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
The University of Chester has announced the line-up for its annual Diversity Festival launching on the 5th March. The Festival is being opened by Kellie Maloney, formerly Frank Maloney, and the organiser has said she hopes that Kellie will speak candidly about her transition. Other speakers include American Feminist, journalist and author Naomi Wolf; Raj Holness, discussing how she escaped domestic abuse and forced marriage; and Holocaust survivor John Dobai.
International Womens’ Day saw the launch of the app Cajigo, which offers users a chance to tackle the gender gap and develop their careers by providing mentoring videos and exercises created by business leaders. The app was created by Rav Bumbra who states she has personally received inappropriate messages from men she had originally met in a business setting and she set up Cajigo to create a safe platform for other women to get the support and mentoring that they need.
The Prevent Duty
Ofsted gave damning report to a nursery in Plymouth after staff fail to identify signs that could suggest that children and their families are at risk of extremist views. An Ofsted spokesperson stated that when inspecting Early Years settings, they must ensure that arrangements to protect children meet all statutory and other government requirements; this includes safeguarding children from the risk of radicalisation. Nursery practitioners should have adequate training to be able to identify the risks and know what they should do if they have any concerns.
Over 200,000 Further Education and training professionals have taken free Prevent Duty training due to the strong Ofsted focus on this area. Although terrorism is not very common, almost everyone is aware of the impact it can have on the community. Many practitioners, however, find teaching the idea of British Values confusing as they are not sure how to find opportunities in the curriculum to cover the topic. One of the most challenging aspects is to ensure that they are supporting their learners and not just satisfying Ofsted requirements. Despite the high number of practitioners that have undergone the training there are still many that need to take it and this is an issue that needs to be addressed.
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
70% of children aged 11-16 think that parental controls to protect them on the internet are a good idea; however, 60% of parents don’t set them up. Research shows that a third of children think that they should be 15 before they are able to go online without restrictions, whereas 24% of parents think that controls should be taken away when the child is 17. Internet Matters launched a series of guides to help parents keep their children safe on Safer Internet Day (February 6th); these guides can be found at internetmatters.org/setupsafe. Even with these controls it is also important to teach children the importance of internet safety so that they carry the knowledge with them even when the parental controls are removed.
One major safeguarding issue revolves around keeping children safe online, and so Kid Power has provided 10 tips to help keep children safe, based mostly around cyber bullying. The 10 tips are:
- Discuss what cyberbullying is and the it does to other people
- Be clear about the rules when using technology
- Stay aware of and be involved in what your child is doing
- Be careful about the use of personal information
- Give consequences if children cyber-bully
- Provide support if a child is cyber-bullied
- Practice how to speak up to stop cyber bullying
- Teach kids to get adult help anytime they see unsafe behaviour online, while texting, or in person
- Make a commitment with young people to be good digital citizens
- Set a good example
There is lots of other resources about keeping children safe online and details about the 10 tips can be found at https://www.kidpower.org/library/article/cyber-bullying/?gclid=EAIaIQobChMIubDmr9bN2QIVVhbTCh03lgbcEAAYAiAAEgKys_D_BwE
Health and Safety
A companies’ failure to remove equipment from a railway line after carrying out repairs could have been the cause of a serious train crash. Fortunately there were no serious injuries. The six-carriage passenger train struck a bucket that was left on the line; this has resulted in the company being fined a total of £8,000 for breaches.
Morrison Construction have started working in partnership with the University of the West of Scotland to use virtual reality for site inductions to help users familiarise themselves with construction sites. This method will allow users to become familiar with the risks of working on construction sites and learn the consequences in a virtual reality setting.
Thousands of schools across the UK had to close due to the snow, leaving children to enjoy their snow days. However, it is important to remember that with this extreme weather comes risks. The Met Office issued a red weather warning and there have already been several deaths. This is the most testing weather that the UK has seen in years and the thousands of stranded drivers shows how truly unprepared the UK is for weather like this.
That’s all for this month – see you in April!