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Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion

Our Vision

The Edinburgh Academy is proud to celebrate and promote equity, diversity, and inclusion. We understand that our school is stronger, more supportive, and more welcoming by being a diverse and inclusive community. At The Edinburgh Academy we want to welcome students and staff from all ethnicities and from all socio-economic backgrounds. The aims of The Edinburgh Academy state that we are committed to providing equal opportunities to all our students and staff, inclusive of age, race, religion or belief, disability, marriage and civil partnership, gender reassignment, pregnancy and maternity, sex or sexual orientation (Equality Act, 2010).

Our vision and values provide the grounding and framework to ensure that all our staff and students are part of the EA community, developing the abilities to form long lasting friendships and connections and equipped with the values and moral compass to help add value in creating a more inclusive and accepting world. The Edinburgh Academy, like many schools, has made the deliberate decision to centre the importance of equity, diversity and inclusion in our strategic thinking and development. Inclusion is about belonging and being accepted for the person that you are. We aspire to be an open and accepting community that prepares our students for the world that lies ahead of them. As we very much want our students to be ‘grounded in Scotland and ready for the world,’ it is vital that we prepare them for the modern world – a world that is striving to be inclusive, tolerant, accepting and understanding – a world in which people are encouraged to be themselves and be proud of who they are.

The Court of Directors, Rector, Headteacher and Senior Management Team have responsibility for ensuring that the School operates within the legal framework for equality. It is the responsibility of all staff to treat colleagues and young people with respect and dignity as well as to engage in and support any methods to promote equality and diversity while actively challenging discrimination and disadvantage.
 

Aims and Values

The Edinburgh Academy wishes to:

  1. provide equal opportunities for all;
  2. eliminate unlawful language or behaviour that denigrates, labels or stereotypes students based on any protected characteristics (Equality Act, 2010);
  3. eliminate any unlawful language or behaviour that denigrates, labels or stereotypes students on the basis that an individual has a learning difficulty or special educational need, or because English is an additional language;
  4. provide a secure environment in which students feel safe, valued, have a sense of personal worth and are thoughtful and considerate of the needs of others;
  5. actively challenge discrimination in all its forms and ensure that every member of the Academy community learns from these experiences;
  6. comply with the Academy’s obligations as set out in the Equality Act 2010.

To achieve these aims the School will:

  1. ensure all staff are aware of their responsibilities to promote equality of opportunity and will have ongoing professional opportunities to develop awareness, knowledge, skills, and attitudes necessary to deliver a non- discriminatory curriculum and to identify and address any issues that may arise.
  2. ensure that educational resources are inclusive and respectful of the diverse nature of society;
  3. ensure staff seek to understand and provide for the individual needs of the students through the tutor-tutee relationship, the tutorial programme and the developed PSHE programme in accordance with the principles of Getting it Right for Every Child (GIRFEC).
     

The Legal Framework

Discrimination can take the following forms:

a. Direct discrimination occurs when someone is treated less favourably than another person because of a protected characteristic.

b. Perception discrimination is direct discrimination against an individual because others think they possess a particular protected characteristic. It applies even if the person does not actually possess that characteristic.

c. Discrimination arising from disability occurs when you treat a disabled person unfavourably because of something connected with their disability and cannot justify such treatment. Discrimination arising from disability is different from direct and indirect discrimination.

d. Harassment occurs when a person is subject to “unwanted conduct related to a relevant protected characteristic, which has the purpose or effect of violating an individual’s dignity or creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment for that individual.”

e. Victimisation occurs when an individual is subject to a detriment because they have made an allegation of, or given evidence about, the treatment of any individual (including themselves) who has been subject to any of the above.
 

Religious Belief

Although the School’s religious ethos is based on Christian values and tradition, the Academy is inclusive and respects the rights and freedoms of individuals from all religions and faiths and none.
 

Reasonable Adjustments

The Edinburgh Academy has an ongoing duty to make reasonable adjustments for disabled students to ensure they do not suffer a substantial disadvantage in comparison to non-disabled students. The School will inform and consult with parents about what reasonable adjustments, if any, the School is able to make for their disabled child.

While the Academy is not legally required to make alterations to the School’s physical environment as part of the reasonable adjustments, the Academy reviews the physical environment to consider what reasonable and proportionate steps can be taken to alleviate any substantial disadvantage caused to disabled students. The School has an Accessibility Plan in place which can be made available upon request.

The School will also make reasonable adjustments (in consultation with the individuals involved) for staff or students who are gender neutral, gender fluid, are undergoing gender reassignment or are transgender.
 

There are six key strands to our approach to DEI:

The Curriculum

All students in the School participate in a weekly programme of seminars and lectures in which the many aspects of Personal, Social, Health and Economic Education (PSHE) are discussed. We place a particular emphasis on healthy relationships and the importance of living in a welcoming and safe community like The Edinburgh Academy. We have recognised the need to review and reform our curriculum to ensure that it reflects and supports the diversity of the School community and significant changes have been made within our curriculum so that it is more diverse, holistic, and understanding of a diverse world.

Bursary Provision

The Eric Stevenson Trust means that The Edinburgh Academy has a solid foundation to support means-tested places at the School. This provides 100%+ bursary support for students who could not otherwise afford an Edinburgh Academy education.

Partnerships

We are proud of our broad and deep range of mutually sustaining and beneficial partnerships. Some have been going for many years, others have started recently. We are always keen to hear from prospective partners.

Interested individuals / organisations should contact the Rector, Mr Barry Welsh: rector@edinburghacademy.org.uk

Community Service and Charities programmes: Our students are encouraged and supported to be involved in service. We work with local schools and charities, as well as in support of local, national, and international causes so that our students see the real value of being of service to others.

LGBTQ+ Symposium: The Edinburgh Academy is proud to be a central organiser of a well-attended, annual Symposium, in partnership with the Scottish Council of Independent Schools (SCIS.) This currently attracts several delegates from Scotland’s independent education sector. There are plans to adapt the model to include other symposia covering a variety of other issues pertinent to our students.

Student leadership

All students and staff play a part in shaping the culture of the School. We have developed a structure of student leadership and feedback that seeks to ensure all voices are heard. The Ephors (prefects) all have clear roles and are expected to be the spokespeople for the school community. Members of the Ephor group lead the Pupil Council, who hold regular council meetings in order to hear diverse views. In 2022 we established the position of Diversity Ambassadors, who take a significant role of leadership on the Pupil Council. Currently, two senior students hold the role of Diversity Ambassadors and are active in promoting the values of the School. They work closely with teachers, promote discussion through initiatives and in working closely with the Pastoral Team and together they aim to build as inclusive a community as possible.

The system of pupil councils provides a good opportunity for student voice to be heard. Students are also given the opportunity to complete online surveys with each survey focusing on a different aspect of School life.

The Learning and Teaching Committee comprising SMT members, staff, and members of the governing body (The Court of Directors) oversees the development of the whole EDI agenda in the School. It meets termly and is responsible for ensuring that the SMT and wider School keep working strongly towards our vision of assuring an equitable, instinctively inclusive, socially, and ethnically diverse community.

Staff Development and Professional Learning

A willingness to accept that we still have a lot to learn and have changes to make is very much part of our desire to be inclusive and open to all. We are proud and delighted to be working with a range of external partners, including SCIS, HMC, Flair Impact and others. These have been invaluable to our learning, understanding and strategic change.

Our working group for staff on Anti-Racist education has been engaged in on-going reading, reflection and discussion and we have a programme of professional learning in place for all staff for session 2022-23, working closely with our partner Connect Futures (www.connectfutures.org/pro-race-priv/)

Staff Recruitment

We are committed to recruiting the best candidates from a diverse range of backgrounds and to helping all colleagues to thrive when at The Edinburgh Academy. It is important to us that our staff body reflects the diversity of our student population. While the powerful sense of community is evident to those employed here, we understand that independent schools can sometimes feel unfamiliar and different to those who have not had personal experience of them. If you would like to learn more about working at The Edinburgh Academy, then please do contact us by email at humanresources@edinburghacademy.org.uk

Further information and details of job opportunities can be found on our Vacancies page (www.edinburghacademy.org.uk/590/vacancies)
 

The Child Protection Officers at The Edinburgh Academy are:

Senior School

Mr Mike Bryce: mb@edinburghacademy.org.uk
Mrs Shona Robertson: smr@edinburghacademy.org.uk (Deputy CPO)

Nursery and Junior School

Mr Gavin Calder: gac@edinburghacademy.org.uk
Mrs Lorna Htet-Khin: lhhk@edinburghacademy.org.uk (Deputy CPO)
 

EDI Guidance:

Guidance for adults on how to report concerns about bullying or harassment in the past can be found here:

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