Assessing the equality conditions in the educational institution

The equality plan should be based on an assessment of the equality conditions in the educational institution. It is important to find out how well the students find that equality has been achieved in their educational institution. An assessment of the actual and current equality conditions in the educational institution can, for example, be carried out as a written survey for the students and the teaching staff.

The survey can be done separately or as part of another survey that is being carried out in the educational institution. The assessment can include questions on the school's interaction and operating culture, atmosphere, tuition, student counselling, teaching materials, sexual and gender-based harassment, and wishes and suggestions on how to promote equality.

Issues related to equality should also be discussed in class and during a theme day. The Ombudsman for Equality has produced material on sexual harassment which is particularly well suited to be used in upper and lower secondary schools and vocational schools, which is free to use and can be found on www.eimeidankoulussa.

The best way to find out the views of younger students is in class or during a theme day on equality. The Day of Minna Canth and Equality, i.e. 19 March, is a good date for this kind of theme day.

Schools can also organise a general discussion on equality. This gives the students the opportunity to discuss potential problems related to equality, solutions to these problems and ideas for development.  

Statistics can be used in the assessment if they are specified by gender. It is not, however, enough to simply use statistics to assess the equality conditions in the educational institution.