1 September 2021

All early years settings must consider and meet relevant employer and service provider duties as set out in the Equality Act (2010). Those in receipt of funding must eliminate discrimination including indirect, direct discrimination, discrimination and harassment based on association and perception and discrimination for reason relating to a disability or by failing to make a reasonable adjustment to any provision, criterion, or practice. This duty is anticipatory. Settings must advance equality of opportunity and foster good relations with individuals and groups with protected characteristics namely disability, race (ethnicity), religion and belief, sexual orientation, sex (gender), gender reassignment, age, pregnancy and maternity, marriage, and civil partnership.

Aim

Our provision actively promotes inclusion, equality of opportunity and the valuing of diversity.

Objectives

We support the definition of inclusion as stated by the Early Childhood Forum:

‘Inclusion is the process of identifying, understanding and breaking down the barriers to participation and belonging.’

We interpret this as consisting of several tasks and processes in relation not only to children but also to parents and visitors in the setting. These tasks and processes include awareness and knowledge of relevant barriers to inclusion for those with a protected characteristic namely: 

  • disability
  • gender reassignment
  • pregnancy and maternity
  • race
  • religion or belief
  • sexual orientation
  • sex (gender)
  • age
  • marriage or civil partnership (in relation to employment)

This includes unlawful behaviour towards people with protected characteristics. Unlawful behaviour being direct discrimination, indirect discrimination, associative discrimination, discrimination by perception, harassment, and victimisation (in addition, we are aware of the inequality that users facing socio-economic disadvantaged may also encounter). We will not tolerate behaviour from an adult which demonstrates dislike and prejudice towards groups and individuals living outside the UK (xenophobia). This also applies to the same behaviour towards specific groups of people and individuals who are British Citizens residing in the UK.

We promote understanding of discrimination - through training and staff development - the causes and effects of discrimination on both adults and children and the long- term impact of discrimination; the need to protect children from discrimination and ensure that childcare practice is both accessible and inclusive; the need for relevant support to allow children to develop into confident adults with a strong positive self-identity. 

Developing practice that includes:

  • Developing an environment which reflects the ‘kaleidoscope’ of factors that can provide settings with a myriad of influences and ideas for exploring and celebrating difference.
  • Ensuring that barriers to inclusion are identified and removed or minimised wherever possible; for example, we complete 01.1b Access audit form.
  • Understanding, supporting and promoting the importance of identity for all children and recognising that this comprises multiple facets which are shaped by a ‘kaleidoscope’ of factors including British values, ‘race’\ethnicity and culture, gender, difference of ability, social class, language, religion and belief, and family form and lifestyle, which combine uniquely in the identity of each individual; for example, we welcome and promote bi/multi-lingualism and the use of alternative communication formats such as sign language, and we promote gender equality while at the same time recognising the differences in play preferences and developmental timetables of girls and boys.
  • Recognising that this ‘kaleidoscope’ also reflects negative images which may be internalised and negatively affect the development of self-concept, self-esteem, and confidence.
  • Promoting a welcoming atmosphere that genuinely appreciate British values, different cultural and personal perspectives, without stereotyping and prejudicing cultures and traditions on raising children, by always involving parents.
  • Promoting community cohesion and creating an environment that pre-empts acts of discrimination so that they do not arise.
  • Recruitment of staff to reflect cultural and language diversity, disabled staff, and staff of both genders.
  • Addressing discrimination as it occurs from children in a sensitive, age-appropriate manner to ensure that everyone involved understands the situation and are offered reassurance and support to achieve resolution.
  • Challenging discriminatory behaviour from parents, staff or outside agencies or individuals that affect the well-being of children and the early years community.
  • Creating an ethos within which staff work confidently within a culturally complex environment; learning when to change or adapt practice in the setting and having the confidence to challenge practice (including parental) that is not in the child’s best interest, seeking support and intervention from agencies where appropriate.
  • Ensuring that practitioners work closely with the Special Educational Needs Coordinator to make sure that the additional needs of all children are identified and met.
  • We are aware of anti-discriminatory legislation and able to use it to shape the service and support parents and children against discrimination in the local community, for example, against asylum seekers, the Travelling community and same sex parents. - We regularly monitor and review our practice including long-term preventative measures to ensure equality such as auditing of provision, formulating an equality plan, applying impact measurements and positive actions. In addition, short term measures such as recognition and assessment of children’s additional support needs (e.g. impairment, home language, family hardship, specific family beliefs and practices), day-to-day activities, provision of suitable support and resources, activity programme and curriculum., assessment, recognition of special educational needs and developing inclusive relationships.

Legal references

General Data Protection Regulation 2018
Children and Families Act 2014 Part 3
Special Educational Needs and
Disability Code of Practice 2014 Disability
Equality Duty 2011
Equality Act 2010
Prevent Strategy 2015

Further guidance

Guide to the Equality Act and Good Practice (Pre-school Learning Alliance 2015)