In the beginning
Equality and inclusion in practice
This booklet describes what happened when the Barnet Early Years Alliance (BEYA) and the charity Persona Doll Training joined forces. Together they devised an innovative networking project promoting the professional development of experienced practitioners and deepening their commitment and ability to embed equality and inclusion in their practice.
This booklet extends and develops the training, guidance and support offered on the initial training days and later at network meetings. It provides helpful information to local authorities, individuals, settings and schools, partnerships and localities interested in developing a similar network.
Led by Persona Doll Training the project aimed to build on high quality day to day practice i.e. promoting the EYFS and ‘British’ Values. Those involved received training on how to use the Persona Doll approach and having been empowered, skilled and motivated, it was envisaged that they would then support early years practitioners in Barnet keen to work with the Dolls.
The website www.persona-doll-training.org provides useful information for sharing with others.
The Persona Doll approach provides an effective way to help children unlearn any prejudices they have picked up; to feel good about themselves while appreciating the differences and similarities between themselves and others; and, crucially, to stand up when they experience or witness unfairness.
The approach links with many aspects of the EYFS:
- Helping children to develop positive relationships; understand the feelings of others and explore ideas about friendship.
- Developing self-confidence and self-awareness.
Encouraging them to listen to each other.
Helping them predict, order events, draw conclusions and speculate.
Addressing many of the characteristics of how children learn.
An effective inclusive way of working to foster children’s empathy for others.
Keeping equality and inclusion, and the universal human values of respect and care high on everyone’s agendas.
If equality measures are not being implemented effectively, this will be reflected in overall Ofsted inspection grades. Equality and diversity is now a ‘limiting judgement’.