Specialist training days

Communities Empowerment Network provides specialist training for educators, parents and carers.

The training is for small groups of up to 20 attendees led by Esther Maynard and Brenda Parkes.

Please read more about the training days below, who they are for and how to book.

+Challenging discriminatory school exclusions-Challenging discriminatory school exclusions

Challenging discriminatory school exclusions

Black Caribbean pupils, pupils with special education needs (SEN), disabilities, Gypsy and Traveller pupils and boys have higher than average rates of school exclusion. There is no real explanation for why these groups are at greater risk of exclusion compared to their counterparts. Disproportionate exclusions of a particular group suggest that discrimination may play more of a role than we care to admit.

A discriminatory school exclusion can have wide reaching consequences for a child and his/her family. It can prevent a child achieving their full educational potential, cause stress within the family and lead to depression and feelings of dis-enfranchisement. Discriminatory exclusions affect our perceptions of fairness and justice.

Many parents feel their child has been discriminated against, e.g. their child, who has SEN, has been excluded permanently for disruptive behaviour while a child without SEN has not.  Often parents are not sure whether the exclusion is discriminatory since the school will give a good explanation for the difference in treatment or simply deny it altogether. This can make it hard for parents to recognise discrimination when it occurs. It can also be hard to challenge discrimination, especially if you do not know the law and / or what you need to do to prove discrimination.

Understanding how the law protects your child against discrimination in decisions to exclude; and knowing how to challenge discriminatory exclusions will empower you to take effective action. 

About the training

This training will help you understand:

  • equality law as it applies to education, in particular exclusions;
  • how you can identify and challenge discriminatory behaviour and practice by a school;
  • the duty on schools to avoid disproportionate and discriminatory outcomes in exclusions.

It will also be an opportunity for participants to share their experiences of discrimination in the education process.

Who should attend

Parents, community groups, involved in tackling inequality in an education context, education advocates or anyone who wants to know more about equality law in education.

What you will get out of this workshop

By attending this workshop, you will learn about:

  • Equality law 2010 - duties on school
  • The experiences of others in  challenging discrimination by  schools
  • How to recognise/identify discriminatory exclusions
  • The role of unconscious bias in decisions to exclude
  • Options for challenging discriminatory exclusions
  • The legal process for challenging a discriminatory exclusion

Dates 

Saturday 21 April 2017 

Friday 22 July 2017 

Saturday 21 October 2017 

Time
10am - 4pm

Venue
Communities Empowerment Network, Unit 101, 245a Coldharbour Lane, London SW9 8RR

Cost
£45 (Early bird booking £35).

How to book
Please book via Eventbrite. For further information contact Esther Maynard on 020 7733 0297.

+The role of the Public Sector Equality Duty in Education-The role of the Public Sector Equality Duty in Education

The role of the Public Sector Equality Duty in Education

The Public Sector Equality Duty (PSED) was introduced with the passing of the Equality Act 2010 (the Act). It has a long evolutionary history, with the race equality duty being introduced under the Race Relations (Amendment) Act 2000, following the MacPherson Inquiry into the murder of Stephen Lawrence. Its overall aim was to eliminate institutional racism. The race equality duty was later followed by disability and gender equality duties under previous sex and disability discrimination legislation. The PSED then replaced these duties encompassing a broader range of protected characteristics when the Equality Act 2010 was introduced.

The key principle underlying the PSED is that it is a proactive duty designed to prevent discrimination as well as eliminate any existing discrimination. It also plays a role in advancing equality of opportunity and fostering good relations between different groups. Together these principles take the form of a “general duty” under the Act. There are also certain specific duties placed on most public authorities through secondary legislation to set objectives as well as publish information on how the duty is being met. The aim of the specific duties is to assist the public authority in meeting its general duty.

The PSED must be taken into account by public authorities when making individual decisions as well as when generally formulating and implementing policies.

The EHRC has powers to enforce both the general and specific duties. Furthermore individuals can take a judicial review case if they think that there has been a breach of the general duty.

The principles behind the PSED are highly relevant to education, particularly regarding areas where there is disproportionality such as in exclusions and attainment levels. Where inequalities exist certain actions should be taken by public authorities including both local authorities and schools.

About this training

This training is aimed primarily at teachers and school governors as well as local authority personnel and SEN experts including those who sit on appeal and review panels. It is designed to outline the legal obligations placed on public authorities under the PSED when carrying out their functions and policies, and how these apply in an educational context. It is also designed for parents to attend so that they can be clear about what schools and local authorities are required to do under the law as well as how any breaches or apparent breaches of the PSED can be challenged.

What you will get out of the training

 You should be clear about:

  • Legal requirements of the PSED,  
  • Meeting the PSED in policy and decision-making
  • Particular relevance of the PSED in an educational context,
  • What good and bad practice may look like in the context of exclusions
  • How breaches of the PSED can be challenged

Who should attend

Head teachers/principals, governors, education officials, SEN experts, parents, community groups involved in tackling inequality in an education context

Dates

Thursday 18 May 2017 

Friday 18 August  2017 

Thursday 16 November 2017 

Time
10.30am-4pm

Venue
Communities Empowerment Network, Unit 101, 245a Coldharbour Lane, London SW9 8RR

Cost
£175  (Early bird booking £140).

How to book
Please book via Eventbrite. For further information contact Esther Maynard on 020 7733 0297.

+Tackling disproportionality in school exclusions: The role of the Equality Act 2010-Tackling disproportionality in school exclusions: The role of the Equality Act 2010

Tackling disproportionality in school exclusions: The role of the Equality Act 2010

DfE statistics continuously show that certain groups are at higher than average risk of exclusion. Boys are three times more likely to be excluded compared to girls. Pupils with special educational needs (SEN) account for just over half of all exclusions. Gypsy/Roma and Irish Travellers pupils have the highest rates of exclusions. Black Caribbean pupils are over three times more likely to be excluded permanently compared to the population as a whole.  Pupils claiming free school meals (FSM) are about four times more likely to be excluded. White working class boys are also likely to have higher than average rates of exclusion.

Disproportionality in school exclusions is not a new phenomenon: The groups that are most likely to experience exclusion have not changed. They are likely to come from disadvantaged backgrounds, and have low attainment levels. Exclusion helps to pave their way to the criminal justice system.

Schools have an invaluable role to play in reducing disproportionate outcomes in exclusions. Statutory guidance requires head teachers to consider putting in place extra support to identify and address the needs of pupils from high risk groups in order to reduce their risk of exclusion. The guidance also encourages head teachers to take proactive measures to reduce that risk.

The Equality Act 2010 (The Act) provides a legal basis for schools to address disproportionality in school exclusions without breaching the principle of non-discrimination.

About this training

This training is for head teachers and educators who want to make a difference to the lives and futures of children at risk of exclusion. It will help you understand-

  • What the law requires and allows you to do;
  • The different types of support you could put in place to achieve sustainable change;
  • How to engage with parents and children more effectively to reduce incidents of exclusion,
  • What others have done to tackle disproportionality in school exclusions.

What you will learn

By attending this training you will learn:

  • How to use the Equality Act 2010 to advance equality in school exclusions
  • About the role of the Public Sector Equality Duty in identifying and tackling disproportionate outcomes
  • About a range of different measures to support children at risk of exclusion
  • How others have moved forward in this area

Who should attend

Head teachers/principals, governors, academy proprietors, education officials and anyone with an interest in reducing school exclusions.

When

Friday 19 May 2017

Friday 20 October 2017 

Time
1- 4pm

Venue
To be confirmed

Cost
£90 (Early bird booking £72).

How to book
Please book via Eventbrite. For further information contact Esther Maynard on 020 7733 0297.

About the trainers - Esther Maynard

Esther Maynard is a parent reintegration officer with CEN, supporting families whose children are at risk of exclusion and has dealt with many complaints of discriminatory exclusions.

Esther is a solicitor and previously worked as a senior legal officer at the Equality and Human Rights Commission, where she worked with a range of organisations including schools on tackling inequality across the range of protected characteristics.

Esther is keen to raise awareness of how to tackle disproportionality in educational outcomes.

Brenda Parkes

Brenda Parkes is a trustee of CEN and works as an independent equality and human rights consultant.

Brenda previously worked as a senior lawyer at the Equality and Human Rights Commission where she handled regulatory matters on behalf of the Commission in a broad range of sectors including education on the issue of school  exclusions. Brenda also provided training to staff on the new public sector equality duty. Prior to working at the EHRC she worked at the Commission for Racial Equality in both the legal and policy directorates.

Brenda is keen to raise awareness of the public sector’s responsibilities under the equality duty, its relevance to the private  sector as well as individual rights under the duty.