This policy document was drawn up:

  1. To ensure equality of access to all pupils and staff in the school environment
  2. To ensure that no condition be allowed hinder a persons participation in school life

Policy formation was a collaborative exercise between staff, Board of Management, parents and children.
The policy was drafted because:

  1. Legislation in relation to equality of access has been activated , such as the:
    • Employment Equality Act 1998
    • Education Act 1998
    • Equality Status Act 2000
  2. To promote the principles of justice and equality for all in accessing and participating in the curriculum as provided by Holy Family Senior National School.

Links to School Ethos:
Holy Family Senior National School endeavours to:

  1. enable every pupil to actively participate in all school activities regardless of physical disability, gender, race, religion or learning disability
  2. prepare each and every pupil for life in a multi-cultural society by promoting values of equality, tolerance and respect for all
  3. enable each person to participate in all school related activities

Aims and Objectives:

  1. To instill a sense of pride in our own culture whilst simultaneously cultivating an understanding of the value of cultural diversity
  2. Insuring compliance with all requirements of legislation
  3. Promoting equal opportunities in an environment where diversity is respected, valued and celebrated

Organisational Procedures:
Pupil enrolment will take place in accordance with the school enrolment policy of Holy Family Senior National School.
The Board of Management is an equal opportunities Employer as per the Equal Status Act 2000, and the Employment Equality Act 1998, and no discriminatory questions on the grounds of gender, sexual orientation, family status etc. will be asked at interview. Correct procedures for promotion will be strictly adhered to as per the CPSMA handbook and fair and equitable measures in relation to Post of Responsibility, Maternity Leave, career breaks, etc. will be implemented.
The school recognizes the importance of communicating with parent. This is normally accomplished by a written note in the pupil’s journal, by letter or, where necessary, by telephone to the parent or guardian. Apart from the annual parent-teacher meetings the teachers will always make provision for meeting parents or guardians when circumstances require it. Every effort is made to ensure clarity in communication with parents for whom the speaking and comprehension of English poses a difficulty.
Input of Parents
The school values the input of The Parents Association of the school into the formulation of the Equality policy. The Board and Parent Association are in communication with parents at regular intervals or as circumstances require. The attention of parents is drawn to the Education Welfare Act 2000 annually and particular attention is drawn to school attendance.
The school has recently organized parenting courses and Family Therapy is offered to families who wish to avail of it. A number of teachers and parents facilitate the “Rainbows Programme” on a voluntary basis.
The school will also identify parents on low income who are unable to afford books, school outings and swimming. The “School Completion” programme provides a weekly after-school club in which pupils can participate in different activities.
Induction and Teaching
All relevant information the school will need to address issues of inequality such as family background, medical concerns and learning or physical disabilities will be gathered from the Junior School for those pupils transferring from the Junior School. For those enrolling from other schools this information will be gathered at enrolment and through consultation with parents. This enables the school to access relevant supports such as language teachers, SNA’S and teaching materials. There is regular communication between class teacher and parents during the child’s school life and when necessary further meetings will be arranged
All teachers share information which is updated annually. The school promotes non academic activities such as, football, camogie etc. in a manner favourable to all sexes, races and religions. Classes are split (where necessary) on a non academic non gender basis. Special efforts are made to avoid Stereotyping when designating tasks and presenting classroom materials
Curriculum Access
The school endeavours to enable all children to access all curriculum areas engaging them in appropriate intellectually stimulating work. All children are given opportunities to engage in integration, and appreciate other cultures and languages.
Exemptions from Irish are sought in accordance with circular 12/96 subject to parental consent and in keeping with the professional recommendation of the class teacher.
SESE offers many areas where diversity and differences can be celebrated. Geography lessons will focus on people, food and the physical features of other countries.
S.P.H.E strands such as ‘Myself and Others’ are also used to celebrate different cultures.
Special Needs
The school has a complement of 7 teachers for the areas of special resource, learning support and ESL. There are also 2 Special Reading Units in the school.
Evaluation of Policy
The policy is subject to continual review under the following –

    1. All pupils accessing the curriculum at a level appropriate to their needs
    2. Increased awareness of difference and acceptance of same
    3. Maintaining a happy school atmosphere
    4. Staff and parental satisfaction
    5. Improvement in pupil attainment level in academic and Social areas

Ratification / Review / Implementation:
This policy was ratified by the Board of Management in Holy Family Senior National School and implemented immediately. It will be reviewed on a yearly basis.

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