Primary school, South East *
The former race, disability and gender equality duties have helped this school to introduce a more thorough system of collecting evidence about equality groups. Current mechanisms include regular tracking of educational participation and attainment among the whole pupil population, use of pupil attitude surveys, the discussion of equality issues during school council meetings and wider consultation with community groups in the area. By carefully monitoring the number of pupils taking part in sports activities within the school and by analysing the data by a range of pupil profiles, including ethnicity, the school identified the issue of low take-up of sports lessons among ethnic minority pupils, mainly children of Bangladeshi origin, and was able to track the impact of actions to address this.
The school worked to address this issue by reaching out to parents and engaging with them on the subject of PE lessons and sports kit. For example, the school organised a community day (or school fete) which it used as an opportunity to informally discuss the requirements for children to participate in PE lessons and any concerns parents may have about sports activities and sports kit. The school made the following comments about it:
‘There was an agenda there to speak to ethnic minority parents that we don’t normally see … [the day] did have a great big agenda but there was also that theme running through it, from our School Development Plan, to make sure that everyone recognises the importance of school sport, how we can help them. If the girls want to wear leggings under their gym skirts that’s fine, we can accommodate that.’
There has been an increase in participation in school PE lessons by ethnic minority pupils; attendance records for PE lessons.
(Source – EHRC research report 70)
* Equality and Diversity Forum submission to the Government’s Equality Duty Review [April 2013]