Inclusion is a process of identifying, understanding and breaking down barriers to participation and belonging. Inclusive early years practice is about anticipating, paying attention, responding to and reflecting on the needs and interests of all children. A commitment to inclusion should permeate all aspects of the design of educational programmes and the structuring of environments, as well as shaping every interaction with children, parents and other professionals (Birth to 5 Matters, 2021).
Statement of intent
At Rockinghorse Daycare we take great care to treat each individual as a person in their own right, with equal rights and responsibilities to any other individual, whether they are an adult or a child. We are committed to providing equality of opportunity and anti-discriminatory practice for all staff, children and families according to their individual needs. Discrimination on the grounds of gender, age, race, religion or belief, marriage or civil partnership, disability, sexual orientation, gender reassignment, pregnancy or maternity, ethnic or national origin, or political belief has no place within our nursery.
A commitment to implementing our inclusion and equality policy is form part of each employee’s job description. Should anyone believe that this policy is not being upheld, it is their duty to report the matter to the attention of the nursery manager at the earliest opportunity. Appropriate steps will then be taken to investigate the matter and if such concerns are well-founded, disciplinary action will be invoked under the nursery’s disciplinary policy.
The legal framework for this policy is based on:
The nursery and staff are committed to:
The nursery is accessible to all children and families in the local community and further afield through a comprehensive and inclusive admissions policy.
The nursery will strive to ensure that all services and projects are accessible and relevant to all groups and individuals in the community within targeted age groups.
Recruitment, promotion and other selection exercises such as redundancy selection will be conducted on the basis of merit, against objective criteria that avoid discrimination. Shortlisting will be done by more than one person, where possible.
All members of the selection group are be committed to the inclusive practice set out in this policy and will have received appropriate training in this regard.
Application forms are sent out along with a copy of the equal opportunities monitoring form. Application forms do not include questions that potentially discriminate on the grounds specified in the statement of intent.
Vacancies are generally be advertised to a diverse section of the labour market. Advertisements should avoid stereotyping or using wording that may discourage particular groups from applying.
At interview, no questions are be posed which potentially discriminate on the grounds specified in the statement of intent. All candidates are be asked the same questions and members of the selection group will not introduce nor use any personal knowledge of candidates acquired outside the selection process. Candidates are be given the opportunity to receive feedback on the reasons why they were not successful.
We may ask questions (under the Equality Act 2010) prior to offering someone employment in the following circumstances:
· To need to establish whether the applicant will be able to comply with a requirement to undergo an assessment (i.e. an interview or selection test)
· To need to establish whether the applicant will be able to carry out a function that is intrinsic to the work concerned
· To want to monitor diversity in the range of people applying for work
· To want to take positive action towards a particular group – for example offering a guaranteed interview scheme
· You require someone with a particular disability because of an occupational requirement for the job.
The national College for Teaching and Leadership provides further guidance specific to working with children, which we follow:
Providers have a responsibility to ensure that practitioners have the health and physical capacity to teach and will not put children and young people at risk of harm. The activities that a practitioner must be able to perform are set out in the Education (Health Standards England) Regulations 2003. Providers are responsible for ensuring that only practitioners who have the capacity to teach remain on the staff team.
People with disabilities or chronic illnesses may have the capacity to teach, just as those without disabilities or medical conditions may be unsuitable to teach. Further information on training to teach with a disability is available from the DfE website.
Successful applicants offered a position may be asked to complete a fitness questionnaire prior to commencing the programme. Providers should not ask all-encompassing health questions, but should ensure that they only ask targeted and relevant health-related questions, which are necessary to ensure that a person is able to teach.
It is our policy not to discriminate in the treatment of individuals. All staff are expected to co-operate with the implementation, monitoring and improvement of this and other policies. They are expected to challenge language, actions, behaviours and attitudes which are oppressive or discriminatory on the grounds specified in this policy and recognise and celebrate other cultures and traditions. All staff are expected to participate in equality and inclusion training.
Staff will follow the ‘Dealing with Discriminatory Behaviour’ policy where applicable to report any discriminatory behaviours observed.
The nursery recognises the importance of training as a key factor in the implementation of an effective inclusion and equality policy. All new staff receive induction training including specific reference to the inclusion and equality policy. The nursery strives towards the provision of inclusion, equality and diversity training for all staff.
Early learning framework
We follow the Early Years Foundation Stage and ensure that all learning opportunities offered in the nursery encourage children to develop positive attitudes to people who are different from them. Our curriculum encourages children to empathise with others and to begin to develop the skills of critical thinking.
We do this by:
Parent information and meetings
Information about the nursery, its activities, experiences, resources are shared with parents as well as information about their child’s development. This is given in a variety of ways according to individual needs (written, verbal and translated), to ensure that all parents can access the information they need.
Wherever possible, meetings are arranged to give all families opportunities to attend and share information about their child.
We also consult with parents regularly about the running of the nursery and ask them to contribute their ideas.