The Equality Act 2010 was introduced to ensure protection from discrimination, harassment and victimisation on the grounds of specific characteristics. This means that schools cannot discriminate against pupils or treat them less favourably because of their sex (gender), race, disability, religion or belief.
All previous anti-discrimination laws have now been replaced with this single Act which legally protects people from discrimination in the workplace and in wider society. It sets out the different ways in which it’s unlawful to treat someone and made the law easier to understand and strengthened protection in some situations.
The Act introduced a single Public Sector Equality Duty which public bodies are required to have due regard to the need to when carrying out their functions. It has three main elements:
- Eliminate discrimination and other conduct that is prohibited by the Act,
- Advance equality of opportunity between people who share a protected characteristic and people who do not share it,
- Foster good relations across all characteristics – between people who share a protected characteristic and people who do not share it.
By 6 April 2012, schools were obliged to publish their initial information and first set of objectives demonstrating how it complies with the general duty. Schools are free to choose the equality objectives that best suit their individual circumstances and contribute to the welfare of their pupils and the school community.
At Burdett-Coutts, equality is a key principle for treating all people the same irrespective of their gender, ethnicity, disability, religious beliefs / faith tradition, sexual orientation, age or any other of the protected characteristics. We believe that:
- we are an inclusive school focussing on the well-being and progress of every child
- every member of our school community should feel safe, secure and valued
- all members of our community are of equal worth
- equality at our school should permeate all aspects of school life
- equality at our school is the responsibility of every member of the school and wider community