The Equality Act 2010 has created the ‘Public Sector Equality Duty’, which states that every public body, including schools and academies, have legal duty to eliminate discrimination, advance equality of opportunity and foster good relations between people who share and do not share the following 8 protected characteristics:

* Race                                         * Disability

* Sex                                            * Age

* Religion or belief                    * Pregnancy and maternity

* Gender re-assignment          * Sexual orientation

Assisting schools and academies to comply with this legal duty, 'Educate & Celebrate' is a national initiative designed to prepare children and young people for life and to give them a good understanding of how Equality and Diversity is protected by the Equality Act 2010. Chad Vale become an Educate & Celebrate 'Best Practice School' in 2016. 

Equality and Diversity therefore forms part of the school’s wider curriculum in PSHE and PATHS, RE, History, Geography and Literacy lessons; starting in Reception, where positive messages on equality and diversity are shared with the children, including in books that form part of literacy lessons and early reading in KS1.  

The Chad Vale song proclaims; 'Everyone's included at Chad Vale, everyone has a part to play'; by ensuring that our children have a good understanding of equality and diversity and that difference is 'ok', the content of our school’s teaching is helping to strengthen these strongly held values and support our moral purpose as educators to enlighten and inspire the next generation.

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Frequently Asked Questions/Comments

1. What topics will the teaching cover?

The Educate & Celebrate program assists the school to comply with its legal duty to eliminate discrimination, advance equality of opportunity and foster good relations between people who share and do not share the protected characteristics listed in the Equality Act 2010. It does this through a set of 25 books, specially chosen for their themes, characters and stories, which teach that “people are different”, “it's ok to be different” and “we should be kind to everyone”, so that we can stop people being bullied or made to feel sad because of the colour of their skin, their beliefs, their religion, their culture, their gender or their sexuality.

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2. Why are you teaching my child about how to be gay?

 

The program does NOT teach children to be gay, it teaches them that some people have the protected characteristics listed in the Equality Act 2010, including being gay, and that the law says that it is wrong to discriminate against someone because of a protected characteristic. Seven of the 25 books used contain characters or themes that introduce the concept of sexual orientation and gender identity, but the other books focus on the other 'protected characteristics', e.g. in some of the books there are mixed race families, disabled characters or characters in traditional dress.

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 3. My traditions, beliefs or religion does not support what you are teaching?

‘Chad Valers’ come from a huge diversity of backgrounds, cultures, religions and beliefs; we are very proud of this and have worked very hard to create a kind, caring, tolerant and understanding ethos called the 'Chad Vale Way'. Therefore, the school already teaches the children about difference and our rules, rewards and consequences system is based on 'being kind to everyone', including being kind to people who are different to ourselves. It is important that we ensure that children understand that difference is protected in law, because by encouraging them to be kind to others we can create a better world.

More information click here.

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4. I'm worried that my child will end up becoming gay, lesbian, bi-sexual or transgendered because of what you are teaching.

 

The evidence shows that you cannot teach a child to 'become gay', but we can reduce and hopefully eliminate people being taunted, bullied and repressed because they are. Your children are exposed to huge range of influences in their life; your views, beliefs and traditions as parents and families, the images that they see on television and in the media and the things they learn from friends in the playground and the staff in the school. What we are trying to do is make them aware that people are different and that, in order to comply with the law, they must be kind to everyone.

More information click here.

Learn more here: (watch 'My Transgender Kid' Channel 4 documentary)

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5. What exactly are you planning to teach and what are your expected outcomes?

Our aim is to ensure that all children;

* Have a good understanding of 'Equality' (equal opportunities, everyone has rights, everyone has feelings, everyone should be                respected) and 'Diversity' (people are different, difference should be celebrated, difference is normal). They will also be taught that legislation/law is there to protect these rights (Equality Act 2010).

* Know that people live in a wide range of families (e.g. some children have '2 mummies', some children have '2 daddies', some                children have a black mummy and a white daddy etc) and that is OK in law.

* Use language relating to protected characteristics correctly, so that they do not think that it is acceptable use racial slurs,                descriptions about women or the word ‘gay’ as a derogatory term or an insult. 

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6. Yes, but what exactly are you teaching my child in terms of words? How, for example, can I explain what 'transgender' means to         my 5 year old?

We have created an overview of exactly what is covered in each year group below. Please click to download it.

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7. What can I do as a parent to help? I'm worried my own views will be confusing for my child...

A big thing that parents can do is to begin to describe your family as ‘typical’, rather than ‘normal’, because there is really no such thing as a 'normal' in this day and age! In addition, your child may come home with questions about what they have learnt in school and we would suggest you listen to their questions and respond to them honestly, truthfully and in line with your beliefs. For example, if your child asks whether some children have 2 mummies, you may wish to say that ‘Yes, they do and in our family, religion or belief system we think .....'. Our skilled teachers are more than happy to help you by explaining how they would sensitively respond to a question within a lesson.

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 8. As a school you can choose not to teach this/why have you chosen this particular program?

All schools and academies have a legal duty:

* to eliminate discrimination, advance equality of opportunity and foster good relations between people who share and do not share        protected characteristics (the Equality Act 2010); and

* to provide its pupils with a balanced and broadly based curriculum which promotes the spiritual, moral, cultural, mental and physical    development of pupils at the school and of society, and prepares pupils at the school for the opportunities, responsibilities and            experiences of later life (the Education Act 2002).

The National Curriculum, which is taught at this school and enables us to provide that 'balanced and broadly based curriculum', adds that:

'Teachers should take account of their duties under equal opportunities legislation that covers race, disability, sex, religion or belief, sexual orientation, pregnancy and maternity, and gender reassignment.'

Therefore, the Educate and Celebrate program provides an excellent resource to support the school’s teaching and learning, but to put the program into context, it equates to approximately 0.1% of the total teaching time, as sharing 3 of the books in a year will take about 1½ hours in total out of approximately 1235 teaching hours each year.

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9. I'm still not happy and would like to complain to the council/local authority.

Birmingham City Council’s support for Equality and Diversity is stated in the 'Birmingham Curriculum Statement'; a copy is available by clicking here.

However, if you would still like to complain, a copy of the school’s complaints procedure is available here.

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10. I'm still not happy and want to complain to Ofsted!

Ofsted are fully supportive of Educate & Celebrate being taught in schools and have produced a range of guidance to support governing bodies in ensuring that statutory duties are met. In the criteria for an 'outstanding school' judgement, Ofsted inspectors are specifically checking that:

'Leaders promote equality of opportunity and diversity exceptionally well, for pupils and staff, so that the ethos and culture of the whole school prevents any form of direct or indirect discriminatory behaviour. Leaders, staff and pupils do not tolerate prejudiced behaviour.'

'Teachers are quick to challenge stereotypes and the use of derogatory language in lessons and around the school. Resources and teaching strategies reflect and value the diversity of pupils’ experiences and provide pupils with a comprehensive understanding of people and communities beyond their immediate experience.'

'Pupils work hard with the school to prevent all forms of bullying, including online bullying and prejudice-based bullying.'

However, if you would still like to complain, Ofsted’s website can be accessed by clicking here.

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11. I would like to withdraw my child from this part of the curriculum?

The school has a legal duty to provide all of its pupils with an education that complies with the National Curriculum and, if we do not, the school will not be fulfilling its duty to properly educate your child. Personal, Social and Health Education (PSHE) lessons are a compulsory part of the National Curriculum and, because the Educate & Celebrate Program forms part of the school’s PSHE lessons, parents are not allowed to withdraw their children from the school’s PSHE lessons, in the same way that you are not allowed to withdraw your children from the school’s English and Maths lessons. Please remember that the school’s staff are available to discuss and address any concerns that you may have about your child’s education.

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Messages of support from Chad Vale parents

"I have been talking to parents who are worried about the teaching around the Rainbow theme and I thought I would like to let you know how good it is that the school is tackling this subject.

I have seen the books in the reception area and feel that the books are very good in approaching this subject and feel happy that children are being taught about diversity.

I have heard from many parents who are fearing this subject but being from a Muslim background and having gay cousins. I strongly believe that it is good to introduce the thought that people are different and being gay is who you are and not a choice people take lightly. I really wished things were different for my cousins and maybe having this type of teaching from a young age would have made their lives easier today.

The 2 cousins I know were gay from the day they were born and not "turned" gay. It is now obvious to us in the photos when we look back at them. This is the fear people have through ignorance unfortunately. That somehow their kids will be taught to become gay. I really wish they could see the struggle my cousins went through and learn to accept people for who they are." (Y3/4 Parent)

 

"I am just emailing to pass on my wholehearted support for the Educate and Celebrate curriculum program adopted by Chad Vale. As a parent at the school, I consider it to be the school's (and my own!) duty to prepare my children for life in an ever-changing, constantly diversifying 21st century Britain. I want my children, and their friends, to know that there is no such thing as 'normal' or 'right', and that to accept and value others who may appear to be different to oneself is an unquestioning attribute of a fair and just society." (YR/1 Parent)

 

"I wholeheartedly support the school’s approach to this topic which is compulsory and therefore must be taught. I am confident that the school will educate pupils about the topic in a sensitive and age appropriate way. I also believe that teaching about this will help pupils’ understanding that there are different family settings and ways of life and help them to become more tolerant, well-rounded members of society." (YR Parent)

 

"Just a quick message about yesterday's meeting about LGBT! If going in to the meeting I was a bit worried about 'how and what' - then after that little talk I am ALL FOR IT and you will get full support when/if needed!!!" (Y4 parent)

 

"I am delighted to see such emphasis on the teaching of equality and diversity at Chad Vale under your leadership. There are still many places in the world where women, girls, gay people and people of faiths other than the majority one, are discriminated against and killed purely because they are who they are. It is essential that the hatred, which is so often the outcome of ignorance, is not allowed to take seed and thrive unchecked in Birmingham. Thank you for making sure that the current and future generations of the school children in your care learn what being a citizen in a liberal, Western democracy means." (Y2 parent)

 

"Just wanted to let you know we thought the words you wrote on newsletter about equality and diversity were very much supported by us, we want our children to grow up and hold all the values and morals we have to be non judgemental, not discriminate and to treat everyone equally etc... Our children have really enjoyed the anti-bullying week events and asked questions related to it, we support any teaching in relation to equality and diversity." (R/Y1 parent)

 

"I'm a big believer in the vital promotion of Equality & Diversity within Chad Vale and the wider public sector, so regret I couldn't attend. I believe in fairness & freedom, I also believe people's free will which God gave to each & everyone of us a high value and right which should be respected to the rafters. Whether one agrees with our choices or not is no-one else's business given safe freedom of choice! My child's mind & curiosity is becoming broader of late regarding all forms of relationships, therefore given your choice to introduce same sex relationship approaches along with a deeper understanding & place of acceptance into our school curriculum would prove very useful in my opinion. I, as a mother would celebrate my child's choices with what makes them happiest in life. I fully support your decision to cover normality within this day & age and we wish you and your team every success in the future covering the Educate & Celebrate program." (Y5 parent)

 

"I just wanted to say how happy we are for our daughter to be educated and informed about the importance of celebrating differences from such an early age! In our family (and our extended Chad Vale family) everyone is perfect and loved, just as they are. I think it's a wonderful message of kindness and acceptance. It can only be a positive thing to do. Thank you." (Y4 parent)

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Downloads 

Equality and Diversity

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