Equality and Diversity

Equality and Diversity in the History of Mill Water School

It is hard to believe that it was only in 1970 that the Education (Handicapped Children) Act discontinued the classification of mentally handicapped children as unsuitable for education at school and brought them within the general educational system, transferring responsibility for their truancy and education from the mental health services to the education authorities.

Progress was made in the 1980s when the Education Act 1981, influenced by the report of the Committee of Inquiry into the Education of Handicapped Children and Young People, 1978, known as the Warnock Report, ruled that children previously referred to as ‘handicapped’ were instead to be termed ‘pupils with special educational needs’, that a written statement of those needs was to be made for each child and that there was to be increased emphasis on integrated provision in their education. 

Further reform occurred in 2015 with the publication of the Special Educational Needs and Disability Code of Practice. The foreword to this document states:

Our vision for children with special educational needs and disabilities is the same as for all children and young people – that they achieve well in their early years, at school and in college, and lead happy and fulfilled lives.

This new Special Educational Needs and Disability Code of Practice will play a vital role in underpinning the major reform programme.

Mill Water School has always shared this vision. We first opened our doors to children with special educational needs and disabilities in 1975, before the publication of the 1981 Education Act. The school, then located in Honiton, welcomed all SEND children, irrespective of race, gender, disability, belief, sexual orientation, age or socio-economic background.

Now located in the grounds of Bicton College, Mill Water School remains committed to ensuring equality of opportunity for all pupils, staff, parents and carers. We aim to develop a culture of inclusion and diversity in which all those connected to the school feel proud of their identity and ability to participate fully in school life.

We tackle discrimination through the positive promotion of equality, by challenging bullying and stereotypes and by creating an environment which champions respect for all.

At Mill Water School, we believe that difference is an asset which should be respected and celebrated by all those who learn, teach and visit us.

Equality in Teaching and Learning

We provide all our pupils with the opportunity to succeed and to reach the highest level of personal achievement. We do this by:

    • ensuring equality of access for all pupils and preparing them for life after Mill Water - in an increasingly diverse society
    • promoting attitudes and values that challenge any discriminatory behaviour or prejudice
    • providing opportunities for pupils to appreciate their own culture and celebrate the diversity of other cultures
    • seeking to involve all parents/carers in supporting their child’s education
    • utilising teaching approaches appropriate for each individual pupil
    • using resources that reflect the diversity of the school population and local community, without stereotyping.

Equal Opportunities for Staff

All staff appointments and promotions are made on the basis of merit and ability and in compliance with the law. We are keen to ensure that the staffing of the school reflects the diversity of our community.

The school has a full and separate Equalities Policy. Please consult this document for further details.