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Equality Diversity and Inclusion

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In my opinion living in a diverse society, along with understanding and knowledge is a positive route to acceptance on a variety of levels. When looking at my own life values and experiences I feel that as a person I don’t have prejudices and discrimination, however dependant on circumstances and peers I may on occasion say something deemed to be a prejudice. However the audience I have understand that this isn’t my view and that the reason behind saying something is more as a joke. For example my sister in law is Scottish, a prejudgment would be that she doesn’t like to spend money, never thinks its cold and drinks whiskey. If I said any of these things to her she knows it’s a joke and can appreciate it for what it is without taking offence. When around children and young people, they should be brought up to accept all cultures, race, religion, disability, skin tones and disability, I am of the opinion that all differences are what helps to make us who we are as a person and help develop ourselves in society. Whilst working with children who have no understanding or knowledge and from different backgrounds it is important to remember that this can affect their point of view and understanding.

How a child is brought up at home and parental beliefs can be shown and could lead to discriminatory practice. Special educational needs, disability and religious beliefs can be explained to children and young people to give them the knowledge and understanding to form their own opinion from facts. By not making assumptions about children’s background, interests, abilities and needs its possible to provide more appropriate, effective and personalised support allowing them to all actively take part in school and society as a whole, giving them a full understanding to accept all people for who they are and what they believe. The way in which all staff should promote anti discrimination are being a good role model, if you demonstrate how to behave children will learn this is acceptable behaviour, and therefore learn that all people are equal. Be positive about differences, its differences which make us all unique and individual. Listen to concerns, worries and opinions, learn what they understand so that future delivery can be amended to provide a better understanding. Give children the knowledge and support to challenge prejudice and discrimination.

Through understanding and knowledge a child can be confident to challenge negative behaviour towards them. The ethos of the school should promote anti-discriminatory practice, this should be positive, shared values, purpose and belief. Always recognise and question anti discriminatory behaviour and attitudes. Allowing it to happen is agreeing with it. It is important to promote anti discriminatory behaviour to ensure all children are treated as individuals and in a fair and equal way. Positive roles models in all areas of their lives are important, and discrimination of any kind should be challenged. All children are different and learn in different ways and at different rates. It is important that teachers/teaching assistants ensure all children are receiving the same opportunities as peers, regardless of ability. For example, I work with a pupil who has a hearing impairment so I ensure she sits at the front of the class and make sure she understands what she has to do. If she hasn’t heard properly I ensure I speak slowly, and she has full view of my mouth as she can lip read. Ensuring equal access to resources and activities and encouraging all children to take part in activities together, not just typically stereotyped gender games (football for boys/ dance for girls, allow all to partake in both).

Having positive role models such as fire women or nurses which are male can demonstrate both sexes can do all types of work. By having an understanding of how damaging prejudice and discrimination is, it can help to know why it is so important to stop it or change opinions. The whole school and staff should not show prejudice and discrimination against or towards others. They should work together knowing this will improve the outcomes for the children around them. Showing despite differing opinions the ability to work positively with others to work through problems and conflicts without aggression can lead to them being happy with their choices and their future lives. Adults can discriminate against each other and show their prejudices in ways that hurt or harm others. Children show they have witnessed this and been influenced by this showing the same discrimination and thinking/acting as this is an acceptable behaviour. To challenge this behaviour I feel you should intervene firmly, knowing why you feel discrimination has occurred. Question, examine the extent of prejudice and discuss reasons (Such as why boys can’t play with dolls).

Be relaxed, by being aggressive or negative it could show disrespect for others opinions. Ask for support if feeling uncomfortable. By challenging discrimination this will help build self-confidence when needing to deal directly with discrimination in future. Inclusion means that all people are given access to the same opportunities no matter what their race, gender or disabilities. It is giving equal opportunities and therefore getting rid of discrimination, as everyone has a right to develop their own skills in their own way in a way that is suitable for their needs. Children and young people who have special educational needs are entitled to go to a mainstream school if that is what their parents wish for them, no school can turn a child down as this will mean they have been discriminated against because of the child’s learning needs, as long as a school has the resources there shouldn’t be any reason why the child cant attend. An inclusive school will work towards providing all the different resources to meet a variety of children’s individual needs. Inclusion is about providing equal opportunities for all children and young people, it is important that an inclusive setting provide for ethnic minority, people with a disability, children who need help to learn English as an additional language, children with special educational needs and children who have been excluded from another school.

Inclusion should mean that the setting in which the child will be working will need to be considerate of a child’s needs. Inclusion isn’t just for children with special educational needs but for the rights of all children to have equal rights and opportunities. In an inclusive school, all pupils should be given the opportunity to access all areas of the curriculum. For example, a pupil who may have difficulties with fine motor skills, using a different aid to their peers could assist them. This could be a thicker pencil to make it easier for them to grip and write. By being able to provide the resources a child may need will help the child to be able to participate without feeling left out. All schools and teaching staff should try and give all opportunities to help all children participate in school activities that the child wishes to take part in so that they feel comfortable to try, feel included and not made to feel different from their peers. An inclusive setting is one, which will use a whole school approach, barriers are recognised and strategies are put in place to remove them. For example, where children experience special educational needs or a disability, the school approach will be to focus on what they can do not on what they can’t.

The school should assist with additional measures such as ramp access, disabled toilets, lower/higher tables, in classroom support, pencils/pens appropriate to the needs of a child, setting attainable personal targets for a child, information in various forms such as larger print to meet the needs of the individual child, are all ways to help become an inclusive setting. A school setting that is inclusive will have the following procedures in place. Barriers are recognised, a good understanding of what barrier exists so that any difficulties a child may have accessing the curriculum can be addressed. Barriers removed/minimised, adapted environment, recourses and equipment provided and personalised support. No segregation, support supplied within the classroom so the child is educated with their peers. Open communication, pupils use their own view and opinion, which are listened to and valued. Policies and procedures, clear, in place, re-evaluated regularly. Training, all staff receives current regular training.

Partnership – children, staff, governors and parents. Outside agencies, speech therapists, educational psychologists, ensuring children and young people receive the help and support appropriate to them. I feel that at some point in every child’s life there may be times that they feel isolated, lack self confidence or feel withdrawn. It’s my opinion that the school environment should be one of safety and opportunity. Any child entering into or being a part of a school community should have all available resources to enable that child or young person to fully take part in the school life, curriculum, and activities. It is the role of the school, staff, governors, parents and outside agencies to work together to provide the support any child requires and to ensure that they are brought up to understand the effects and consequences that prejudices and discrimination can bring to others around them. All children should be shown how a diverse society full of knowledge and understanding is of benefit to themselves, society and the future and that by being inclusive of all aspects of what make us different are the fundamental qualities that make us all unique and worth while in the society in which we live.

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