1.14: Policy on Equal Opportunity & Gender Equity:

Introductory Statement:

This policy document was drawn up
  1. To ensure equality of access to all pupils and staff in the school environment
  2. To ensure that no condition be allowed hinder a person’s participation in school life

The policy was re-drafted because:

  1. The existing policy was originally drafted in 2003 and required updating
  2. Legislation in relation to equality of access has been activated, such as the
  3. Employment Equality Act 1998
  4. Education Act 1998
  5. Equality Status Act 2000
  6. To promote the principles of justice and equality for all in accessing and participating in the curriculum, as provided by Sonna N.S.
Links to School Ethos:

Sonna N.S. endeavors to enable every pupil to actively participate in all school activities regardless of physical disability, gender, race, religion or learning disability. We also commit to preparing each and every pupil for life by promoting value and respect for all. Our school mission statement promotes the spirit of inclusiveness and the principles of equality.

Aims and Objectives:

  1. To instill a sense of pride in our own culture whilst simultaneously cultivating an understanding of the value of cultural diversity
  2. Ensuring compliance with all requirements of legislation
  3. Promoting equal opportunities in an environment where diversity is respected valued and celebrated.


Organisational Procedures:



All pupils are welcome to enroll regardless of race, religion, gender, family status, disability or whether or not they are a member of the ‘Travelling Community’. Arrangements are made, on enrolment, for families who do not wish their children to participate in religion or R.S.E.




The Board of Management is an equal opportunities employer, as per the Equal Status Act 2000, and the Employment Equality Act 1998. No discriminatory questions on the grounds of gender, sexual orientation, family status etc. will be asked during the interview process. Correct procedures for promotion will be strictly adhered to, as per the CPSMA handbook, and fair and equitable measures in relation to posts of responsibility, maternity leave, career breaks, etc.


The school has a policy of communicating with both parents on pupil progress where divorce or separation is an issue, unless a court ruling prescribes differently.


Induction and Teaching:

The school infant enrolment form gathers all the information the school will need to address issues of inequality, such as family background, medical concerns and learning or physical disabilities. This enables the school to access relevant support such as EAL teachers, SNAs and teaching materials. There is regular communication between the class teacher and parents prior to, and during the child’s early school life. All teaching materials acquired are chosen and used in a manner reflecting diversity.

All teachers share information that is updated annually. The school promotes non-academic activities such as football, music and drama in a manner that is favourable to all sexes, races and religions. Special efforts are made to avoid stereotyping when designating tasks and presenting classroom materials.


Curriculum Access:

The school endeavours to enable all pupils to access all curricula, which shall enable pupils to engage in appropriate intellectually stimulating work. All children are given an opportunity to engage in integration and appreciate other cultures and languages.

Special arrangements are made for children with specific learning difficulties in relation to the teaching of Irish. Exemptions are sought for children with a psychological report recommending exemption from Irish, subject to parental request, and in keeping with the professional recommendation of the class teacher.

SESE offers many areas where diversity and differences can be celebrated. Geography lessons will focus on people, food and the physical features of other countries. S.P.H.E strands such as ‘Myself and Others’ are also used to celebrate different cultures.

Special Needs:

The school has a complement of one full-time LST/RT and two part-time LST/RTs. Children with special needs in mainstream have access to learning support and resource hours in addition full time mainstream integration.

Evaluation of Policy:

The policy is subject to continual review under the following
  1. All pupils accessing the curriculum at a level appropriate to their needs
  2. Increased awareness of difference and acceptance of same
  3. Maintaining a happy school atmosphere
  4. Staff and parental satisfaction
  5. Improvement in pupil attainment level in academic and social areas


Ratification / Review / Implementation:

This policy was ratified by the Board of Management on _______________________.                                                                                                                    Signed:____________________________ 

It will be reviewed in June, 2012.