Equality Statement and Objectives
The overall objective of The Whitchurch Church of England Federation is to provide a framework for the Federation to pursue its equality duties to eliminate unlawful discrimination, harassment and victimisation; promote equality of access and opportunity; and promote good relations and positive attitudes between people of diverse backgrounds in all its activities.
The principles of this statement apply to all members of the extended community – pupils, staff, governors, parents and community members. Partners and contractors are also expected to abide by the policy.
Through our Equality Policy (see below), The Whitchurch Church of England Federation seeks to ensure that no member of the Federation community, or any person through their contact with the Federation, receives less favourable treatment on any grounds which cannot be shown to be justified. This covers race, colour, nationality, ethnic or national origin, religion or belief, gender, marital status, responsibility for children or other dependents, disability, sexual orientation, gender reassignment, age, trade union or political activities, socioeconomic background, where the person lives, or, spent convictions. Equality and Diversity is more than just meeting legal obligations, or targets, it’s about making a difference to the lives of the people we serve, treating all people with dignity and respect, and recognising the value of each individual. This means an ongoing commitment to ensuring that our services meet the varied and individual needs of children and young people in our Federation. We will make sure that our employment practices are fair and promote equality. We will actively value the wide variety of lifestyles and cultures, locally and nationally. We will prepare children and young people for living in a diverse society with increasing global connections and controversial issues. We will ensure that the principles of this statement are reflected in all our policies, practices, procedures and services and are part of everything we do.
Characteristics of the Federation
The Whitchurch Church of England Federation consists of Whitchurch CE Infant & Nursery Academy, which is a three form entry infant school, including a 130 place FTE Nursery, incorporating 2-year-old provision and Whitchurch CE Junior Academy which is a three form entry junior school.
The Federation is situated in North Shropshire, 21 miles North of Shrewsbury, 23 miles South of Chester and a mile from the North Welsh border. Whitchurch is a small, market town (see www.whitchurch.info), well connected by rail and road.
The Whitchurch Church of England Federation is the sole primary education provider in Whitchurch and approximately 98% of pupils live in the town.
The Federation serves a mixed catchment area of private and local authority housing estates with the majority of children living in owner-occupied housing. The children come from broadly average socio-economic backgrounds, although there are areas of much higher social deprivation within the town.
Contextual Information - Infant Academy:
The majority of pupils are from a white British background (87%) with the biggest other pupil group being from ‘other white background’ at 7% of pupils, (Inspection Data Summary, October 2019). The academy has 9 out of 17 possible ethnic groups. Those with 5% or more are: – 87%: White - British – 7%: White - any other White background.
Across the Academy, girls slightly out number boys within EYFS, there is a balance in year one but the current year two cohort consists of 61% boys and 39% girls.
The percentage of pupils with statements of SEN/EHC plans is above national average at 2.3%. The majority of SEN needs are for speech, language and communication.
The IMD (Index of multiple Deprivation) score for the school is 5, however, 18% of pupils fall within decile 3 and 14% within decile 4. The IDACI score for the school is 5 with 18% of children living in a household with a more deprived income than this. Approximately 16% of our pupils are entitled to free school meals, (Inspection Data Summary, October, 2019).
Contextual data at start of the academic year 2019-2020
Contextual Information - Junior Academy:
Over the past three years, the percentage of pupils eligible for FSM has been slightly above, or in line with the national average. Currently, 23.1% of pupils are eligible for Pupil Premium Grant Funding, with 15% in receipt of Free School Meals, slightly ahead of national figures. There has been a gradual reduction in the number of pupils eligible for PP funding over the past three years; however, the school deprivation indicator remains largely the same, quintile 3 / 0.16. The IDACI score for the school is 5 with approximately one third (32%) of pupils living in households where deprivation is higher than average (decile 4), with 18% being measured at decile ‘3’ (where average is 5). The Academy has identified that this decrease in numbers is due to changes for eligibility, including the higher threshold for minimum income. The percentage of eligible pupils in the 2018 Year 3 cohort is lower than in any previous year (11 pupils -15%).
The majority of pupils are from a white British background (88%) with the biggest other pupil group being from ‘other white background’ at 7% of pupils, (Inspection Data Summary, October, 2019). The academy has 7 out of 17 possible ethnic groups. Those with 5% or more are: 88%: White - British – 7%: White - any other White background.
The percentage of pupils with statements of SEN/EHC plans is broadly in line with national average at 1.5%. The number of pupils with SEN Support is ahead of 16.4%. The majority of SEN needs are for speech, language and communication.
Approximately 8 % of our pupils have English as an additional language which is significantly below national averages.
The Academy’s population has declined over the past 3 years because the current Year 4 and 5 cohorts are smaller than the departing cohorts in 2018 and 2019, albeit, school stability at 93% remains ahead of that seen nationally.
Current data indicates that girls outnumber boys across all year groups. (52.7% girls).
Contextual data at start of the academic year 2019-2020
Three Year Equality Objectives 2019-2022
Equality objective 1:
Through curriculum opportunities and wider school life we will promote understanding and respect for differences.
Equality objective 2:
To track and monitor disadvantaged groups throughout the school in both attainment and progress. This will inform provision and intervention and ensure vulnerable children who will not meet age related expectations are identified and support put in place to meet needs.
Equality objective 3:
To improve the attendance of all groups of children in line with national expectations.
Equality objective 4:
To review levels of parental engagement in learning and Federation life, across all activities to ensure equity and fairness in access and engagement.
Our progress towards meeting these objectives will be reviewed on an annual basis, at the end of each academic year.