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The HAO Equalities Team (pictured below) is made up of staff from a range of departments and students from a range of year groups. The Equalities Team is passionate about working together to ensure that there is absolute equality for all.
In order to achieve this, we have appointed ‘Equalities Champions’ who ensure that every protected characteristic is represented and supported.
To date, the team has reviewed the whole-school curriculum to identify and celebrate areas of equality and diversity across subjects. With the help of Student Voice we have updated our curriculum and are now focusing on co-planning the PHSE, assemblies and tutor programme.
Examples of how we are promoting equality and diversity within our curriculum include assemblies and lessons across all subjects on equality-related topics such as Black History Month, LGBT+ month, International Women’s Day and GRT month.
We have also updated the academy uniform policy and the Home/School Agreement so that it is gender neutral. We have introduced a prejudice log which enables senior leaders to analyse trends and patterns to identify any cases of prejudicial behaviour in the Academy to ensure we become proactive in ensuring they do not happen here.
We have reviewed displays in the Academy to ensure that they are fully representative and meet with the Executive Principal weekly. We hope to achieve Gold Equaliteach Award in Summer 2022 and are Stonewall Champions.
What students say...
Students speak about how their student-led Equalities Group is changing attitudes within the school.
“People don’t always think their voice matters but as part of Student Voice I will always make sure every voice matters. Promoting participation is vital to change and this school isn’t perfect but embracing its flaws is the reason it is the place to be.” Shemaiah
“I joined Student Voice as I would like to be part of the team that changes the academy as a whole and I have strong opinions about specific subjects that I believe could help the school. So far, I think we have made some solid changes such as the classroom rules, the school motto and bringing back PHSE lessons. These have been a decent start but I still think we can do much more.” Thomas
“I joined Student Voice as I believe that there’s so much we can do to make our school the best school it can be. Changes we have already established include our school motto; the words we’ve come up with now are ‘Tenacity, Ambitious, Enterprising’. We have updated and developed our basic class rules to make the students more aware.” Doresa
Watch a short film about how the Equalities Group started.
Year 8 and 9 students on the Equalities Group discuss how they are working to end discrimination.
What teachers say…
"I joined the equalities team as I want to be part of promoting equality and diversity in our academy. I believe that by educating staff and students on issues around equality we can bring about positive change and make huge strides in having an inclusive academy where all members of our community feel safe, a sense of belonging and take pride in who they are." Jasmine Marshall Fraser, Faculty Director
"As a social science teacher I felt impelled to join the equalities team to embody Emmeline Pankhurst’s 'deeds not words'. It is important to me that we enable all students' voices to be heard and represented. Through positive decisive action, the equalities group enables these voices to be heard, driving HAO forward and creating a community for all." Amy Harrison, Head of Sixth Form
"I have recently joined the Harris Academy Orpington equalities team because I have strong views that everyone at our academy has the right and the opportunity to their own values and beliefs. I have a strong connection to the LGBTQ+ community and that I will help support and guide both students and adults within the academy in supporting them in enhancing their knowledge with LGBT and the great work that they have done in recent years both locally and nationally." James Thompson, HLTA
"I became a race champion at HAO because I wanted to 'be the change' we need in our academy. I believe as an academy we have made great efforts in establishing an environment for inclusion and diversity. However, I can see where there is a space for development to be made and I want to be a 'developer'." Tameka Edwards, Acting Pastoral Coordinator Year 7