Responsibilities Relating to Equality and Diversity

Equality refers to the learners’ rights to attend and participate regardless of their differences, while diversity refers to valuing the learners’ differences (Gravells, 2008). In a classroom a teacher might find people from different countries, backgrounds or cultures, but at the same time they can differ in their needs, appearance, the way they learn and their abilities, as well as their personal views and preferences. Because of this, it is very important for a teacher to recognise these differences and be mindful of them while preparing their teaching strategy and materials. Teachers should also be providing full access to their learners, despite their differences. They are also responsible for providing relevant support to the people they teach, without any prejudice and without discriminating them in any way, especially if the learners have a disability or require a special approach. ‘All we need to do is to manage the differences among our children by recognizing their strengths and weaknesses, planning lessons accordingly, using teaching strategies and adapting our curriculum to fit each child’s abilities and background’ (Shaeffer, 2004).
The Equality Act (2010) and the Teachers’ Standards have been developed to govern equality and diversity, not only in educational settings, but in real life too. Legislations and codes of practice such as those mentioned above however can also be used as guidance. Therefore teachers should constantly update themselves with regards to these.
Teachers should display this attitude not only in the presence of their learners, but also when they are working on the learners’ assessments. That process should be fair to everyone, and the teacher should emphasise on everyone’s strengths and weaknesses, regardless of their background, religion or nationality.
In order for learners to feel valued and inspired to achieve their potential, they need a safe and supportive learning environment. A teacher can provide that, if they...