Equality, diversity and inclusion in work with children and young people Assignment 1 Within a school, equality, diversity and inclusion is very important. It is their duty to make sure all children have equal access to the curriculum. Whether they are a different race, culture, gender or have a special need or disability, it is important that they are supported and have a right to participate and be treated equal; this is known as inclusion.
As part of this it is important that schools and other professionals support and promote cultural diversity in schools and the wider society, breaking down any discriminatory barriers to learning. (1. 2) In a school participation means that everyone has to be involved and this involves the inclusion of the children. The Government is committed to children’s rights and participation.
Under Article 12 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC), children and young people have the right to express their views, and for these to be respected by adults when making decisions on matters that affect them. This means that the schools have to involve the children in the planning, delivery and evaluation of the curriculum on a daily basis, asking children what they think, what works and what they think could be better. Children should be given opportunities to express their opinion in matters that affect their lives.
Effective participation gives children and young people the opportunity to make a positive contribution to their learning and to develop the skills, confidence and self-esteem they will need for the future. Every child has the right to access the curriculum, Equality of access. This means that children can work to the best of their ability and be treated equally within their learning. The schools have a duty to support these rights and they must be reflected through their policies and procedures and must comply with current legislations and codes of practice.
The Equality Act 2010, UN Convention on the Rights of the Child 1989, Children Act 1989/2004, SENDA 2001 and SEN Code of Practice 2002 are the relevant legislations that give guidance on how to understand the children’s rights to participation and equality of access. Promoting participation and equal access makes sure that the school is meeting the 5 outcomes of ECM/HCAM and will therefore provide children with the best possible opportunities to to achieve to the best of their ability within the curriculum and their school life. (1. ) Cultural diversity provides a framework to bringing children together who would otherwise be naturally separated by cultural barriers. Pupil’s cultural development involves pupils acquiring an understanding of cultural traditions and an ability to appreciate and respond to a variety of aesthetic experiences. They acquire a respect for their own culture and that of others, an interest in other’s ways of doing things and curiosity about differences. They develop the knowledge, skills, understanding, qualities and attitudes they need to understand, appreciate and contribute to culture.
Schools have to promote cultural diversity and follow legislations relating to equality and discrimination, it is the law not to discriminate and this is set out in the Equality Act 2010. There are many ways that a school can promote acceptance and respect of different cultures throughout the school, this could be through teaching in the classroom where the pupils can explore varied cultural backgrounds, learning about celebrations that different cultures participate in for example multicultural festivals that take place different times throughout the year.
Also many schools now have ‘welcome’ signs which are written in languages that pupils within the school speak, displays are also used with work of the children these are a brilliant way of showing the pupils understanding of others cultures and provides information for all within the school. All staff must act as role models and promote cultural diversity this helps reduce prejudice and discrimination and if staff are putting this in place then it will influence pupils to be tolerant of other cultures and with this helps the children understand the diverse society to which they belong.
Pupils who understand cultural diversity will be more likely to participate and those of different cultures will feel more involved as they can help with the learning of their culture, with this it will help children in schools and outside in the wider society. In conclusion, schools who promote equality and inclusion through participation and a value of cultural diversity are encouraging children to ave respect for others and not to discriminate and promotes independence for the children. Children’s rights to equal access has to be supported by quality teaching, school policies and procedures. Children’s rights are protected by the law but if the schools follow the laws and provide the vital information through learning, children are more likely to respect others and appreciate their responsibilities to others.