In June 2021 we established an Equalities, Diversity and Inclusion group (EDI group) to annually consult and review our equalities policy and objectives. We consulted with families, staff, governors and the wider school community and had training, meetings, discussions and conducted a survey which helped inform our review.
Our 2022-23 equalities objectives:
To provide opportunities throughout the year for the curriculum and its enrichment to spotlight gender identity and disability, and make sure that these minority groups are better represented and more visible within our school
June 2022 Equalities update:
Our Equalities Policy and Staff Equalities Policy can be accessed through our policies page of this website.
Additional equalities data is available on request from the school office.
In February 2022, our EDI group helped write our school inclusive language guidelines. This has been shared with all governors, staff, parents and pupils (where appropriate).
At Richard Cloudesley School, we embrace, celebrate and respect difference. We support each other to create an environment where everyone can reach their full potential, has a voice, and feels valued
The language we use can help to promote diversity and inclusion and provide the same opportunities for all. This guide outlines how to use inclusive language to avoid biases, slang or expressions that exclude certain groups based on age, race, ethnicity, gender, disability, gender, or sexual orientation.
Only include age if it is relevant, for example, with initiatives that are only available for a particular age group(s). For example, Year 7 pupils.
Do not use age to describe an individual or group where it is not relevant, such as ‘mature workforce’ or ‘young and vibrant team.’
We actively avoid ageist terms such as ‘elderly,’ ‘OAPs,’ ‘pensioners’ or ‘youngsters,’ instead using terms that are objective:
child (4–12 years)
teenager (13–19 years)
young people/adults (16–24 years)
adults (19 years and over)
We do not define a person or group according to their disabilities or conditions. We use language that focuses on their abilities, rather than limitations.
We use terms such as:
Person with a disability
People living with cancer
People with diabetes
People with epilepsy
When talking about facilities, we say:
We do not say:
Everyone has mental health and the ways in which we experience it are unique to each of us.
We use person-centred language to reflect this sensitivity and to avoid positive or negative labelling. We do not describe people as mentally ill or defined by a condition.
We do say:
Race and ethnicity
Race and ethnicity are often regarded as the same thing – both are social constructs used to categorise and characterise at an individual and group level.
While there can be overlap between the two terms, it is helpful to understand the difference and how this impacts inclusive language.
‘Race’ is often used to group people based on shared physical traits, particularly skin colour and hair texture, and a shared ancestry or historical experience as a result.
‘Ethnicity’ is more frequently chosen by the individual and linked to cultural expression. The term is used to describe shared cultural or national identity, such as language, nationality, religious expression, and other customs.
We only refer to people’s race or ethnicity if it is relevant to the information we are communicating. In those cases, we recommend using the following:
BAME is often used as an acronym for Black, Asian, and Minority Ethnic, used to refer to all ethnic groups except White British Group. The acronym, however, can be problematic:
Based on these factors, we advise against its use outside of contexts where it is necessary – instead, be as specific as possible.
We actively avoid and challenge racial and ethnic slurs and any language that infers or endorses stereotypes based upon racial or ethnic associations.
Sex and gender identity
The language around sex and gender identity is evolving constantly and it is important to understand the difference between them.
'Sex' is biological (male, female, or intersex) and relates to genes, internal/external reproductive organs and hormones inherited at birth.
'Gender' can be fixed or fluid and refers to our internal sense of who we are and how we see and describe ourselves.
Binary gender terms (man/woman, girl/boy) have traditional associations with sex, but we now recognise how some people identify with a gender opposite to that assigned to them as a child (trans) and others identify neither as men nor women (non-binary or gender fluid).
To avoid making assumptions about how people identify, or to reinforce stereotypes, we should use gender-neutral terms, rather than those that make sex distinction. That is unless the gender specific terms are required to clarify communication. Examples of gender-neutral terms.
You or they/their/them, not he/she or him/her
People/person or individual(s), rather than man/men or woman/women
Everyone/colleagues, rather than ladies and gentlemen/guys
Parent or guardian, rather than mother or father
Partner, rather than husband or wife
Sibling, rather than brother or sister
Artificial or synthetic, rather than man-made
Humankind, not mankind
Workforce, not manpower
We provide cover or staff, rather than to ‘man’
Most occupations/roles need not be gender-defined:
Chair, not chairman
Scientist or lecturer, rather than female scientist or male lecturer
Police officer, not policeman/policewoman
Spokesperson, not spokesman
When talking about sexuality, we use the term ‘sexual orientation,’ not ‘sexual preference.’
We mention sexuality where and when it is relevant to the context. For example, recruitment initiatives designed to increase applications from individuals belonging to sexual or gender minorities, for example lesbian, gay, bisexual,trans/transgender (not transexual), or any of the other LGBT+ orientations a person may identify with.
Be mindful of the difference between appropriate language for those belonging to a group (in-group) and those who do not belong (out-group). For example, a person may have reclaimed a once-derogatory term and may now use this term, whereas the same term may offend an individual from outside that community.
If in doubt, ask someone their preferred term and respect their wishes.
While religions have their origins in certain parts of the world, it would be incorrect to assume people whose ethnicity originates from those countries observe the same religion or any religion. Similarly, a person’s religious belief cannot be assumed by their name.
The extent to which followers of different religions observe or express their faith is personal to them and we do not condone challenging individuals on their faith or lack of.
We only refer to people’s religion if it is relevant to the information we are communicating. In those cases, we use the following:
First name, forename or given name, not Christian name
Names of religions and religious groups take an upper case
Groups of individuals from the same religion should be referred to as a
community, such as members of the Muslim community or Jewish people