Ethos Guidance Platform Featured Article: Staff Inclusivity

Educate Together’s Ethos Guidance Platform contains guidance on key issues and topics related to school life, the ethos, and the relationship between the two. This edition, we examine the guidance on Staff Inclusivity.

All school staff should be valued for the unique contribution they make to the school community. Management should cultivate a culture of inclusion, providing opportunities for collegial relationships to develop across employment roles (teacher/additional needs assistant/secretary/caretaker) and actively working against the development of hierarchical divisions based on role.

The following guidelines may be useful in considering ways to ensure that all staff feel equally valued and included:

  • At staff meetings, wherever appropriate, the input of teachers, additional needs assistants and ancillary staff should be sought and valued on an equal basis. Ideally such opportunities should be identified beforehand and whole staff input explicitly welcomed.
  • Providing opportunities for all staff to mix regardless of roles at break times can be logistically challenging but nevertheless represents a significant commitment to equality and staff inclusivity on the part of management.
  • Management should also make a concerted effort to ensure that non-teaching staff are considered in the organisation of whole-school activities. Participation by non-teaching staff in these activities should not be mandatory due to the restricted nature of these roles but non-teaching staff should feel empowered to contribute in meaningful and productive ways to school life.

While keeping within the parameters of their employment roles, additional needs assistants and/or other ancillary staff are not required to be involved in the organisation of whole-school events and initiatives. Nevertheless, their input should be welcomed.

The principle of equal treatment for all is extended to the religious beliefs of staff members. Members of all faiths and none should feel protected from judgement by others.

It is expected that some staff may be members of faith groups. Given their position of authority in the lives of the children in the school it is not appropriate for them to engage in religious practices related to their faith identity in the presence of children. They are free to do so in their personal time away from their interaction with students, for example at break time in the staffroom.

Care should be taken that a culture of mutual respect is present, even in private spaces like the staff room, to ensure that staff members’ personal beliefs are not inadvertently undermined.

Click here to read more about Staff Inclusivity.