Equality Information and the Equality Act 2010

The Equality Act 2010 replaced nine major Acts of Parliament and almost a hundred sets of regulations which had been introduced over several decades. It provides a single, consolidated source of discrimination law, covering all the types of discrimination that are unlawful. It simplifies the law by getting rid of anomalies and inconsistencies that had developed over time, and it extends protection against discrimination in certain areas.

The Act makes it unlawful for the responsible body of a school to discriminate against, harass or victimise a pupil or potential pupil

  • in relation to admissions,
  • in the way it provides education for pupils,
  • in the way it provides pupils access to any benefit, facility or service, or
  • by excluding a pupil or subjecting them to any other detriment.

It is unlawful for a school to discriminate against a pupil or prospective pupil by treating them less favourably because of their

  • sex,
  • race,
  • disability,
  •  religion or belief
  •  sexual orientation
  • gender reassignment,
  •  pregnancy or maternity

It is also unlawful to discriminate because of the sex, race, disability, religion or belief, sexual orientation or gender reassignment of another person with whom the pupil is associated. So, for example, a school must not discriminate by refusing to admit a pupil because his parents are gay men or lesbians. It would be race discrimination to treat a white pupil less favourably because she has a black boyfriend.

It is also unlawful to discriminate because of a characteristic which you think a person has, even if you are mistaken. So a teacher who consistently picks on a pupil for being gay will be discriminating because of sexual orientation whether or not the pupil is in fact gay.

The new Act extends protection against discrimination on grounds of pregnancy or maternity to pupils, so it will be unlawful – as well as against education policy – for a school to treat a pupil unfavourably because she is pregnant or a new mother.

Protection for transgender pupils against gender reassignment discrimination is also new in this Act.

The term “protected characteristics” is used as a convenient way to refer to the categories to which the law applies.

A person’s age is also a protected characteristic in relation to employment and the Act extends this (except for children) to the provision of goods and services, but this does not apply to pupils in schools. Schools therefore remain free to admit and organise children in age groups and to treat pupils in ways appropriate to their age and stage of development without risk of legal challenge, even in the case of pupils over the age of 18.

Our Equality Objectives
  1. To close the gap in attainment between boys and girls - specifically in Maths.
  2. To close the gap in attainment between Pupil Premium pupils and their peers.
  3. To ensure that difference is celebrated throughout the curriculum and when all future policies are review consideration is given to the principles embedded in the Equality Act 2010.
  4. To ensure that any future building developments take into account the needs of pupils and their parents who have protected characteristics. 
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  4 Dec 2017, 15:59 Broughton Admin