Equality and diversity

All different, all equal

At Cowes Enterprise College we are committed to leaving no one behind and offer different support to different students to enable them all to make the same progress.

We welcome the positive difference diversity brings to our experiences and effectiveness. Cowes Enterprise College is for everyone and includes everyone whatever their background.

We challenge ourselves to do all we can to ensure diversity and inclusion within the academy. The more diverse we are, the better able we are to respond, reflect and represent today’s UK through the education we deliver.

If we get this right, it will be evident in how we work across all our stakeholders: our pupils, people and partners.

Equality Information and Objectives 2021-2025

Equality Information updated March 2023:

Cowes Enterprise College Strategy 2023 – 2027

Our three year strategy aims to ensure equality for all so that students reach their full potential and make good progress. Our equality objectives lie at the heart of our strategy KPIs. We build our commitment on the shoulders of our 125 staff. The dedication and moral purpose of our colleagues is not in question. Our strategy, contributed to by staff, students and governors, is about harnessing that broad passion and making it razor sharp so that we can achieve equality for all. 

Why do we wear the rainbow lanyard?

In 1978, artist and designer Gilbert Baker was commissioned by San Francisco city supervisor Harvey Milk — one of the first openly gay elected officials in the US — to make a flag for the city’s upcoming pride celebrations. Baker, a prominent gay rights activist, drew inspiration from the rainbow to reflect the many groups within the gay community.

Equality within the academy

We welcome our public sector duty under the Equality Act 2010 to publish equality objectives and information. The aim for this is to eliminate unlawful discrimination, harassment, victimisation and any other conduct prohibited by the Equality Act 2010 and to advance equality of opportunity and foster good relations between people who share a protected characteristic and people who do not. In all our activities we act in accordance with the equality act and our equality policy which can be found on our website www.cowesec.org in the ‘policies’ section. 

Our three year strategy aims to ensure equality for all so that students reach their full potential and make good progress. Our equality objectives lie at the heart of our strategy KPIs. We build our commitment on the shoulders of our 125 staff. The dedication and moral purpose of our colleagues is not in question. Our strategy, contributed to by staff, students and governors, is about harnessing that broad passion and making it razor sharp so that we can achieve equality for all. 

Our strategy is our promise that we will pull together to use our combined expertise and resources to solve problems that haven’t been solved before. We will take hard decisions and we will not accept the status quo.

We want a level playing field for our pupils, but it is not level yet. We want all our pupils to achieve, but this won’t happen unless we recognise that underachievement does not happen randomly. 

Our teachers and departments that do best for all pupils regardless of background do not achieve this by chance. They have developed support that takes away some of the barriers that keep children from meeting their potential.

To support our equality objectives, we have developed a rigorous approach to research driven professional development. This brings together the lessons from international evidence about what works. Our priority areas for action reflect what is in this causal analysis about how disadvantage in communities can result in lower achievement for individual pupils. This does not mean focusing on some pupils at the expense of others. It does mean being deliberate about understanding the structural reasons that can result in background having an impact on attainment.

Excellent Education

One of our core purposes is to provide an excellent education. We know that the most important thing is getting the basics right. 

Every child has the right to acquire knowledge and skill in every subject before they leave education. The actions within this priority area are about making sure all pupils receive their full entitlement. We want to create greater consistency and alignment across the academy so that every classroom can share in our collective knowledge of what makes for the best curriculum and teaching.

  • Our curriculum, teaching and assessment will reflect shared principles about quality
  • There will be active support, materials and collaborative planning structures available for our teachers
  • Our curriculum will be inclusive and will enhance literacy provision
  • Review our teaching and curriculum so we know in detail where our strength and weaknesses lie
  • Agree shared principles for quality for teaching, curriculum and assessment
  • Decide what knowledge and skills pupils are entitled to in each subject
  • Deliver high quality CPD to teachers and support them to ensure all teaching staff develop their practice
  • Review our curriculum offer so that every programme of study and enrichment activity has a strong rationale for inclusion

Most Effective Support

Cowes Enterprise College’s staff have a strong sense of moral purpose and have chosen to work to make a difference to our community. We need to ensure that our pupils all receive the support they require to excel

  • Consistently low levels of absence across the academy
  • Reduced exclusions; pupils demonstrate positive behaviours and attitudes to learning as the norm
  • We deliver well-being and positive mental health support for students both through the universal curriculum and through bespoke packages
  • Pupils will have access to professionals that can offer specialist help in a way that is timely, expert, and appropriate to their needs
  • Invest in the pastoral and inclusion areas of the academy to expand expertise, increase the availability of support for pupils and to give staff clinical supervision 
  • Review the availability of alternative provision and explore the options to ensure access

Exceptional Personal Development

One of the important factors in our theory of change is the positive difference that exceptional personal development makes. We aim to level the playing field by building cultural capital and character through high quality enrichment opportunities and the explicit teaching of personal development through the curriculum

A child that learns beyond the curriculum can accumulate 40% more learning time in a single year than a peer whose only learning is through the timetable. Our aim is to make the commitment more sharply focused on the pupils who need it most by tracking attendance at enrichment opportunities and positively targeting students we want to attend opportunities beyond the school day

We will also deliver a universal curriculum offer called Everyone Matters (E1M) which will see our pupils involved in social action and student leadership and in receipt of a curriculum which asks pupils:

  • How do I keep myself safe?
  • What does it mean to be healthy?
  • How can I be the change I want to see?
  • What is respect?
  • How does Britain work?
  • How can I prepare for life in the modern world?
  • The curriculum will deliver a universal offer for all pupils which encourages exceptional personal development and which includes high quality careers support for every year group
  • Enrichment will not be a bolt-on but will be seen as the informal element of our wider curriculum
  • The informal curriculum will make a measurable contribution to all aspects of the whole pupil: knowledge, skill, social and emotional development, life skills and experiences
  • Develop and deliver a high quality ‘Everyone Matters’ (E1M) curriculum which encourages exceptional personal development
  • Agree clear priorities for enrichment and review our offer so that all enrichment activities are purposeful
  • Seek external funding and internal investment to expand the enrichment offer, focusing on activities that will have measurable impact
  • Introduce a comparable approach to assessing how pupils are developing in the round.
  • Record and analyse participation in enrichment activities
  • Undertake research with parents and pupils to understand why pupils do not take up the learning that is on offer

Well Organised and Well Run Academy

Our core purposes depend on having a strong organisation to support how we deliver our educational aims and to achieve this we need the right people in our academy. As an academy, our ways of working have not always kept pace with our evolution. If we are to become a top-performing academy we will need the people, technology, estate and information that are among the best in education

There are some staff groups that face particular recruitment challenges. Nationally, fewer teachers are being recruited and there are increasing numbers leaving the profession. Research tells us that an important factor in excellent education is that educationalists can focus on the business of curriculum, assessment, teaching and pedagogy. In order for this to be consistently the case, we will need to invest in those people, systems and processes which support our educationalists and ensure that our staff leaders enable staff from across the academy to keep motivated and committed even when under pressure

  • Teachers and classroom leaders are able to concentrate on the management of teaching and school improvement because they are backed by support functions that run smoothly and efficiently
  • All staff and pupils benefit from high-quality learning environments and facilities
  • Our staff feel like they are part of an inclusive family where the culture of collaboration means all understand and are committed to what we want to achieve
  • None of our classes will be taught by unqualified teachers, except where that is a deliberate choice
  • Our support staff are well trained and qualified to perform the roles that we need them to do. Those who want to can develop and progress further within the academy and Trust.
  • The level of staff turnover will be healthy and we will reliably attract high quality candidates
  • Invest in support, training and development for all roles, including through educational research
  • Use the OAT Institute of Education that will facilitate privileged access to graduates and newly qualified teachers from the UK and worldwide
  • Hub with the outstanding Teaching and Research School, Thornden School, to provide support for NQTs and continuous professional development
  • Support staff well-being and consider workload as a key aspect of academy decision making
  • Use the academy’s finances efficiently, effectively and economically
  • Listen to all stakeholders to plan collaboratively and hear the voices of all
  • Take a long term view to ensure that our school buildings meet the demands of high quality teaching and learning