Equality and diversity is so much more than just “treating everyone the same” …
Equality and diversity enhances everyday life and simple changes to normal activities can ensure all individuals are included and given equal opportunities to achieve. Our newsletter offers updates on E&D, Safeguarding, Prevent Duty, Mental Health Awareness, and Health and Safety, as either found in the news or highlighted as our topic of the month.
In this issue:
- Equality and Diversity
- Prevent Duty
- Safeguarding and Mental Health Awareness
- Health and Safety
Equality and Diversity in the News
With Christmas being the main focus for many in December it’s important to remember that other religions also have important festivals during December. Check out some of the few coming up!
|1st Dec/6th Dec||The Prophet Mohammad’s Birthday||Muslim (Sunni/Shi’a)|
|8th Dec||Bodhi Day||Buddhist|
|21st Dec||Winter Solstice||Druid|
|22nd Dec||Yule||Wiccan/ Pagan|
|26th Dec||Zaratisht no diso||Zoroastrian|
|31st Dec||Hogmany||National (Scotland)|
The Prevent Duty
It has been estimated that a third of prevent referrals in 2015-2016 came from the education sector. Of the 1702 individuals discussed at the Channel panel 80% were aged 20 or under, they also make up 85% of the individuals that receive Channel support.
Statistics from the home office show that
- 1504 individuals referred for concerns related to Islamist extremism were aged under 15
- 271 individuals referred for concerns related to right-wing extremism were aged 15-20
- Of all individuals referred, the education sector had the youngest median age of 14
The prevent duty has lead to the term ‘radicalisation’ becoming interchangeable with extremism, and often specifically relating to religious extremism or terrorism. However, there are other types of radicalisation, for example gangs often radicalise young people that feel isolated from society and from the opportunities that mainstream belief systems provide.
Radicalisation has been defined as “the process by which individuals are introduced to an overtly ideological message and belief system that encourages movement from moderate, mainstream beliefs, to extreme views.” The majority of those that become engaged with street gangs often come from areas with high social inequality and the best way to prevent this form of radicalisation is often providing a more diverse social setting for young people in particular. One way this has been achieved in Brixton London is Ebony Horse Club, this charity provides a safe and free environment for children of all ages, races, religions and social backgrounds to gain new experiences and channel their energy into something that is beneficial to both themselves and others. To find out more about the Ebony Horse Club charity check out their website at http://www.ebonyhorseclub.org.uk/
Remember those all-important contact numbers:
Anti-Terrorism Hotline: 0800 789 321
Crime Stoppers: 0800 555 111
And above all, be vigilant! If in doubt report anything suspicious to 101 or 999.
Safeguarding and Mental Health Awareness
A story that has caused some controversy is Facebook asking users in Australia to send sexual or explicit images to themselves in an attempt to put a stop to “Revenge Porn”. Although people may take these images with consent, it sometimes doesn’t stop there. Some victims of revenge porn have said that the images that have been shared online by partners (or ex-partners) were sent to the recipient with no permission for it to go any further than the two of them.
What Facebook aims to do is ‘hash’ the images after an individual has sent them to themselves. This is where the image is converted into a unique digital fingerprint allowing Facebook to identify and block any attempts to reupload the same image even if it has been modified in some way.
This technology could not only be useful for the prevention of revenge porn but also for removing images that may be used as radicalisation propaganda. Facebook hopes that other companies will start using this technology in the future to help reduce the number of unwanted images not only on Facebook but across a number of social media platforms.
Safeguarding is not only an important issue within schools but also in peoples’ private life as well, with the effect of the Harvey Weinstein revelations spreading across Westminster and the media some senior figures have indicated that sexual harassment or abuse occurs at almost every level of the hierarchy in the Church of England and within Jehovah’s Witnesses.
Many people who were harassed or abused at a young age in the past have come forward only recently to share their stories, with many saying that within the Jehovah’s Witness organisation they were told not to report what had happened as it would bring reproach on Jehovah.
Similarly, within the Church of England there are some who abuse their position of power to keep people quiet about any cases of harassment or abuse, as well as using their best pastoral skills to gain the trust and confidence of an individual when they may be vulnerable. This often then makes it harder for the individual to seek help because they may not know who they can trust to not abuse their vulnerabilities.
This issue highlights how important it is to have a safeguarding team or officer that will not abuse their power and will find the correct balance for providing enough pastoral support for those that are vulnerable.
Health and Safety
Greene King pub made to pay £150,000 after a young waiter suffered extreme burns after boiling water was spilled over his legs and ankles. The incident occurred after plumbers were unable to fix the broken boiler at the Six Bells Pub and so management installed a tea urn and instructed the staff on pot wash to carry scalding water across the kitchen to the sink using cloths to protect their hands.
Failure to adhere to Health and Safety regulations lead to the tragic death of an agency worker at a Mid UK Recycling whilst cleaning near an industrial shredder, his body could only be identified by matching samples with DNA from his toothbrush. An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive found that a fixed gate had been removed a number of weeks prior to the incident, and they stated “this horrific fatality could so easily have been avoided by simply installing and maintaining physical guards around conveyors”
The Queen has defended the traditional playground game conkers against health and safety zealots, stating that it is harmless. Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Schools has recently stated that children are being denied the chance to develop resilience and grit due to some health and safety policies.
That’s all for this month – see you in January!