Equal Opportunities

9.1 Valuing diversity and promoting equality

Policy statement

Little Sandhurst Nursery Group will ensure that our service is fully inclusive in meeting the needs of all children. We recognise that children and their families come from diverse backgrounds. All families have needs and values that arise from their social and economic, ethnic and cultural or religious backgrounds. Children grow up in diverse family structures that include two parent and one parent families; some children have two parents of the same sex. Some children have close links with extended families of grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins; while others may be more removed from close kin, or may live with other relatives or foster carers.

Some children have needs that arise from disability or impairment, or may have parents that are affected by disability or impairment. Some children come from families who experience social exclusion or severe hardship; some have to face discrimination and prejudice because of their ethnicity, the languages they speak, their religious or belief background, their gender or their impairment.

We understand that these factors affect the well-being of children and can impact on their learning and attainment. Little Sandhurst Nursery Group is 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 of our 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 family structures, diverse ethnic and cultural groups and disabled people;
  • improve our knowledge and understanding of issues of anti-discriminatory practice, promoting equality and valuing diversity;
  • challenge and eliminate discriminatory actions;
  • make inclusion a thread that runs through all of the activities of the setting; and
  • foster good relations between all communities.

Admissions

Our setting is open to all members of the community.

  • 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 spoken or written form.
  • We can provide information in languages other than English if requested.
  • We base our Admissions Policy on a fair system.
  • We ensure that all parents are made aware of our Valuing Diversity and Promoting Equality Policy.
  • We do not discriminate against a child or their family, or prevent entry to our setting, on the basis of a protected characteristic as defined by the Equalities Act (2010). These are:

–          disability;

–          race;

–          gender reassignment;

–          religion or belief;

–          sex;

–          sexual orientation;

–          age;

–          pregnancy and maternity; and

–          marriage and civil partnership.

  • We do not discriminate against a child with a disability or refuse a child entry to our setting for reasons relating to disability.
  • We develop an action plan to ensure that people with impairments can participate successfully in the services offered by the setting and in the curriculum offered.
  • We take action against any discriminatory behaviour by staff or parents whether by:

–          direct discrimination – someone is treated less favourably because of a protected characteristic e.g. preventing families of some racial groups from using the service;

–          indirect discrimination – someone is affected unfavourably by a general policy e.g. children must only speak English in the setting;

–          association – discriminating against someone who is associated with a person with a protected characteristic e.g. behaving unfavourably to someone who is married to a person from a different cultural background; or

–          perception – discrimination on the basis that it is thought someone has a protected characteristic e.g. making assumptions about someone’s sexual orientation because of their mannerisms or how they speak.

  • Displaying of openly discriminatory and possibly offensive materials, name calling, or threatening behaviour are unacceptable on, or around, the premises and will be dealt with immediately and discreetly by asking the adult to stop using the unacceptable behaviour and inviting them to read and to act in accordance with the relevant policy statement and procedure. Failure to comply may lead to the adult being excluded from the premises.
    • 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.
    • We seek out training opportunities for staff and volunteers to enable them to develop anti-discriminatory and inclusive practices, which enable all children to flourish.
    • 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 Valuing Diversity and Promoting Equality.

Employment

  •   The applicant who best meets the criteria is offered the post, subject to references and checks by the Disclosure and Barring Service. This ensures fairness in the selection process.
  •   We monitor our application process to ensure that it is fair and accessible.

Training

  • We seek out training opportunities for staff and volunteers to enable them to develop anti-discriminatory and inclusive practices, which enable all children to flourish.
  • 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 Valuing Diversity and Promoting Equality.

Curriculum

The curriculum offered in the setting encourages children to develop positive attitudes about themselves as well as to 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 service users. If access to the setting is found to treat disabled children or adults less favourably, then we make reasonable adjustments to accommodate the needs of disabled children and adults. We do this by:

  • making children feel valued and good about themselves and others;
  • ensuring that children have equality of access to learning;
  • undertaking an access audit to establish if the setting 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, e.g. recognising the different learning styles of girls and boys;
  • 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 are supported in their learning; and
  • 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 mothers, fathers and other carers to take part in the life of the setting and to contribute fully.
  • 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 take positive action to encourage disadvantaged and under-represented groups to use the setting.

Food

  • We work in partnership with parents to ensure that dietary requirements of children that arise from their medical, religious or cultural needs 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.

  • We positively encourage fathers to be involved in the setting, especially those fathers who do not live with the child.
  • We actively encourage parents to take advantage of the opportunity to meet with their allocated key worker in order to discuss their child’s development and learning, and to have an input into the day to day planning within the nursery.
  • Information about meetings is communicated in a variety of ways – written, verbal and in translation – to ensure that all mothers and fathers have information about, and access to, the meetings.

Monitoring and reviewing

  • So that our policies and procedures remain effective, we monitor and review them annually to ensure our strategies meets the overall aims to promote equality, inclusion and to value diversity.
  • We provide a complaints procedure and a complaints summary record for parents to see.

9.2 Supporting children with special educational needs

Policy statement

We provide an environment in which all children, including those with special educational needs (SEN), are

supported to reach their full potential.

  • We have regard for the Special Educational Needs Code of Practice (2001).
  • We ensure our provision is inclusive to all children with special educational needs.
  • We support parents and children with special educational needs.
  • We identify the specific needs of children with special educational needs and meet those needs through

a range of SEN strategies.

  • We work in partnership with parents and other agencies in meeting individual children’s needs.
  • We monitor and review our policy, practice and provision and, if necessary, make adjustments.

Procedures

  • We designate a member of staff to be the Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENCO) and give her name to parents. The title we use in the setting is Inclusion Coordinator.

Our Inclusion Coordinator is:

Lucy Murphy

  • We ensure that the provision for children with special educational needs is the responsibility of all members of the setting.
  • We ensure that our inclusive admissions practice ensures equality of access and opportunity.
  • We use the graduated response system for identifying, assessing and responding to children’s special educational needs.
  • We work closely with the parents of children with special educational needs to create and maintain a positive partnership.
  • We ensure that parents are informed at all stages of the assessment, planning, provision and review of their children’s education.
  • We provide parents with information on sources of independent advice and support.
  • We liaise with other professionals involved with children with special educational needs and their families, including in connection with transfer arrangements to other settings and schools.
  • We provide a broad, balanced and differentiated curriculum for all children with special educational needs.
  • We use a system of planning, implementing, monitoring, evaluating and reviewing individual educational plans (IEPs) for children with special educational needs.
  • We ensure that children with special educational needs are appropriately involved at all stages of the graduated response, taking into account their levels of ability.
  • We have systems in place for supporting children during the Early Years Action process (stage 2 on Continuum of Needs).
  • We have systems in place for working with other agencies through each stage of the Common Assessment Framework (CAF), Early Years Action Plus (stage 3 of Continuum of Need), Statutory Assessment and the Statementing process (stage 4 of Continuum of Need).
  • We use a system for keeping records of the assessment, planning, provision and review for children with special educational needs.
  • We provide resources (human and financial) to implement our Supporting Children with Special Educational Needs Policy.
  • We provide in-service training for parents, practitioners and volunteers.
  • We raise awareness of any specialism the setting has to offer, e.g. Makaton trained staff.
  • We ensure the effectiveness of our special educational needs provision by collecting information from a range of sources e.g. Individual Education Plan reviews, staff and management meetings, parental and external agency’s views, inspections and complaints. This information is collated, evaluated and reviewed annually.
  • We provide a complaints procedure.
  • We monitor and review our policy annually.