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Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Policy (2021)

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Policy

  • Date approved by Trust Board - 04/03/2021
  • Applicable from - 01/04/2021

  1. Introduction
  2. Policy Statement
  3. What the Trust’s leaders will do
  4. What our Academies will do
  5. What our Governing Councils will do
  6. Your responsibilities
  7. Raising concerns about equality, diversity and inclusion
  1. Pupils/Students
  2. Colleagues
  3. Governors
  4. Parents / Carers, or members of the wider community
  1. Review


This policy applies to all pupils/students, colleagues (including employees, workers, agency/supply and volunteers), Governing Council and Trust Board members.

It sets out our vision for equality, diversity and inclusion within Co-op Academies Trust (“the Trust”).

Each academy is required to publish their own equality, diversity & inclusion statement, and to set equality objectives appropriate to their setting, with due regard to this policy and our co-operative values.  

Policy Statement

We’re committed to promoting equality and preventing discrimination in both employment and education provision. We know that simply having a diverse workforce is not enough. We will:

  •  create an inclusive environment, where everyone can contribute their best work and develop to their full potential
  • celebrate the fact that everyone is different yet valued and to make sure that everyone is treated with dignity and respect
  • challenge, speak out and act against racism, homophobia, and other forms of inequality and discrimination
  • create and promote opportunities for staff voice, and debate & dialogue, within the Trust around these key issues.

Our vision is that by valuing diversity and being inclusive it will enable the communities we serve to achieve highly, and help our academies to provide an outstanding education for all their learners, founded on co-operative values.

We value and respect individuals’ differences including, but not limited to:

  • gender
  • pregnancy and maternity
  • ethnicity
  • culture
  • age
  • disability
  • sexual orientation
  • gender identity
  • religion or belief
  • marital or civil partnership status
  • education
  • learning styles
  • caring responsibilities

We do not tolerate any form of harassment, bullying or discrimination in any form, within or outside of the workplace.  

We are committed to creating a community where diverse cultures are celebrated, where everybody feels welcome and can use their differences to develop themselves and the environment they work in, and where there is consideration of how behaviour affects others both inside and outside the Trust.

We recognise the importance of the Equality Act 2010 and Human Rights Act 1998 in promoting equality and eliminating unlawful discrimination, but seek to exceed our legal obligations and provide an inclusive environment which champions the communities we serve and within which colleagues and pupils/students can fully contribute and achieve their potential.

We will regularly reflect on our practices to ensure that they don’t create barriers to participation for pupils/students, colleagues, governors or Trust Board members.

What the Trust’s leaders will do

We will set equality objectives (reviewed annually), and publish information to demonstrate our compliance with the Public Sector Equality Duty.


We will take action towards:

  • our Trust Board having a diverse membership and, in particular, balanced gender composition
  • increasing the diversity of our central and academy-based leadership teams
  • creating a workforce that’s representative of our communities
  • our Governing Councils reflecting the diverse nature of our communities
  • ensuring that any work completed as a Trust towards our equality objectives will be impactful and embedded, so sustainable in every way

We will regularly review our policies and practices to ensure they meet legal obligations and are supportive of the vision set out in this policy.

What our Academies will do  

We will provide an inclusive and safe environment where adults are dedicated to protecting the rights, meeting the needs and supporting the aspirations of all children. Consideration for diversity, equality and inclusion will run through everything we do

We will be at the heart of our communities, creating a welcoming environment for all, celebrating diversity, and promoting community cohesion.

Each academy will publish their own equality, diversity and inclusion statement which ‘brings to life’ this Policy within their own setting. They will publish their own equality objectives, and review progress against these annually.

We will regularly review our policies and processes, to ensure they meet legal obligations and support our vision for equality, diversity and inclusion.

We will will work towards a curriculum and teaching & learning practices which are inclusive and anti-racist.

What our Governing Councils will do

We will be open and inclusive by:  

  • regularly reviewing the time of the day when meetings are held  
  • aiming to have a balanced gender composition, and governors who represent the community
  • communicating in an open and inclusive manner  

We will discuss equality, diversity and inclusion at least annually, and review:

  • progress against the equality objectives set by the academy
  • the equality & diversity profile of the staff and pupil/student population
  • the admissions process
  • any complaints received
  • the activities taken to ensure the Governing Council is open and inclusive.

Your Responsibilities

We all have a responsibility to behave in a way that is respectful of others and to understand that our views and opinions may not always be the same.

Here are other some things you can do to help create an inclusive environment:

  • Try to understand other peoples’ points of view and help them understand yours
  • If you ever see inappropriate behaviour, challenge or report it
  • If you challenge others, do so in a respectful way
  • Be aware of different cultures and customs, and respect the benefits that diversity can bring
  • Respect confidentiality
  • Deal with others in an ethical and lawful way and with respect at all times
  • Take responsibility for your own actions
  • Look for solutions to problems and try to resolve issues constructively

Raising concerns about equality, diversity and inclusion

  1. Pupils/Students

Pupils/students should raise any concerns with their teacher, head of year, or headteacher/principal.

  1. Colleagues

Colleagues are encouraged to speak to their manager in the first instance. They may also wish to refer to the Dignity at Work Policy or the Whistleblowing Policy.

  1. Governors

Governors are encouraged to speak with their Chair of Governors, a member of the Trust’s Governance Team or, if they have been unable to resolve matters, a member of the Trust’s senior leadership team or the Trust Board.

  1. Parents / Carers, or members of the wider community

Please speak to the Headteacher/Principal in the first instance. If you are unable to resolve the matter informally, a copy of the Complaints Policy can be found here. 


This policy will be reviewed every three years, or more frequently if appropriate.