Equality and Diversity
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Understand the importance of promoting equality and diversity in work with children and young people TDA24-1-1 Identify the current legislation and codes of practice relevant to the promotion of equality and valuing of diversity. It is essential that every school must produce a range of policies which formally sets out the guidelines and procedures for ensuring equality.
Disability Discrimination Act 1995 Protects the rights of all those with disabilities. It also places a duty on schools (and other organisations) to eliminate barriers to ensure that individuals can gain equal access to services. Disability Discrimination Act 2005 Places a duty for schools to produce a Disability Equality Scheme (DES) and an access plan. Schools must encourage participation in all aspects of school life and eliminate harassment and unlawful discrimination. Special Eductional Needs and Disability Act 2001 Makes it unlawful for educational providers to discriminate against pupils with a special educational need or a disability.
Race Relations (Amendment) Act 2000 Outlines the duty of organisations to promote good relationships between people from different races. Human Rights Act 1998 Sets out rights of all individuals and allows them to take action against authorities when their rights have been affected. Children Act 1989 Sets out the duty of local authorities (including schools) to provide services according to the needs of children and to ensure their safety and welfare. Children Act 2004 Sets out the duty to provide effective and accessible services for all children and underpins the five every child matters outcomes. Education Act 1996 Sets out the schools responsibilities towards children with special educational needs. The act also requires schools to provide additional support to meet their needs. Equality Act 2010
Sets out the legal responsibilities of public bodies, including schools, to provide equality of opportunity for all citizens. This brings together nine equality laws.
TDA24-1.2 Describe the importance of supporting the rights of all children and young people to participation and equality of access. It is essential that all children and young people have the right to a broad and balanced curriculum and it is important that these are supported by high quality teaching and learning experiences. It is an essential requirement of any school that all students have equal access to the school curriculum no matter what their background, race, culture, gender or disability. This not only relevant to learning in the classroom but also everything which happens in the life of the school.
TDA24-1.3 Describe the importance and benefits of valuing and promoting cultural diversity in work with children and young people. Culture can have many different meanings, one definition is “shared way of life, including aspects such as beliefs, language, arts and music”. Culture can cut across religions and nationality and is what gives groups of people in our society their identity. In my role as a teaching assistant it is very important to recognise and promote the cultural diversity of individuals and groups within the school as it will develop learning and encourage the knowledge and understanding of all pupils.
When supporting the children in the school it is so important to understand the cultural diversity of the pupils, for example there may be pupils whose home language is not English, it is important that schools promote the bilingual or multilingual skills of pupils. All schools should have a policy in place which states how to ensure inclusive practice including additional support for pupils who need help with their English. It is also essential that diverse cultures in society are recognised and used in the school curriculum e.g. learning about different music, foods, stories and drama from a range of different cultures from around the world. This also encourages pupils to explore and value other cultures which may be very different from their own.