At Holy Spirit Catholic Primary School we welcome our duties under the Equality Act 2010, and in particular our duties in regard to the Public Sector Equality Duty-to eliminate discrimination, advance equality of opportunity and to foster good relations.
We are also fully committed to meeting our responsibilities in regards to- The Prevent Strategy, Promoting British Values, Child Sex Exploitation, Young Carers, and any other Government backed equality initiatives.
Our aim is to provide a framework that supports our commitment to valuing diversity, tackling discrimination, promoting equality and fostering good relationships between different groups of people. It is also intended to help tackle issues of disadvantage and underachievement of different groups.
As such, we recognise that the whole school community working together, encouraging strong, positive relationships between pupils, staff, parents, governors and other school stakeholders helps to provide the best education and life experiences for all our pupils.
In line with our responsibilities under the Public Sector Equality Duty arising from the Equality Act 2010, we shall be shortly publishing on line and in paper format our Equality Objectives for the next four years; which we intend to evaluate annually. We shall also publish information regarding our compliance to the Public Sector Equality Duty.
Please contact myself Matt Byrne, the Head teacher or Tracy Jones our Assistant Head teacher should you require any further information regarding the school’s equality and diversity policies and procedures. Mark Morgan, our vice chair of Governors, is our Equality governor. We are also presently arranging to deploy a staff ‘Equality champion’ who can facilitate, support and promote equality issues within Holy Spirit.
Mr M. Byrne
Head teacher November 2016
Our equality ethos: Holy Spirit is proud of our equality principles and inclusive ethos. We pride ourselves in treating everybody equally and celebrate our diversity. We are all the same but different!
On 21st October 2016, we had a whole school 'Wear Red Against Racism day', showing support for the principles of equality. Our year 5 pupils, Charlie, Jamie, Sadie and Katie enjoyed an exciting training session at Goodison Park this week to learn about racism and stereotypes and to bring back the important messages to the rest of the school community. Show Racism the Red Card was founded in 1996 and is enjoying its 20th year. Much racism has been removed from football due to the educational programmes they offer – they continue to strive to ensure that racism is removed from society also. During our wear assembly on 21st October, our year 5 pupils spread the word to every other child and parents too about what they had found out.
Stereotyping means: (1) Grouping people together (2) Assuming everyone in a group is the same (3) Not seeing people as individuals (4) Generalising about a person based on one part of their identity.
Racism means: treating someone badly or differently based on differences in (1) Skin colour (2) religion (3) nationality and (4) Culture
The children heard from a football panel, including Everton legend Graeme Sharp who said racism in football in the past was due to people’s lack of understanding of different cultures. French football Thierry Henry said on a special video the children watched that racism is reduced when people get to know each other and remember that we are all part of the ‘human race.
Learning about stereotypes
If you are reading our website, please look at the six pictures above. Who do you think is the most dangerous?
Our year 5's took part in this activity at Everton and then shared it with the whole school in our 'Wear Red Against Racism' day.
Most people out their hands up for the lady in black with her face covered. They say she may be hiding something and we can't see her face. Maybe she has links with terrorism? Others talked about the heavily tattooed man on the right as he looks 'different' and is is hanging around outside a church 'looking for trouble'. Others say the teenage boy with the hoodie. Maybe he's responsible for the graffitti - maybe he's a gangster - maybe he has a knife in his pocket?
Very few said Wayne Rooney is the most dangerous- they knew he plays for Man Utd and used to be at Everton. That's despite him also having a hoodie and covering his face like the boy pictured below him.
Even less said David Beckham - they knew he is famous - everyone ignores his tattoos compared to the man on the right. When we find out that the tattoo man is outside the church because its actually his house and he is Lady Gaga's choreographer - people think he is less dangerous!
Lastly, nobody thinks the smiling Bollywood actress is 'most dangerous' as they say she is 'pretty and smiling' Everyone is surprised when they find out she is the 'same person' as the one in the right top corner where she is playing an acting part.
The children received a great understanding of what stereotyping involves.
Equality in our school
Take a look at some photos from around our school which sum up our 'Catholic Life' equality culture.
Show Racism the Red Card: Three of our pupils represented Holy Spirit very well recently at a prestigious educational event, presented by ‘Show Racism the Red Card’ and held at Goodison Park. Joel, Libby and Jack from year 5 joined pupils from several schools to listen to important messages about equality and prejudice and how sport represents a great opportunity of challenging perceptions and stereo-types. The children met Everton first team player Brendan Galloway.
The panel included former Everton legends Graham Stuart and Graeme Sharp, as well as Howard Gayle, the first black player to play for Liverpool FC in the modern era (1981).
Howard Gayle gave our children a real education on equality at the Show Racism the Red Card event. Howard talked about his childhood in Toxteth in Liverpool and how racial abuse affected his early days - he often got into fights after receiving racial taunts. John Barnes is often seen as Merseyside's first black player of the modern era when he signed for Liverpool in 1987. However, Howard broke through that particular racial glass ceiling when making his Liverpool debut in the early 1980's including a memorable performance in the Olympic Stadium in the European Cup semi final v Bayern Munch (see picture above). Howard went onto receive a winner's medal in Paris against Real Madrid in may 1981 (little known fact: Mr Byrne's eldest Liverpool supporting brother attended that game!) a 1 nil win with an Alan Kennedy goal)
Howard explained to our children how he was proud of this break through moment which set a trail for other black players to follow:
Howard described the feeling: 'It was constantly in the press that I was the first black player to play for Liverpool. It was a landmark as far as black people were concerned and I was proud to represent the black community of Liverpool'
Howard spoke with passion about how the power of sport and football can bridge differences and bring people of all races, faiths and denominations together. Howard Gayle - true role model and inspiration.
This was a very interesting activity for the children:
Look at the picture above: Ask yourself the following 5 questions - what are your answers?
1. What do you think the person's name is?
2. How old are they?
3. Id it a boy or a girl?
4. What religious do they have?
5. Where are they from?
Children came out with a wide range of countries (usually from Africa) and non traditional English names. The religion mentioned was seldom Christian.
The truth was that the face was that of a little boy called Tommy from Sheffield. He is 11 years old - his favourite subject in school is ICT and he loves football - especially Sheffield Wednesday!